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A clogged sink is a common issue that every home or business owner will experience at some point, so we thought we would drum up a handy how-to guide to unblocking a bathroom sink. After all, when managed correctly, dealing with a blockage is easy, but get it wrong and the mistake can be costly. We spoke to some of the industry’s top influencers to bring you five tips to get that sink unblocked in record time.
So which products can unblock a bathroom sink in the most cost-effective and time-efficient manner? A plunger is one of the best options, but if you don’t have one to hand, another option is to use a wire coat hanger or a long thin object to target the blockage while simultaneously running hot water down the drain. Pipe cleaners, plungers, drain augers and canister augers are also ideal. According to Dmitri from Fantastic Services, one of the less conventional hacks is to pour Coca-Cola down the drain to dissolve the debris. He advises: “If food leftovers clogged your drain, coke might help you dissolve it”.
Stocking up on a few drain-unblocking essentials can make dealing with blockages a breeze. This way, when the worst happens, you have the tools you need to fix the problem in a jiffy.
According to Les Proctor from Nicheworks, the key to unblocking a bathroom sink is to “keep a plunger handy” while Dmitri advises that “It would be best to always keep a pair of grip lock pliers under the sink in case nothing else works”.
Another essential is a Zip-It. Bob from Financial Analysis and Control Technology Services explains: “It’s just a long, hard plastic stick with plastic teeth along its sides which you insert down the drain/clog and then pull back out, using an in and out motion until the clog is cleared”.
Begin by removing the plug and cleaning it. Hair and debris can cling to the plug and block the drain. Detaching it by hand is often a simple solution. If this doesn’t resolve the blockage, cover the plughole with water and block the overflow to create a seal before using a plunger to clear the blockage by gently pressing up and down. If you have no success with a plunger, use a long thin object such as a plumber’s snake to scrape the drain or get resourceful with a wire coat hanger.
John from Perils for Pedestrians TV warns: “Use chemical drain cleaners as a last resort. You risk chemical burns if you try using a plunger or a snake after pouring chemicals into the drain”.
Lastly, if none of the above methods have worked, you may need to inspect the U Bend. Draining, removing and cleaning it should remove any hardy grease and grime. Reconnect it and you’re good to go!
The first step to preventing a blockage is to be mindful of what you put down your drain. Avoid putting food, feminine products or toilet paper down the sink to help prevent drain problems in the future.
With regular maintenance, it’s possible to put drain problems firmly in the past using boiling water. If you spot the early signs of a blockage – for example, if your water is taking longer than usual to drain or you notice an odour coming from the bathroom sink – boil the kettle and use it to dislodge any soap scum, hair or debris that’s accumulated. Bob also suggests “using a Zip-It periodically (every couple of months or so)” to keep clogs at bay.
Letting hair and soap scum build up in your drains can lead to a blockage, which in turn can cost you a pretty penny. For a start, you will have to invest in tools to unblock the sink, and if you can’t do it yourself, you will have to foot the bill for a professional to come out and fix it for you. The whole process from inspection to unblocking a bathroom sink can cost you anywhere up to £100. For this reason, it is essential to make regular sink maintenance a priority to save you both time and money in the future.
Whatever type of bathroom basin you have, use our top tips to keep it blockage free.
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