Let’s face it we all take our household plumbing for granted right? When it’s working we don’t even bat an eyelid, but when it isn’t we’re usually straight on the phone to the nearest plumber asking them to come and sort it out. Take a blocked sink for instance, do we really need to call out a plumber right away? In short no. Instead, there are certain things that we can do that just might alleviate the problem before we bring in the trusty professionals.
Unleash the plunger
When your sink is blocked or isn’t draining away quickly, then it pays to dig out the plunger. Give it a dozen or so pumps and if it’s a minor blockage this should dislodge the obstruction.
If you haven’t got one to hand, they’re inexpensive to buy and can be purchased from most hardware stores.
Unscrew the sink trap
If the plunger doesn’t do the trick, then you might want to look underneath your sink. In other words, check the sink trap.
What can happen is that sometimes debris gets caught in the pipe and blocks the passage of water. It’s always worth unscrewing the trap located on the U-bend to clear any excess debris or food waste.
It may sound obvious but make sure you put a bucket underneath when you unscrew the trap to catch all the excess water and anything else that falls out.
If the U-bend is clear and water still isn’t draining away, then there may well be an issue further down your pipework towards your drain. If this is the case then you might want to make up a brine solution of hot water and salt.
Although generally more of a preventative measure as it stops grease from building up in your drains, it can also dispel small amounts of grease or fat that have built up, and sometimes this is all it takes. In addition, the natural oxidisers contained in the salt will neutralize any funky drain smells too.
Drain cleaning solution
If all else fails and the sink still isn’t clearing then you may want to bring out the big guns and purchase a chemical drain cleaning solution. These are often very similar to what the professionals use, but a word of warning… they are extremely potent so if you are going to use them, make sure you ventilate the room, follow the instructions precisely, and wear protective clothing.
Some can damage plastic pipework, so if you do have this type of pipework then make sure the cleaner you use is compatible with plastic.
If the above fails or if you don’t like the idea of using harsh chemicals on your drains, contact your local licensed plumber.