So, you’ve got a blocked drain. Either it’s completely blocked and your home is now filling up with water or it’s just quite blocked with only a trickle going through. Either way, it needs your attention. These situations never fix themselves, and you’ll definitely need to use this tap again sometime in the future. Luckily, there are a number of steps that you can follow to unclog your drain. They start off super easy and get a little more complex. So have a look and then tackle that bad drain and get on with your life!
Examine the drain
Take a close look at the drain. If there is a cover on it, remove the cover and look for blockages carefully on the cover. These will be easy to clean and unclog if it’s the cover that’s the issue. If it’s not the cover or there is no cover look in the drain itself. If there is any debris, remove it. If you can see strands of hair falling into the drain, then try carefully to pull them out. Often what looks like a few strands of hair will turn out to be a hair, detergent and gunk hairball sitting just out of sight which can easily be removed.
Get out the plunger
Next step is to give the good old plunger a go. A plunger works by creating a vacuum with the drain and can often help by applying pressure to the problem. Pump away with the plunger for a while and then run the taps again to see if you’ve managed to have any success this way. It’s important that you get a good seal around the base of the drain with your plunger, so that no air gets in while you’re pumping. Rub around the rim of the rubber with a little water first, and around the drain, to help to create the best seal possible here.
Next up, drain cleaner
While some people don’t like using harsh chemicals in their home, drain cleaners can be an extremely effective way to unclog a drain if the above two methods haven’t been successful. Head down to your closest large supermarket or hardware store and you’ll be able to find the drain cleaner in the aisle with the rest of your regular cleaning products. Different drain cleaners are used in different ways so make sure to always follow the directions as according to the packaging. Also be aware of any safety warnings on the package. Drain cleaners are often harsh chemicals and it can be dangerous to get them on your skin or inhale fumes.
You need this: a drain snake
Easily the most handy tool in a plumbers tool box is the drain snake. The drain snake is the tool that plumbers are the most likely to grab when they’re on their way out to the next job. They have a long bendy wire that can be used to feed down the drain, then twirled about to dislodge anything that’s clogged up down there. While most people have the good old plunger at home, what they are missing is the plumbers snake. The plunger can only do so much with suction – this tackles the problem head on. You may be able to pick up a plumbers snake in speciality and large hardware stores around the country.
Still not working?
At this point in time it’s going to be either try turning off the mains and getting underneath yourself to take out some pipes and see if you can do anything about the situation or give blocked drain plumber a call. Option one is really only an option if you’re super comfortable with a set of tools and consider yourself a bit of a handy person about the home. It’s only possible, too, if you have ready access to the pipes which are connected to the drain – perhaps under the sink, this certainly won’t work for your bath.
So, your final option is giving the plumber a call. Some blockages are just too stubborn or large for the home DIY’er without the right tools and expertise. This is when a plumber is really going to help. So have a look around at your local options if you don’t already have a plumber on call, check out their rates, and then pick up the phone and make that phone call. The faster that you have this problem fixed, the better you’ll feel and the easier your life will be once again!