Blocked drains are the perfect examples to use if someone asks you to explain Murphy’s law – anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Drains can be blocked and indeed, they will! Blocked drains in Sydney are quite common. Unblocking a drain is not supposed to be anything to call a plumber for (unless it is a very stubborn blockage). Here are five ways to try unblocking your drain yourself before calling a plumber.
If it’s just soap or grease you could try to unblock the drain with boiling water. Do be careful not to burn yourself while handling the boiling water. The use of natural enzymes is also a great place to start, so in the next order try half a cup of salt, half a cup of bicarbonate soda, 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of hot water. This method is perfectly harmless for people, the sink, the pipes and the environment. It can be repeated as many times as desired. On the other hand, your local shops should have drain opener products that also do a good job of unblocking drains (and they smell nicer too).
Using a plunger is the good old-fashioned method of unblocking drains. It creates certain pressure that forces the clog to move by also allowing the water to push it along your plumbing and finally get it out. Plungers are simple to use, they do not require any chemicals and carry almost no risk to your plumbing system.
To create enough pressure, you have to make sure that there are no openings in the kitchen that allow air to flow. Most kitchens have a double-basin sink; you can use a wet rag to block the second opening (drain). The plunger is then pushed down against the drain opening, pressing hard on the drain to force the air in, or pushing down until the rubber cup is crushed and then pulled, creating the pressure to remove the clog.
Now, if you have a really nasty, stubborn blockage in the drain, it is better to use a plumbing snake. Remove the sink trap and insert the snake into the hole. Turn the handle to the right until the bit touches into something solid. When you feel the resistance, push and pull the snake a little to go through it. Continue turning the crank if there is still resistance. When you do not feel anything blocking the snake, slowly pull it out and dispose of the hooked clog.
If you want to give your drain a fresh fragrance, use baking soda with lemon juice. (It is not necessary to use fresh lemons, and you can get a juice concentrate from the grocery store.) The application of these two ingredients is the same as baking soda and vinegar, meaning you could use that mix as well.
Often the deposits of the clogged drain are located directly in the siphon. If you want to clean the drain with little effort, you can dismantle the siphon. This works mostly by hand, but in case of doubt, you need a bucket, a cloth and a pipe wrench. Before fitting the pipe wrench to the siphon, wrap the cloth around the cap nut on the siphon to avoid scratching it. Now place the bucket under the siphon to catch any liquids. Next clean the various parts of the siphon with a wire brush and then carefully assemble the siphon again. Then replace the gaskets immediately and, above all, scrupulously check that the siphon is tight and no liquid escapes. If the siphon is in extremely poor condition, replace it completely.
Still can’t unblock your drain? Call for a professional plumber service
There will be cases where none of the five methods we have shown will help you to unblock your drain. When it comes to that, you should contact a professional plumber service – with the expertise and tools they possess, any clogged drain will be fixed in a matter of minutes.
It is not easy to find a decent plumber in Sydney, especially an expert plumber in Inner West. Many plumbers aren’t qualified and might do more harm to your plumbing system. However, SPS Plumbers can help.
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