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How to fix a blocked drain

It happens to everyone at some point. A sink or toilet gets blocked and how do you free this obstruction? Fortunately, most blocked drains are simple to clear and do not require the time and expense of a plumber. Follow the tips in the guide below and you will soon know how to fix a blocked drain when it happens to you.

Responsibility and causes

Whose responsibility is it? If a drain is blocked on your property, it is up to you to fix the blockage. Local authorities are responsible for the drainage system once it passes into the main sewer and if any blockages exist further along the drainage system, it is usually indicated by a collection of water or sewage at a drain or inspection cover. Common causes Most blockages within the home are caused by something being dropped into a sink or toilet or through a build of items such as hair causing a drainage problem. Some people pour a cocktail of chemicals into the blockage in the hope that this will remedy it. Many of these chemicals offer no solution and then have to be removed.

Methods for clearing the blockage

Steps to unblocking your drain or waste pipe Firstly, remove any water which has built up behind the blockage by transferring it to another sink or drain which is clear of any blockages. If anything is visible, remove this obstruction. Use a plunger to see if this action will free your blocked sink or toilet. On many occasions, this is all the action that is required. Drain snake or rod Begin by winding this into the drain. If you feel pressure ,it is working its way through whatever is blocking the drain. Pull the rod out and remove any material which is attached to the rod (wear protective gloves). Repeat the process two or three times and this should clear the waste pipe. Testing it is clear Open the taps or flush the toilet cistern to check that water is flowing freely once again and you have successfully cleared the blocked sink or toilet. Preventative measures Place traps into your sinks to collect hair and prevent it from collecting in the u-bend of your sink. You can clean the drains regularly with baking soda and vinegar. Place a little of each into the drain and allow it to work for two or three minutes. Flush this mixture away with plenty of boiling water from your kettle. Repeat with more boiling water and any residue will be cleared from inside the drain.

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