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The Blocked Drain Battle – A Guide to Overcoming Pipe Obstructions

When it comes to your home, there are only a few things more annoying than when the drain is blocked. You can try your best to shine your torch or phone light down to see the obstruction, but sometimes it is so far down you have no idea what to do. A useful tip from someone who have experienced this many times before, running the water and hoping for the best doesn’t work. Before you enter the familiar home maintenance rage, use these simple tips to overcome that pipe obstruction.

The old coat hanger trick

If you have a blockage, but when you shine the torch, you can’t see anything, chances are it is quite a way down. Sometimes a blocked drain can be simple to fix and doesn’t require any heavy duty chemicals. Often times the old coat hanger trick will work a treat. If you have used a coat hanger in this unconventional way before, it is very simple. All you need to do is unwind the coat hanger, straighten it out and place it down the blocked drain. Feel for any obvious obstructions and check to see whether you can break up whatever is stuck down there. If you have the right leverage, it can be as simple as that. If you find the blockage too strong to budge, then it could be time to call a professional.

Plunge away

Sometimes the blockage in your pipe may need a tool slightly bigger than a coat hanger. If that is the case, then reach for the plunger. A plunger can create a lot for force between the blockage and the top of the drain, allowing water to travel through and break up the blockage. Begin by filling the sink with water, and then place the plunger over the sinkhole to create a vacuum seal around it. It is important if you have a second sink that you block the sinkhole of that sink as well. When you have done these steps, you can start plunging the blocked sink. You will need to plunge at a rapid pace to help create momentum to break up the blockage. Once you start to feel the blockage softening you can flush the sink with hot water to get any remaining debris.

Homemade cleaner

A plunger is not necessarily something all homes have, but the next option is something most homes will have in the pantry. If you have a blocked pipe, you can try a combination of baking soda and vinegar to break down the blockage. Somewhat of a homemade drain cleaner, the mixture of half a cup of vinegar with a small amount of baking soda sent down the drain with boiling water can work wonders. The natural chemical reaction between the three elements can work towards breaking down any blockages quite quickly. For larger blockages, you may need to repeat this process a few times or alternatively leave the mixture overnight and then flush with more water in the morning.

Call the professionals

Last but certainly not least, is to call a professional. A plumber will be adept at all of the above and more. If you aren’t confident of removing the blockage yourself, or don’t have the tools above, then call a plumber as soon as you notice the blocked pipe. A plumber will be able to quickly identify the source of the blockage and have you back up and running in no time at all.

A blocked pipe is not fun for anyone. It can stop you from doing all sorts of chores and simply from using a main area of your home. If you aren’t sure how to take care of a blocked pipe then use these simple tips to help overcome any blockages in your pipes.


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