How to Clear a Blocked Drain

A blocked drain is one of the most common plumbing issues that plumbing companies receive calls for on a daily basis. Many drain blockages are emergency plumbing jobs that happen unexpectedly. If you do not attend to your blocked drain quickly, your home or business may be at risk of damage, and sewerage may leak out of the blockage. If the blockage is severe, your pipes could even explode and you will face a larger bill for repairs. There are several options available to clear your blocked drain, it really depends on where the blockage is located and its severity. We discuss these options below.

1. Eco Drain Cleaners

We always recommend the use of eco drain cleaners over those with harsh chemicals. The products with dangerous substances can be harmful to the environment and to your health. They may also cause damage to your plumbing pipes. There are quite a few quality eco drain cleaners on the market, they are made from natural bacteria and enzymes. They can clear blockages that occur from organic matter, including food scraps and hair. Sometimes it may take a little time for them to work, and they won’t be able to clean all causes of blockages.

2. Use A Plunger

A plunger is the most common method that householders use to clear a blocked drain. Plungers are fairly cheap to buy and can be found at most hardware stores. For toilet blockages it’s best to use a flange plunger, whereas for showers, sinks and bathtubs we recommend you use a cup plunger. To use let a little air out of it first, and make sure you get a strong seal. If you have any issues getting it to seal properly, put some petroleum jelly on the edge of the plunger. Push down then up and this pressure should loosen the blockage.

3. Boiling Water

You can use boiling water to remove blockages caused fats, oils and grease which have been poured down the drain of the kitchen sink. It’s an easy and low cost method to try yourself, before calling a plumber if it does not work. In some cases, it may just be enough to loosen these mineral deposits inside your pipes. It probably will not work for stronger, more solid blockages in your drains. You can also do this regularly to try and prevent a blockage in future.


4. Natural DIY Cleaner

To make a DIY drain cleaner, simply use white vinegar and bicarb soda. Firstly pour the bicarb soda into your blocked drain, and then the white vinegar. Make sure you cover the drain up while your doing it. It should cause a chemical reaction which will clear the inside of the pipes out from the production of oxygen. After you have repeated this a few times, then turn your hot water on to remove all debris in the drain.


5. Plumbers Snake

A plumber’s snake, which is more readily known as an electric eel is now available in most hardwares stores to use at your home or business. The snake needs to be inserted into the drain, then the coil at the end of it will spin and try and clear the blockage. There is a slight possibility you can damage your pipes and the snakes also have limited range. Take care when using the snake as it has limited range and can also get caught in the drain, which will mean you will need to call a plumber. Plumbers rarely use plumber’s snakes anymore as water jetters are much more efficient.

6. Call a plumbing professional

Many of the methods above may not work, especially for more complex drain blockages. If you can’t clear your blockage, its important to call an expert drainage plumber as soon as possible, before the blockage gets any worse. Drainage plumbers will have specialised equipment including jet blasters (water jetters) which can clear even the toughest of blockages, and CCTV cameras which will help them determine where the blockage is and it’s cause.

 4 Elements Plumbing are very experienced drainage plumbers based in Sydney. We have the right expertise to be able to clear blockages in all types of drains and sewers, including stormwater. Our customers receive a lifetime labour guarantee on all work, and we offer fixed pricing for blocked drain. Call us today on 1300 790 930.