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How to clear a blocked drain

If you’ve got the brawn we’ve got the brains on how to clear a blocked drain. There are four different ways to attack a blockage. Whether it’s the laundry, bathroom or kitchen, here are the DIY methods to help you clear a blocked drain.

1. Plunge in

Skip arm day at the gym and workout at home! A plunger is a simple yet effective and easy way to clear a blocked drain. All it takes is muscles and persistence. Make sure the plunger is the right size for your drain hole as you need to create an airtight seal. If you’re working on a double kitchen sink then be sure to plug up the second drain hole to keep things air tight. Now pump away!

2. Liquid options

Next, you can try pouring some stuff down the drain to break up the blockage. This method works with a blockage caused by a build up of everyday household things like toothpaste, cooking oils, hairs and food scraps. There is evidence for and against whether chemicals work. You could spend the money and not worry about the environmental impacts, or save your dollars and use hot water and detergent. They are the two most common methods and are listed below.  It’s your personal preference as to which type of liquid to use. Also, you may like to check out this article for a myth bust on why bicarb soda is all fizz with no substance when poured down a drain.


Whichever chemical you use make sure to follow the instructions. You’re obviously open to suggestions because you’re reading this blog, so keep being smart and follow all safety directions! That stuff can blind you!

Hot water and detergent

If you’d prefer not to put harsh chemicals in to the waterways then go simple. Detergent is a degreaser which carries fats and oils away and hot water obviously has some kick. Get those two together by running the hot tap (if your hot water is really hot) or boil some water and trickle the  detergent in at the same time.

If you suspect the blockage is in the U bend of a sink drain then you may like to read our blog How To Unblock a Kitchen Drain. It has the nitty gritty details of getting under the sink and pulling things apart.

3. The tool to save the day

So to clear a blocked drain that was too stubborn for plunging or liquid an auger could save the day. An auger is a long, thin, flexible tool inserted in the drain to break up blockages. There are different augers for different drains. A hand auger is for a sink, bathtub or shower. A toilet auger is, yep you guessed it, for a toilet. It has a different shape to suit the bend of the toilet and a different tip so you don’t leave the porcelain with scratch marks. Augers are available to hire and buy, check out your local hardware or plumbing supplies store. Make sure you feel confident using an auger, they can do damage if used incorrectly.

4. When DIY is NQR

So you’ve plunged, mixed potions and poked the drains with an auger but still have a blockage? Then it’s time to call us. Flowtec Plumbing and Gas have some high powered gadgets which will clear a blocked drain no matter how stubborn or serious. Contact us seven days a week on 0488 097 697 for a quote. flowtec-contact

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