Are you wrinkling your nose at a disgusting smell in your sink or do you have a full-blown sink of grease and washing up water that won’t drain away?
Welcome to blocked sink world.
Blocked sinks range from smelly, dribbling affairs that violently gurgle to total blockages, but you can clear them without calling in a professional.
Whether it’s the bathroom sink clogged with hair or the kitchen sink with food remains the clearing process is the same.
- A plunger
- Baking soda
- White vinegar
- Hot water
Don’t take off the U bend until you’ve tried these tricks as a U bend full of smelly water is a horror to behold.
Take the Plunge
Every home needs a plunger for blocked pipes. If you don’t have one, get one! They are available in builder’s merchants, supermarkets, and online for a few pounds.
Put your plunger over the plug hole and make sure it forms a seal. It should be submerged in water. Then push down slowly and pull up sharply.
This sucks air up the pipe and hopefully brings the blockage up too.
You’ll most likely need to push and pull quickly to clear the blockage. Water will run free when it’s cleared.
It’s not a glamorous job, and its hard work, but it’ll clear a blockage the majority of times.
It may be that your blockage is greasy, soft, and the plunger can’t get a good suctioning grip on it.
Grab some white vinegar and baking soda or a commercial drain unblocker to break down the soft blockage
Pour a cup of baking soda down the plug hole followed by two cups of white vinegar.
The fizzing action will break down a greasy mass. Don’t worry if froth comes back up the plug hole, that’s good!
Once any fizzing has stopped pour lots of hot water down to flush the pipe.
If this trick doesn’t work, use an overnight commercial pipe cleaner with more oomph.
It’s Driving Me Round The Bend!
Sometimes the blockage is too tough for potions and the plunger. It could be that the U bend is completely blocked. You’ve seen fatbergs on the news? You may have a similar issue in the U bend.
To clear your U bend and unblock the sink you’ll need to don rubber gloves, find a bucket, and a coat hanger.
Locating the U bend is simple. It’s the pipe reaching down and then back up. It’ll unscrew free but you may need pliers as they can be put on very tightly.
Unscrew slowly – a gush of blocked sink water is not nice splashing all over you and the floor. Make sure the bucket is beneath the U bend to catch any splashes.
Once the U pipe is free you can use the coat hanger wire to clean it out BUT don’t turn on the sink taps to wash it. The water will just cascade straight over your feet.
Take it to another sink and wash it properly.
Once it’s clean fix the U bend back into place and turn on the taps to check all is clear. Your sink is now unblocked!
Sometimes removing a U bend pipe can cause leaks. If this happens buy some plumber tape to seal the tiny water-leaking gaps.
Dealing With Regular Sink Blockages
If your sink is getting blocked on a regular basis it’s worth taking a look at what you’re putting down there. Don’t try to rinse away chunks of food, plastic, tissue, or hair for example.
If it’s still a problem use a baking soda and vinegar mix on every sink each month to keep them fresh and clean. The ingredients cost pennies and they do a great job on smells and blockages.