A blocked sink is always an inconvenience. And with the average cost of a plumbing call-out over £100, there are things you can try yourself if the problem doesn’t appear too serious.
Kitchen sinks tend to become blocked by food waste and a build-up of stubborn fat and grease. Fitting a strainer over your plug hole, which catches any debris and food particles, helps prevent deposits from building up before they start to cause problems.
A plunger is also an affordable and effective way to unclog all your home drainage systems, from sinks and shower drains to toilets. For the best results, place the head of the plunger directly over the drain, creating an air-tight seal. Apply pressure, pushing and pulling the plunger vertically for 30 seconds until the blockage clears.
The key is to be firm but not to push too hard – if you have push-fit piping, aggressive vibrations could shake them loose. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions or seek professional advice if you’re unsure.
A sani-snake is another way to unblock your waste pipes. Stubborn blockages can be dealt with by using a flexible spring that curves around the contours of the pipe, helping to dislodge debris from inside.
Avoid using dish soaps on a blockage. It’s a common misconception that hot water and soap helps easily clears blockages. The oily food mixture usually responsible for a blockage is often too dense and can cool and re-solidify, only adding to the problem.
Hot or boiling water can also damage pipes made from PVC, so always double-check beforehand before attempting to use.
For stubborn blockages, call a plumbing professional. Plumbers have the right equipment to suit all piping and drainage structures and will help you avoid damage from a DIY job. They’ll also be able to remove difficult blockages quickly and easily if you’re in an emergency.