A blocked sink is a common and often unpleasant problem. But the good news is, it's an easier problem to fix than you might think. There are a number of methods for unblocking your sink, depending on the severity of the problem. With this step-by-step guide, we'll walk you through each of the methods and ensure you get back your sink unblocked safely and effectively.
A blocked sink is a common and often unpleasant problem. But the good news is, it’s an easier problem to fix than you might think. There are a number of methods for unblocking your sink, depending on the severity of the problem. With this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through each of the methods and ensure you get your sink unblocked safely and effectively.
Most smaller blockages can be removed with a plunger or a blaster cup. First, place the plunger or blasting cup over the plug hole. Ensure the overflow is blocked with a wet cloth to create an airtight seal and then gently push down on the plunger or blaster cup. This should be enough to remove any small blockages.
If the first stage fails to dislodge the blockage, try using a liquid drain cleaner. It’s important that you take care when using the drain cleaner as the chemicals are highly abrasive. Use protective clothing, such as gloves, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Pour the drain cleaner down the plug hole, as per the manufacturer’s instructions, then rinse through with warm water. If the blockage persists, repeat the process.
If the blockage still hasn’t been fully removed, a plumber’s snake can be used to dislodge persistent blockages. Gently push the snake down the drain, turning it as you go to get it through the u-bend. Once you reach the blockage, pull and twist the snake until the blockage is removed.
Manually remove the blockage
If the above stages have failed, you need to get into the pipe and remove the blockage by hand. First, locate your stop cock and turn the water supply off by turning the handle clockwise.
Once the water supply has been isolated, locate the u-bend. You’ll find this in the cupboard directly beneath the sink. Place a bucket or a bowl beneath the u-bend to catch any spilt water.
Unscrew the two compression fittings that secure the u-bend in place then carefully remove the u-bend, pouring any residual water into the bucket.
Clear out the u-bend using a piece of stiff wire. Dispose of any debris in the rubbish bin rather than pouring it back down the drain. Once the u-bend has been cleared, replace it and secure in place with the compression fittings then turn the water supply back on.
After-care and prevention
Further blockages can be prevented by following these simple tips:
- Avoid pouring fat or coffee residue down the sink
- Install a grate over the plug hole
- Regularly flush the sink with hot water and occasionally sprinkle a heaped teaspoon of baking powder down the plug hole.
At Frank Key, we have a whole range of plumbing supplies to cater for all activities. Take a look at our plumbing and heating page and make sure you have the right tools for the job.