The water isn’t going down the drain!
You can’t see anything obvious blocking the plug hole, but no matter how much you prod and poke the water won’t budge. Now you’re late for work!
We’ve all had a blocked basin at one time or another, but are you really clear on the best ways to clear a blockage without causing damage?
Here are the 4 steps you need to follow the next time you’re faced with a basin full of water.
Cover your overflow – One of the main causes of slow draining water in the basin is debris or hair stuck down the plug hole. Grab a screwdriver, and wiggle it around the plug hole.
If the water starts to drain you’ve found the cause of your blockage. You may need to use a stubborn caustic solution to clear a plug hole with a severe build up of debris. If this doesn’t work you’re going to need to grab a plunger.
Plunge and clear – Cover the overflow in your basin so when you use the plunger the water’s forced down the drain and not back up through the overflow. A wet rag or sponge is usually good for the job.
To get the best results from a plunger there needs to be enough water in the sink to fully submerge the rubber part of the tool. Position your plunger over the plug hole and pump it up and down as quickly as possible.
This forces a jet of water down the pipes, and fingers crossed, this should shift whatever’s causing your blockage. When you lift the plunger off the plug hole the water should drain away normally. If that doesn’t work, move on to step 3.
Remove the trap – Grab yourself a bucket and place it beneath the trap under the sink. This is the curved pipe that looks like the handle of an umbrella. Unscrew the collars at either end of the trap and remove.
At this point water will pour into the bucket from either side of the trap. Now you need to thoroughly clean out the trap to ensure there’s no hair or debris in sight. Whilst the trap pipe is disconnected you’ll have a good chance to get up inside the plug hole. Give this a deep clean to clear out anything that might be causing your blockage.
Reconnect the trap, and run some water to see if the problems been fixed. If not, move onto step 4.
Check the drains – You’ll need to head outside for this step. Look for the drain which leads to your basin and remove the cover. If there’s a blockage you’ll be able to spot it very quickly. To clear it you’ll need a drain rod. Head back into the house, and again run some water to see if it flows down the plug hole.
If it does, well done, you’ve unblocked your basin. If not you’re going to have to call in a plumber. It could be there’s a problem with one of the pipes somewhere within your house. A plumber will figure out where the problem is, and fix it safely without doing any damage to your pipes.
The easiest way to keep basins unblocked is to keep them in pristine condition. Clean them after every use, and give them a deep clean at least once a week. Lemon is a great natural cleaner, and helps keep your plug hole working as it should.