Dos and Don’ts In Clearing Blocked Drains

Andrew Vanny

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A blocked drain is a very common plumbing issue that you will encounter at least once. It doesn’t matter how perfectly installed the plumbing system is because blocked drains are caused by human error in most cases. The most common causes of blocked drains are: 

  1. Grease/oil from cooking 
  2. Food wastage 
  3. Human waste 
  4. Fallen hair  
  5. Draining insoluble items such as wipes. 

In this article, we as licensed plumbers will let you know what you should and shouldn’t do when experiencing a blocked drain problem.


Use natural ingredients to clear the blocked drain

Hot Water

Pouring hot water into a minor blocked drain is an old yet effective way of unblocking a drain. Hot water is particularly useful for grease blockages as it loosens and dislodges the buildup, which is why pouring hot water is the right choice for a blocked kitchen sink. To avoid your kitchen drains being blocked in the future, avoid emptying grease down the sink and instead collect it in a bottle to dispose of properly. 

Baking Soda and Vinegar

Another proven natural ingredient in solving a blocked drain is the combination of baking soda and vinegar. The chemical reaction created by this household acid and base produces carbon dioxide and water which unclog minor blockages via the bubbles produced. This solution is best for minor blockages and when water cannot be drained quickly.

Use basic unblocking tools


Plungers are reliable tools when there is a blocked drainpipe but did you know that the plunger for the toilet is different from the plunger for the sink? Though the science behind the two plungers is the same, they are designed differently for different functionality. The main difference between the two is that the toilet plunger has a “flange”. Unlike sink plungers, the flange helps in creating more pressure to push out whatever is blocking the drain pipes. It’s important to use the correct plungers for the toilet and sink as different pressure levels are required to unblock the system. 


Don’t use chemical-based drain cleaners

We understand that frustration of facing a plumbing problem like a blocked drain can cause a fast solution to be preferred. Chemical-based drain cleaners often do the job of clearing a blocked drain, however, most drain cleaners are harmful to the pipes long-term. When you use it on a regular basis to clear a recurring blocked drain, it can damage the drainpipes of your plumbing system by eroding the materials which lead to thinning of the pipes and inevitably cause a leak or a burst pipe. To avoid more extensive problems with your plumbing system, refrain from using drain cleaners repeatedly.

Don’t use a drain snake or auger

The drain snake or auger is a tool made of flexible steel that can penetrate drainpipes and dislodge blockages, particularly those found in s- or p-traps. While this tool is available in many hardware shops, it is best to be used by licensed plumbers to safely clear the blocked drain. This is because plumbers know how to select the most appropriately sized drain snake. Choosing to do this yourself runs the risk of selecting the wrong size drain snake and scraping the inside of your pipes as the snake folds in on itself, ultimately damaging the pipe’s internal coating.

Ultimate solution

A blocked drain is a common problem of any plumbing system. Though there are ways to prevent it from happening, you will inevitably encounter a blockage in your plumbing system at some point. If the blocked drain cannot be solved using home remedies and basic plumbing tools anymore, it is best to get the help of licensed plumbers.  

Licensed plumbers like those in our team at Andrew Vanny Plumbing are equipped with all the necessary plumbing tools and equipment, knowledge, and experience to solve the problem. Our promise to our clients is to consistently deliver our services quickly and effectively. We pride ourselves on the efficient plumbing services we offer within the Sydney regions of Hornsby, Killara, Thornleigh, and Wahroonga. 

If you need help with a blocked drain, call us now at 0480 009 605! We are open to emergency plumbing services in our service areas to immediately solve any plumbing issue you might encounter. 


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