First of all, the preferred method and easiest method to unblock a drain obviously is to call us, Inspector Jet.
The first step when dealing with a blocked drain is to check other fixtures in the house to see if any other basins or toilets appear slow draining or blocked. If you find that more than one fixture is blocked ie, a whole bathroom or upstairs, its best to just call out the professionals to deal with the matter as its likely that the main drain outside is blocked and our specialized equipment will make the job faster, cleaner and safer for everyone involved.
If it is one fixture that is blocked there are a number of things you, the home owner can do to try to relieve the blockage.
If the blockage occurs at the kitchen sink or laundry trough and the sink bowls are filling up and slow to drain just take a walk outside to see if the sink is connected to an overflow relief gully.
To do this you should be able to remove the grate and see water trickling into the gully through a small pipe, if the gully is overflowing you know the sink is connected and you have a blockage in either the trap of the gully or down stream of this point in the main house sewer line. If this is the case call Inspector Jet. If you see water only trickling into the overflow relief gully this means the blockage is between this point and the sink bowl.
If you can’t see an overflow relief gully it doesn’t matter we’ll just start the same process.
Now you have determined the location of the blockage it’s now time to start trying to unblock it.
If you have a plunger on hand this is a good place to start. If the water has already slowly drained out of the sink bowl, turn the tap on and fill it up again so you have some suction and pressure to work with. If your sink or trough is a double bowl make sure you put a plug in the other bowl to create that suction and pressure otherwise when you start plunging water will just be forced up the opening and into the other bowl.
Next thing is to start plunging, you can feel when you get a good suction on the plunge because it will be difficult to pull the plunger away from the bowl. Plunge the water until the water level gets too low for good suction. Once this is done repeat the above process and fill up the bowl again, you may be able to see if you’ve released the blockage through improved water flow drainage in the sink. Repeat this process over and over until your happy with drainage flow, if unable to release the blockage other methods are available.
So, if plunging doesn’t work – If you are confident and somewhat of a handy man or woman then the next step is to take the trap off the bottom of the bowl to see if there is anything obstructing water flow.
To do this you’ll need a bucket and some towels handy to collect water and mop up mess. Now before you take the trap off make sure the bowl has drained so you don’t get a lot of water coming out when you disconnect the trap. Proceed to disconnect the trap and catch and empty any excess water into the bucket. Take the trap completely off and check for any buildup of sludge or foreign objects inside. If there is something, obviously there’s your problem and removing it should result in a fix.
However, if there isn’t anything reconnect the trap making sure its water tight and proceed with turning on just the hot tap filling up a bucket. Once the bucket is full enough that its easily lifted. Carefully lift the scalding hot water and pour from a slight height into the sink drain hole being careful not to splash it around. The hot water may help break down fats, oils and grease stuck to the walls of the pipes. Repeat the process, waiting for the sink to drain first before pouring more water.
If this method fails chemicals can be used. Drain ‘O’, or a mixture of baking soda, vinegar and cold water or other specialized products can be poured into the drain being careful of spills and making sure you use the right protective gear. Let the chemicals sit for a while before trying the plunger method again. When using these chemical products care must be taken to read all labels carefully before proceeding.
If after all this we’ve failed to unblock the drain still, we may need to be called in with specialize equipment to clean and scour the walls of the pipe, particularly if the pipes are old galvanized steel.
Thanks I hope this helps out.