If your drain is blocked, it’s probably because tree roots have grown into the sewer line through cracked pipes or joints. Other possible causes include foreign objects flushed down the toilet, grease from the kitchen sink, or too much toilet paper.
Our blocked drains experts in the Blue Mountains area recommend NOT to pour substances like baking soda, fizzy drinks, vinegar, or drain cleaners down the line, as they usually have no effect. Instead, try one of these methods to clear your blocked drain permanently if it’s a paper clog. If tree roots are causing the problem it will only be a temporary fix.
Method 1: Use a plunger
There are a few different plungers, each with its advantages that are very useful in an emergency. For example, a flanged plunger is best for toilets, while a cup plunger is better for sinks, showers and bathtubs.
If you have a blocked drain, you first need to find the overflow hole. This is usually located near the top of the sink, bathtub or toilet. Once you find it, plug it up with an old rag to prevent air from entering the pipes. Doing this will create a vacuum that will help unblock the drain. It’s also important to block any other drains in your home. This includes any sinks, tubs or toilets that are nearby. All plumbing in your house is connected to the same system, so air can enter through an open drain and cause your plunger to lose suction.
To unblock a sink, first fill it with water. If the basin is still draining, add a little more water to compensate for any water loss. If a clogged toilet is the problem, use a bucket to remove water from the basin until it is half full. This will create enough suction to unblock the toilet.
Remove the air from the plunger by “burping” it. To do this, immerse the plunger in the water and lift it slightly to allow the air bubbles to escape.
Then place the plunger over the drain hole and begin to plunge vertically. Apply equal pressure to the handle with both hands and continue for about twenty seconds. If you find that the water does not drain, repeat these steps as needed. Remove any debris and rinse the area with a rinse or running water.
Method 2: Waterbomb
One way to clear a partially blocked drain is to water bomb it. This involves filling the entire sewer line with water until it overflows, increasing the pressure on the blockage. This method can provide a permanent solution if the clog is caused only by paper debris. However, if the jam is a combination of tree roots and paper, this method can only provide a temporary remedy.
Constantly check wet areas and utility hole covers for overflowing sewage, as it can significantly damage flooring, skirting boards, walls and items stored on the floor. You don’t want to unblock your drains only to find you have expensive damages to your property you need to attend to.
Method 3: Manual removal of debris
If the plunger does not work, you may need to clear the blockage manually. To do this, you will need a pair of gloves, a bucket and wire or needle-nose pliers.
If you have a push plug, unscrew the plug and remove any hair, soap residue, or other debris that has become trapped in the plug. If this problem keeps recurring, hire a plumber to replace the plug with a standard sink drain. If an object, such as a toilet cistern is stuck in the toilet’s trap, you may be able to pull it out with a piece of wire or a bent coat hanger.
If you are dealing with a clogged drain, be careful not to make the situation worse by putting more items in it. Things can get stuck and cause further damage, costing you expensive repairs. It’s best to avoid putting anything down the drain and call a professional plumber if the problem persists.
If you have tried all three methods and the blockage persists, it’s time to call in a plumber. They have the right tools and the experience to fix the problem for good.