When you get a blocked drain, you might be tempted to try to clear it yourself.
If it’s a minor blockage that can be OK and you might get a result. But sometimes you can make it worse. Read on to understand what’s going on in your drains before you try it yourself.
If you have a blocked kitchen or bathroom sink for example, you might be able to use one of those drain cleaners you buy in the supermarket. Sometimes this can do the job and clear the blockage. But it all depends on what it causing the blockage.
In a kitchen sink, the blockage is often cause by fats and oils that have been washed down the sink and have hardened and had other food particles stuck to them leading to a blockage. In the bathroom sink, shower or bathtub, often the blockage is caused by a build-up of soap scum and hair that have combined together to cause the blockage.
In both these cases the supermarket drain cleaner might be enough to break up the fats and oils and/or soap scum and cause the blockage to clear.
You can also get a similar result by using boiling hot water from a kettle on its own. Or you can add some baking soda and vinegar after you’ve poured in the hot water. This creates a “fizz” like the commercial drain cleaners that can sometimes break up the blockage. Put the plug in if you can and wait 5-10 minutes. Then pour another kettle of boiling hot water down the drain to wash out the mixture.
Another method of course is to try using a plunger. This works best on sinks and showers for example. But it can mean you end up pulling all the blockage back up the drain into the sink or shower. Plungers are meant to work by trying to break up the blockage by repeatedly pushing and pulling water through the blocked area of the drain to try to clear it.
If this works, great! You might have cleared the blockage. But there’s a big risk that all you might have done is pushed the blockage deeper down into your drain. And that’s where things can get complicated.
If there are other issues in your drain, like other material that has been previously been washed down into the drain and has dried and hardened causing a partial blockage of your drain, pushing all this extra material down into the drain, could combine with the existing partial blockage to cause a total blockage further down the drain.
And if you have a serious problem like tree root intrusion into your drain, pushing all the material causing the upper blockage down deep into the drain, can only make the whole thing worse. If all that fat and oil or soap scum and hair, can’t get past the tree roots then you will have a very serious blockage on your hands.
Of course, trying to clear a blocked toilet yourself can be the most challenging and the most disgusting. Of course, again it all depends on what is causing the blockage. Most toilet blockages are caused by an excess of paper being put into the toilet. But they can also be caused by flushing of other things that shouldn’t go down a toilet – like “flushable” wipes (which aren’t flushable), regular tissues (which don’t break down), paper towels (which also don’t break down) and well other things.
Generally speaking, any method that just tries to push the ball of toilet paper or other cause of the blockage further down the toilet, can often just end up making the blockage worse.
And blocked toilets don’t respond as well to those drain clearing substances you buy in a supermarket. Boiling water, baking soda and vinegar also don’t tend to work very well for blocked toilets.
So when your toilet blocks, it’s best to call in a professional. Someone who is an expert in clearing drain blockages of all types and has done it thousands of times before.
Experts like The Drain Man have all the right professional gear, including high pressure water-jetters and other equipment to clear all types of blockages.
Also, as The Drain Man we have in-drain cameras that we can put down inside the drain to get a clear picture of exactly what is causing the blockage and how severe it is. (We will even show you the blockage with the camera so you get to see exactly what’s going on down inside your drains.)
Sure you can try to clear the blocked drain yourself. But if you get yourself into trouble and make the blockage worse, call The Drain Man on 1800 843 372 or use the form on this page to send as an enquiry. https://www.thedrainman.com.au/contact
We’ll respond to your enquiry quickly and get to work to clear your blocked drain fast!