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How To Unclog A Blocked Drain And What You Should Know

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It doesn’t matter how careful you are, at some point you’ll be faced with the undesirable situation of having to unclog a blocked drain. Let’s face it, it happens to us all and eventually, we all have to deal with it. They key is understanding what’s causing it and how to fix it in the best way possible. 

There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to unclog a blocked drain, and there are things you can try that work great and are always worth a try! 

unclog a blocked drain

How To Unclog A Blocked Drain

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The first thing to consider is whether you are flushing wet wipes because if you are you need to stop. I didn’t realize they were such a huge source of the problem. Did you know that there have been enough wet wipes flushed down the drains in Sydney to reach as far as Los Angeles and back? 

Did you know that if you flush wet wipes, makeup wipes, or any type of cleaning wipes you’re massively increasing your chances of a big blockage and a plumbing bill to match? I’m a huge fan of using Clorox Wipes daily as they are such a great way to clean and disinfect my bathrooms – now, I’m extra careful about not flushing them down the toilet bowl. 

unclog a blocked drain

You can talk to any Sydney plumber to confirm how important it is to keep these wet wipes out of your drains. It’s also useful to have their number on hand to assist you when dealing with a clogged drain.

unclog a blocked drain

There are a few techniques you can apply yourself while waiting for your plumber to arrive. However, just because you have managed to get the water flowing again does not mean you shouldn’t get a plumber to check your drains. It can prevent them from becoming blocked again.

Don’t forget, clogged drains can cause flooding and a serious amount of damage to your home. You should check your insurance wording to see what you are covered for.

Drain Cleaner

Another awesome way to unclog a blocked drain is a simple one and probably stuff you already have at home. If the water is draining very slowly then you might be able to use a drain cleaner from a shop – providing you follow the instructions on the package. 

Alternatively, you can make your own! I’ve used this hack before and it is totally worth trying. 

Simply pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain, then pour half a cup of vinegar down the drain and cover the drain hole. This will force the reaction downwards. Follow these instructions: 

  • Pour a pot of boiling hot water down your drain.
  • Then pour in about 1/2 cup baking soda.
  • Let that sit for a few minutes to do its job.
  • Pour a mixture of 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of very hot water down on top of the baking soda to continue the process. 
  • Be sure to cover with a drain plug as you will want to keep the reaction down below the drain surface and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
  • Then, flush one more time with a pot of boiling water.

You will hear it fizzing and bubbling – then after 10 minutes add another half a cup of vinegar, cover and then leave for 30 minutes.

Plunger

To deal with standard sinks you’ll need a cup plunger. It needs to go over the plughole and seal. You then slowly move it up and down; the action will push air through the pipes, hopefully moving the blockage in the process.

You’ll need a different type of plunger to deal with toilets.

unclog a blocked drain

Pipe

If you push a normal piece of pipe down your drain you’ll liable to get it stuck or damage your plumber. However, if you have a drain snake you’ll be able to slide this slowly down the drain and it will find its way around the bends.

Ideally, it will either push through the blockage, breaking it up, or it will pull it up to the plughole for you to take care of.

The Sewers

It is also worth lifting your sewer cap outside to confirm that the blockage is in your home and not in the pipes outside. It will usually be a problem outside if all of your drains are blocking or slow draining.

In this case, you’ll need drain rods and the assistance of a professional; they can clear the blockage and ensure that your drains are in good condition, saving you a lot of inconvenience and expense.

It is also important to watch what you put down your drains; sanitary products are one of the worst items for toilets while hair can be seriously detrimental to your sink drains.

unclog a blocked drain

If you aren’t sure what’s causing your blocked drain and to no avail, you’ve tried everything and it’s still clogged, it’s best to call professional plumber services to come to the rescue. There have been times when we were able to unclog a blocked drain and other times we weren’t that fortunate. Either way, it’s always worth trying to clear it yourself at first – who knows? You might get lucky!

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How To Unclog A Blocked Drain And What You Should Know - Sassy Townhouse Living

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Carolann

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12 Comments

  1. I am familiar with the baking soda, too. I’m going to run in to my kitchen and mix B. Powder with vinegar to see if the reaction is similar… be right back. Here

  2. During the mini science experiment listed above, I learned that B. Powder has bicarbonate of soda listed as the second ingredient. Other ingredients include cornstarch, Aluminum Sulfate, and Monocalcium Phosphate.

    There was a small scale reaction when adding vinegar to the B. Powder in comparison to the energetic lava flow that occurs when mixing vinegar with B. Soda.

    A THOUGHT: I might be a little worried about the cornstarch settling into the goose neck of the sink. Maybe not an issue, but?!?

  3. Oh my gosh, Deb. that was my typo today. I meant to type baking soda and my brain farted. My husband had a medical procedure today and while I was nervously waiting I just had to work. I guess I learned my lesson not to type while deeply preoccupied. Thanks so much for catching the type and I’m super sorry you had to go through the trouble. Although I must say, I am so impressed and it’s good to know there’s such a huge difference between the two products. Thanks so much and again, my bad.
    Carolann

  4. Hi Susan, Another reader caught my typo. I meant to type baking soda and my brain farted. My husband had a medical procedure today and while I was nervously waiting I just had to work. I guess I learned my lesson not to type while deeply preoccupied. I fixed it now. thanks for catching that one too!
    Carolann

  5. No problem at all. I’ve used the wrong name, and probably the wrong ingredient when baking. Heehee. The experiment was easy peasy… No trouble at all… I love science and experimentation.

    I hope all is well with your hubby. Surgery certainly can create the stress that leads to brain bubbles… besides, you’re entitled to bubbles just the the rest of us.

    All the best,
    D

  6. Thanks much, Deb. I was so impressed you did that! Thank you. He made out just fine and is resting and eating lots of food which is good lol. And thanks so much for catching that and understanding.
    Carolann xo

  7. A blocked drain is definitely one of the most common issues we all have to face in our homes. With time I’ve learned some tricks. But sometimes things you can find in a drain… well, it’s funny :D Not only hair, food waste and makeup wipes you mentioned before. Once I found a rubber and even a sock there. My son wanted to know if it’s possible to stick it there. What an imagination!
    One tip I can give you besides using different products is to start with a plunger (as you already suggested). Yes, toilet plunger. You can even use it for a sink and at least in my house, it works great.
    After that, of course, you can start to use DIY products or the ones you can buy.

  8. I love your ideas and I want to try it sometime if I have the chance. I seriously find your tips very helpful and useful. It makes me want to try it right now haha. Anyways, thank you for sharing this awesome blog!

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