You’ll know immediately if you have one, it’s usually identifiable by the fact that even though you turned off the running water several minutes ago, there’s no sign of any of the several litres of water sitting in your sick going anywhere… in fact, they may already be spilling over onto the floor. When identifying if your drain is blocked, there’s four major signs to look out for: slow or no drainage, foul odours, gurgling sounds and changes in your toilet flush.
You can diagnose a major blocked drain by performing these tests:
- Turn on the tap in your bathroom and let the water run for a minute or two. While this is happening, have a look at your toilet. If there are any signs of bubbling or a rise in water level, these could indicate a clog.
- The next time you do a load of laundry, head to the closest bathroom around the time the washing machine begins to drain. If any water backs up in the shower, bathtub or the floor drain, you may have a clog.
While you may need a plumber to unblock the drain, there are several steps you can take to attempt to unblock it yourself first.
Available in the cleaning section of any supermarket, Drano has been a staple for many people looking for cheap, efficient ways to unblock a drain for years. There’s several types of Drano available, so ensure you purchase the right one for the job – there’s one for kitchens, one for bathrooms and several specialty products for blocked garbage disposal units. Then, simply follow the instructions on the back of the bottle and wait for results.
Baking soda and vinegar
The two favourite products of the thrifty housekeeper anywhere, baking soda and vinegar have more uses than you could ever dream of and can be used to clean nearly any hard surface in your house. But did you know it can also unclog drains? Mix 1/3 of a cup each of the baking soda and vinegar and the moment it fizzes, pour it down the drain. Left for a few hours, ideally overnight, this should clear up any minor clogs.
Basic boiling water
Yup, you heard it here first. If you don’t have baking soda and vinegar on hand and it’s too late to pop to the supermarket for Drano, give boiling hot water a try. Using boiling water from a kettle, add the water in stages, allowing it time to work after each stage. Once it starts draining away at a normal pace, stop and use any of the leftover water to make yourself a cup of tea.
Not for the faint of heart, untwisted a coat hanger and then fashioning a small hook at one end is a fast way to unclog drains blocked up by masses of hair. Use the hook to pull out hair, not push it further down, as pushing it will cause a tighter clog. When you’ve pulled out the majority of the hair, use the boiling water method to clean up anything leftover.
If you’re experiencing any blocked drainage in your home around storm season, it’s a great idea to get a local sydney plumber in to check out what’s going on and ensure your house is safe from damage this Summer.