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How To Clean A Blocked Drain

Do you have a blocked drain that has been bothering you? Blocked drains are a common issue that comes up in many households. The good news is, if you deal with them on time you can save yourself great discomfort. If you have one that has been bothering you, it may just be the time to call a plumber.

At Mates Rates we have fully qualified and experienced plumbers that can help you out. Below are a few causes of blocked drains and some DIY methods that you can use to clear blocked drains.

What causes blocked drains?

All piping systems have a P trap. This could be where the blockage is located. This is caused by an accumulation of debris over a period of time. To unblock it you start by unfastening the P-Trap from the drainpipe. When it is loosened, clean it out then put it back in place.

In kitchens, foreign objects or built-up residue can cause drain blockages. Some of these blockages can result in standing water. If this is not dealt with quickly enough, water blocked drain can make for a very messy situation. Read on to find out how to clean blocked drains.

Gather the Necessary Tools

Before you begin cleaning a blocked drain, make sure you have the following tools on hand: a plunger, a drain snake or auger, a pair of gloves, a bucket, and a screwdriver. These tools will help you tackle different types of clogs and ensure a thorough cleaning process.

Remove Visible Debris

Start by removing any visible debris from the drain opening. Use a screwdriver or your fingers to carefully lift the drain cover and remove any hair, soap residue, or other debris that may be obstructing the flow of water. Place the collected debris in a bucket or garbage bag for disposal.

Use a Plunger

The next step is to use a plunger to try and dislodge the clog. Fill the sink or tub with enough water to cover the plunger's rubber cup. Place the plunger over the drain opening and vigorously pump it up and down for about 20 to 30 seconds. The suction created by the plunger can often help break up and dislodge minor clogs. Repeat this process a few times if necessary.

Employ a Drain Snake or Auger

If the plunger fails to remove the blockage, it's time to use a drain snake or auger. Insert the snake or auger into the drain opening and rotate it clockwise while gently pushing it further into the pipe. Continue until you encounter resistance, indicating the presence of the clog. Rotate the snake or auger in the opposite direction to break up or retrieve the obstruction. Pull out the snake or auger, and dispose of any debris it may have collected.

Try a Natural Cleaning Solution

For stubborn or persistent clogs, you can use a natural cleaning solution to dissolve the blockage. Mix equal parts baking soda and vinegar and pour the mixture down the drain. Let it sit for about 30 minutes, allowing the fizzing action to break down the clog. Follow this with hot water to flush away the dissolved debris. Alternatively, you can use a specialized enzyme-based drain cleaner, following the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Prevention Tips

To prevent future drain blockages, establish a few preventive measures. Use drain screens to catch hair and larger debris, avoid pouring grease or oil down the drain, and run hot water periodically to keep the pipes clear. Regularly cleaning your drains with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar can also help prevent clogs from forming.


Cleaning a blocked drain is a task that can be accomplished with the right tools and techniques. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you can effectively unclog your drain and restore it to proper functioning. If you have attempted the methods mentioned in the article and are still unable to clear the blocked drain, it is advisable to contact a professional Sydney plumber for assistance. Plumbing professionals have the expertise and specialized equipment to tackle more complex and stubborn drain blockages.


Any plumbing repair or maintenance should be always done by a licensed trades person or your manufacturer’s warranty and your building and content insurance could be voided. Your Mates Rates plumber Sydney will happily give you advice and ensure that you take the best course of action and avoid costly mistakes.

Always keep an eye out for dripping taps in your home, office or garden, toilet cisterns that continually run, leaking hot water tanks and valves, damp spots in floors walls or ceilings, hard to turn or noisy taps or sinks that drain slowly. These are the common early signs of a minor plumbing issue that could result in serious damage and cost you money if not promptly attended to.

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