How do you unblock a badly blocked drain

How Do You Unblock a Badly Blocked Drain: Do’s and Dont’s for Tackling Severely Blocked Drains

How do you unblock a badly blocked drain? We’ve all been there – water pooling at your feet in the shower, the kitchen sink refusing to drain, turning simple daily tasks into frustrating chores. Blocked drains are a common problem in households but, if not addressed promptly, can lead to more significant issues like water damage or pipe corrosion. Understanding how to effectively tackle a severely blocked drain can save you time, and money, and prevent the inconvenience of water backing up into your home.

DIY Methods for Unblocking Severely Clogged Home Drains

When faced with a badly blocked drain, many homeowners first attempt to solve the problem themselves using DIY methods. Here are a few techniques:

  • Boiling Water: Sometimes, a kettle of boiling water is all it takes to dissolve or dislodge a blockage, especially if it’s caused by grease or soap. This method is simple but should be used with caution on pipes that are not metal, as extreme heat can damage PVC pipes.
  • Plunger: A tried and true method, the plunger can create enough suction and pressure to push the clog through. Ensure you have a tight seal around the drain opening for the best results. There are different plungers for toilets and sinks, so use the appropriate one.
  • Drain Snake (Manual or Electric): A drain snake, also known as a plumber’s snake, can reach deeper into the pipe, breaking up or retrieving whatever is causing the blockage. It’s more effective for solid blockages than chemical cleaners.

Each DIY method has its effectiveness and limitations. It’s important to assess the severity of the clog and try the least invasive method first. If these efforts fail, it might be time to consider stronger solutions or professional help.

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Best Tools and Chemicals to Clear Badly Blocked Kitchen Sink

How do you unblock a badly blocked drain

For tougher kitchen sink clogs, some specialised tools and chemicals can come in handy:

  • Plungers: A kitchen plunger with a flat bottom is ideal for creating a strong seal on a flat surface like a kitchen sink.
  • Plumber’s Snake: A flexible auger that can navigate through bends and twists in your pipes, physically removing or breaking apart clogs.
  • Enzymatic Drain Cleaners: Unlike chemical drain cleaners that can be harsh on your pipes and the environment, enzymatic cleaners use natural bacteria to eat away at organic matter like food scraps and grease. They’re safer for regular use but may require more time to work effectively.

When using chemicals, always follow the instructions carefully to avoid damage to your pipes or harm to yourself. Protective gear like gloves and goggles is recommended, and ensure the room is well-ventilated.

By utilising the right tools and methods, you can tackle even the most stubborn kitchen sink clogs. However, prevention is key; regular maintenance and being mindful of what goes down your drain can save you from dealing with severe blockages in the future.

Drain Cleaning Techniques

  • Enzymatic Cleaners: Use enzymatic cleaners monthly to break down organic material without damaging pipes.
  • Professional Inspection: Having a professional plumber inspect your plumbing system annually can help identify potential issues before they become severe blockages.

The importance of regular maintenance and inspection cannot be overstated. It not only prevents clogs but also extends the life of your plumbing system.

Clogged Drain Solutions
Different types of clogs require different solutions, from simple DIY fixes to professional intervention:

  • DIY Methods: Suitable for minor clogs, as described above, using plungers, drain snakes, and homemade mixtures.
  • Chemical Cleaners: Effective for moderate clogs, but use with caution due to potential pipe damage and environmental impact.
  • Professional Plumbing Services: Necessary for severe or persistent clogs, especially those deep within the plumbing system. Professionals have the tools and expertise to safely and effectively clear clogs without damaging your pipes.

SECRET Plumber Trick: Unclog Drain in SECONDS 💥 (Extremely simple) 🤯

When to Call a Professional:

  • If you’ve tried multiple DIY methods without success.
  • If there’s recurring clogging, indicating a deeper issue.
  • If there’s water damage or signs of pipe damage.
Plumber holding wrench

In conclusion, while there are numerous solutions for addressing clogged drains, understanding when and how to apply each method is key to effective drain management. Regular maintenance, proper waste disposal practices, and timely professional intervention can keep your plumbing system functioning smoothly. Have you scheduled your annual plumbing inspection yet?


Woman crossing hands

While DIY solutions can often save time and money, some popular hacks for cleaning drains may end up causing more harm than good. It’s essential to know which methods to avoid to protect your pipes from potential damage. Here’s a look at some DIY drain-cleaning hacks that are best left unused:

  • Using Caustic Chemical Drain Cleaners: Many turn to powerful chemical drain cleaners as a quick fix for clogged drains. However, these substances can corrode your pipes over time, especially if they’re used frequently or if your plumbing system is older. The harsh chemicals can also pose health risks if not handled properly, with the potential to cause burns or respiratory issues.
  • Combining Different Chemicals: In hopes of creating a stronger solution, some might mix different chemical cleaners or use them back-to-back. This practice is dangerous as it can produce harmful gases or lead to unpredictable chemical reactions that might damage your plumbing or harm your health.
  • Misusing Baking Soda and Vinegar: While baking soda and vinegar are safer than harsh chemical cleaners, they’re not always effective for serious clogs and can sometimes cause buildup in your pipes if used excessively. This combination is better suited for maintenance and minor clog prevention rather than solving severe blockages.
  • Coat Hangers and Other Makeshift Tools: Using bent wire coat hangers or similar makeshift tools to poke at clogs can scratch the inside of pipes or create holes in them, especially if they’re PVC. These tools can also push blockages further down, making them harder to remove.
  • Over-relying on Plungers: While plungers can be effective for many types of clogs, using them with too much force or on the wrong type of blockage can damage the seals around your fixtures or the pipes themselves. Always use a plunger gently and choose the correct type (sink plunger for sinks, toilet plunger for toilets).
  • Flushing Hot Grease Down the Drain: Some might believe that flushing hot grease down the drain with boiling water will prevent it from solidifying. However, once the grease cools down further in your plumbing system, it can solidify and cause blockages. Instead, dispose of grease in the trash after it cools.
  • Ignoring Pipe Compatibility: Before trying any DIY hack, it’s crucial to consider the materials your plumbing is made from. Some solutions might not be suitable for all pipe materials. For example, boiling water can damage PVC pipes, and certain chemicals can corrode metal piping over time.

FAQ Section

  • What will dissolve a blocked drain?: Enzymatic cleaners and hot water for organic clogs, with mechanical methods preferred for tougher blockages.
  • How do professionals unblock drains?: Using high-pressure water jetting, motorised drain snakes, and video inspections to locate and clear clogs effectively.
  • Why you should never use baking soda and vinegar to unclog a drain?: This method can lead to pressure buildup and potential pipe damage, making it a less effective solution for serious blockages.

Navigating the challenges of blocked drains requires a balanced approach that includes preventative maintenance, judicious use of DIY methods, and the knowledge of when to seek professional help. Understanding the nature of the clog and selecting the appropriate method for addressing it is crucial to maintaining clear, functional plumbing. For residents of Gold Coast facing particularly stubborn or complex plumbing issues, EVR Plumbing stands ready to provide expert assistance, leveraging their professional tools and expertise to resolve your problems efficiently. As you consider the health of your home’s plumbing, remember that proactive maintenance and informed decision-making are key to avoiding the inconvenience and expense of blocked drains. Have you considered what your next steps should be for maintaining clear drains in your home?

1 thought on “How do you unblock a badly blocked drain?”

  1. Good preventative information. I already knew not to tip oil down the sink and run hot water for a while just in case, but I like the YouTube video hack of half the container of dishwashing detergent. Of course that would work, as it does on grease on dishes and oil and grease for mechanics, the best degreaser!

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