5 Ways You Can Clear A Blocked Drain

Blocked drains are no fun for anyone. They smell, cause flooding and can seriously damage your property. With swift action, many blockages can be cleared without too much fuss. This blog looks at 5 ways you can clear a blocked drain yourself, as well as when it’s time to call the professionals.

1. How to clear drains blocked by hair

Hair traps all sorts of gunge and debris and is a major cause of blocked drains. Tell-tale signs of a drain blocked by hair are slow drainage and lots of noise when you empty the bath. Drain spiders are good at getting rid of small amounts of hair, but be cautious when using chemicals – they can cause more harm than good and have huge environmental implications.

Swift action is essential. If you can’t reach the hair, it may head to the main drain pipes which will cause more problems. Call a specialist if you cannot remove the hair yourself.

To avoid this kind of blockage, use a good quality hair trap and clean it regularly.

2. How to clear drains blocked by plants

Leaves, dirt, twigs – all of these cause a headache when it comes to keeping drains clear. As well as general garden debris, drains can also be blocked by tree roots.

Regular sweeping and clearing will prevent many of these problems, while regular watering will go some way to preventing the great tree root invasion. It’s worth thinking about what trees you plant too – some such as willow, oak and magnolia are more invasive than others.

If you suspect a tree root has made its way into your drainage system, it’s important to get in touch with a professional – tree roots can crack pipes and cause severe damage.

Drain Hair Catcher
Food Grease In A Jar

3. How to clear drains blocked by grease

Grease is a big issue for our drains. Any oil or fat that is washed down the sink will stay to coat the pipes and this will build up over time to cause a serious blockage.

Minor blockages can be cleared by using a solution of hot water and vinegar. Mix up a 50/50 solution and pour it down your drain. Allow it to sit for around 15 minutes then flush with more hot water. The acid and heat dissolve the fat so it can flow freely.

As ever prevention is better than cure with this one. The less oil that goes into your pipes, the less chance there is of build-up and blockage. Dispose of grease and oil by allowing it to solidify in a jar or tub and putting it in your food waste collection bin.

4. How to clear drains blocked by sediment

Water contains a host of minerals. Over time, these can react with metal pipes and this reaction can cause sediment to form.

The first sign of this type of blockage will be a reduction in water flow from your shower or taps. This is annoying and left untreated could develop into something more serious.

A simple fix is to keep shower heads and removable parts free from mineral build-up. White vinegar is the answer here, and an overnight soak in a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water should have your water flowing again. If this doesn’t work, then there may be something more significant going on, so it’s time to contact a plumber.

5. How to clear a drain blocked by foreign objects

Kids’ toys, food waste – all of these things will cause a problem if they end up in your drainage system. To avoid this happening, make sure everyone knows what can be flushed away and keep a close eye on little ones when they’re near the bathroom.

If you can see the object, then you may be able to fish it out (be sure to wear gloves and protective clothing). If not, it’s time to get in touch with a plumber.

Food Waste In Sink