How can I unblock my sink?
When your sinks become blocked it can be a huge inconvenience, and can cause you a great deal of stress. Knowing how you can prevent and maintain a blocked drain is important, as well as knowing what steps you can take to get rid of small blockages. A blocked drain will never go away on its own, so it is imperative that you act quickly as soon as you notice the signs of a blockage, before it can increase in severity. If the blockage is of a small nature, it is possible for you to remove it yourself, however larger blockages need to be removed by a professional drain engineer with the right tools and equipment.
With a blocked sink, you have three options: cleaning products, a plunger, or removing the U-Bend pipe below the sink. If your drain has been blocked by food substances such as oil or grease, these materials can easily be broken down by cleaning products which can be found in most supermarkets on the home products aisles. However, if the blockage has been caused by foreign objects that have become stuck down the pipes, a plunger is the better option. If you are not sure about what may have caused your drain to become blocked, begin with cleaning products and observe how effective they are, moving on to use a plunger if necessary.
The majority of blockages in sinks are caused by a buildup of food waste that has been incorrectly disposed of. You will probably have noticed that over time the water in your sink has been draining more and more slowly, which is due to the blockage increasing in size gradually. There are a vast number of cleaning products you can purchase to try and tackle these blockages, but you can also use home remedies such as baking soda and vinegar.
Begin by pouring a pot of boiling water down the drains, and follow this up with a cup of baking soda and a cup of hot vinegar. The reaction between the vinegar and the soda will loosen and dislodge the buildup, and to wash it away finish by pouring another pot of boiling water down the drain. This can also be used as a preventative method to catch any blockages that may not have made themselves obvious yet.
Should the use of cleaning products prove ineffective, a plunger is your next best bet. Place a sink plunger over the plughole and gently push in an up and down motion to create pressure in the drain. Keep checking the drain in between pushing to see if the debris is moving at all, and clean it away if necessary. You can also check the effectiveness by running the taps and observing how long it takes for the water to drain.
Beneath the majority of sinks you will find that there is a U-Bend pipe that can often become blocked. However, due to the placement of the pipe it is not difficult to fix this. Make sure to place a bucket underneath the pipe before you start opening it, to avoid flooding. Begin by unscrewing the thread that is closest to you on the pipe, and wait until the water has stopped draining out of it. Repeat this step, but with the thread that is furthest away from you.
Removing these threads will allow you to remove the U-bend, but do so carefully and make sure to check for any debris that may fall out of the pipe. Once you have removed the U-bend, inspect the inside of the drains, looking for any potential buildups or blockages, and thoroughly clean. You can do so either with a wire hanger, a dishcloth with warm water, or with a screwdriver.
Once you are sure that the pipe is clean, replace the U-bend by screwing it back into place and, as an extra precaution, seal the pipe with waterproof tape to prevent any leaks that may occur. As with all methods, you can test the effectiveness by running the tap and seeing how smoothly the water drains.
However, if you do not feel comfortable making such repairs, do not attempt to do them. We often see customers calling up about a problem that they have made much worse by having a go themselves. If you ever find yourself in doubt about whether you can perform a fix on your own, call one of our expert blocked drain Sheffield team. For only a small sum (with no hidden costs), get our team to do it right. Find out more about drain services provided here.