Having a blocked drain can be a real headache. In the worst case scenario, it can actually cause water to come back up into your home, leaving you with a mess that will need to be sorted out.
Of course, if you don’t turn the water on this will reduce the chance of a flood. At this stage it is important to have the contact details for plumbingdetectives.com.au on hand; this will give you a back-up plan to help you resolve the issue.
However, before you do this it may be possible to unclog the drain with baking soda and vinegar. Yes, all you need is baking soda, vinegar and then some water!
Start by pouring a little boiling water down your drain; this will warm the pipes and show you whether any water is getting through or not.
If there is already water backed up in the sink you’ll need to remove this before you put the hot water in. Equally, if the hot water doesn’t drain you’ll need to remove this water with a cup or a siphon.
You can then pour one cup of baking soda into your drain. You should get as much of it as possible into the drain and not around the edge. Allow it to sit for several minutes.
Then, slowly add one cup of vinegar to the drain. As soon as it’s finished cover the drain with the plug, or anything else that you have to hand. This will ensure the chemical reaction takes place inside the drain.
Wait for 5-10 minutes.
You can then pour some more boiling water into the drain. This should flush the baking soda, vinegar, and any clog away.
If this doesn’t work, remove the water in the sink and repeat the process. If it still hasn’t worked after you’ve repeated it twice, it’s time to try something else.
You may wish to call the plumber at this stage. However, you can look underneath the drain; you’ll see a U bend in the pipes. This is where water sits to prevent odors and dangerous gases coming back up the pipes. Unfortunately, this is also a perfect spot for hair and other debris to collect; causing the blockage.
You should be able to unscrew the trap and clear any gunk inside it without needing to take your plumbing apart. If you do take the plumbing apart you’ll need to be very careful that it goes back together properly, a leak from a bath drain can spread a lot of water around your home.
You can also use a drain snake. This is a thin wire that coils through the drains, the idea is that it will find a way through the blockage. By moving it back and forth you’ll be able to release the blockage and it will slide down the drains and out of the system.
But, never use a stick, coat hanger, or any other device down your drains; they are likely to break and make the issue worse.