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Blocked drain

Help! My Drains Are Clogged

blocked drains

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Oh gross! Your sink, shower, or toilet is backing up and dirty, smelly water is taking up residence where it shouldn’t. How do you get your drains running smoothly once more?

There are a few methods that can help. Their effectiveness usually depends on what caused the blockage in the first place. Let’s learn a bit about items that commonly block up pipes and what you can do to clear them out.

What’s in Your Drainpipe?

The only things that should be going down your drain are water, human waste, and a little bit of toilet paper. Unfortunately, in many homes, these aren’t the only items going down the drain.

Check out these common items that people put down drains that should NEVER go down the drain:

  • Kitty litter: clumps together in water and quickly creates a blockage
  • Food waste: bits like coffee grounds and tea leaves don’t break down readily
  • Grease: hot grease is liquid, cold grease isn’t and the jellylike consistency will easily block up your pipes
  • Dirt: shower with a little bit of dirt on your body, but if you’re super muddy, rinse off outdoors first. Lots of dirt is rife with debris and tiny rocks that will quickly wreak havoc
  • Soap: using soap is just fine, letting bars of soap slip down the drain can lead to clogs
  • Toiletries: each year billions of tampons, sanitary pads, and other debris is flushed down toilets, causing clogs in the home and problems at the wastewater processing plant
  • Hair: hair, whether long or short, can get stuck in the pipes and create a web for other debris to get stuck and cause problems

Are you guilty of allowing any of these items to go down the drain, whether inadvertently or on purpose? Take care to avoid this to avoid clogged drains the future.

How to Fix a Clogged Drain

There are a few methods you can try to fix a clogged drain. You can try pouring boiling water or a solvent down the drain to dissolve the clog or one of these other ideas.

DIY Drain Plunger

If there is still water moving through, albeit slowly, you may be able to loosen the clog with a plunger. This device forms a seal around the drain and forces air into the pipe to dislodge the clog.

DIY Drain Snake

More stubborn clogs will require a bit of an extra push. If the clog is close enough to the drain, you may be able to reach it with a DIY drain snake made out of an old coat hanger. This can also be good for hooking hair clogs in a shower.

Call a Plumber

If the DIY methods fail, or you don’t like the idea of fighting with it yourself, it’s time to call a plumber. Before you do, ensure anyone who works on your drains is licenced for drainage work.

Enjoy a Clog-Free Drain

Once you get the drain taken care of, keep your drains clear by not allowing any of the items we’ve talked about to go down your drains.

3 Tips To Clearing A Clogged Bathtub Drain

Clearing A Clogged Bathtub Drain


A clogged bathtub drain is one of the most common household problems that gets even worse if not immediately dealt with. It usually starts with a deep pool of water that doesn’t drain the way it should. The problem may be caused by an accumulation of hair strands, dirt, grease, and/or soap scum inside the drainage system.

Like any other household issue, there are a few ways that you can minimize the chances of getting a clogged bathtub drain in the future. You may install a drain protector to catch hair, small pieces of soap, and other particles. Every month or so, you may also pour at least two litres of boiling water directly into the drain to dissolve grease clumps. Once the problem arises, you may consider these three tips to clearing a clogged bathtub drain and prevent it from getting out of your hand. The sooner you take an action, the easier it is for you to remove the clog.


  1. Remove the clog using different tools.

Using a plunger is perhaps the cheapest and quickest way to remove a simple clog in a bathtub drain. To increase the suction power, apply petroleum jelly around the rim of the suction cup and add more water until the bottom of the cup is fully submerged. There are however different types of drain clogs that are more difficult to remove by using only a plunger such as those located deep inside the pipe system and those caused by lumps of hair strands.

If using a plunger doesn’t work, then removing the clog using your hands should be a good alternative. Do not forget to wear gloves before the procedure and to apply disinfectant afterwards. Depending on the type of the drain, you may need to unscrew the cover first. Use a flashlight to locate shallow clogs and use needle nose pliers, metal hooks, or bent wires from metal coat hangers to reach deeper parts of the drain.

Clogged bathtub drain


  1. Remove the clog using chemicals.

While strong chemicals are available in most hardware stores and supermarkets, using them to unclog a bathtub drain should be one of your last resorts. They may be cheaper and easy to do but besides being harmful to the environment, they can also cause damage to the pipes especially if used frequently. Read the instructions carefully and take safety precautions before using these chemicals.

Although it is not as effective as using strong chemicals, using baking soda and vinegar is an eco-friendly alternative and is also safe for plastic pipes. Do this by pouring half a cup of baking soda and the same amount of vinegar directly down the drain. Allow the solution to set for at least thirty minutes before flushing the drain with boiling water.


  1. Call a professional plumber.

If you are worried about doing further damage to the pipes or are not comfortable with using chemicals, then hiring a professional plumber would be the best option. Although hiring one comes at a price, professional plumbers can accurately spot the cause of the problem and completely remove the clog; saving you from expensive repairs in the future. Plumbing Force, one of the leading service providers in the United Kingdom, offers same day emergency repairs for your toilet, bathroom, boiler, gas heater, drainage, and appliance problems.

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