How to unblock a sink

The chemical approach

There are several products available on the market which claim to dissolve sediment sink drain and unblock a sink.

These chemicals frequently only work on more organic type of materials such as food waste or hair, so if your sink is blocked by something else – such as a plastic bottle cap – they won’t do anything.

In our experience if the sink drain is completely blocked with no water draining at all a chemical solution will be largely ineffective.

Our tip – if your sink is draining slowly rather than being completely blocked then putting a chemical solution down the sink may help. If the sink is completely blocked then you will need to try something else.

how to unblock a sink

Use a plunger

A sink plunger is a great way of unblocking most sinks if the sink is completely blocked. Simply cover the plug-hole with the plunger and pump away. Water pressure is better at unblocking the sink so make sure the plughole is full of water and lift up the plunger and allow the plughole to refill with water as necessary.

 

I don’t have a plunger…

For small blockages you can obtain the same effect as the plunger by using your hand. Simply cup your hand and place your palm over the plughole and pump aggressively – it’s a bit like performing CPR on you sink! You won’t generate as much pressure using your hand as a plunger, but it may just do the job.

 

The sink still won’t drain

If plunging doesn’t work the next step is to look at the U-bend under the sink. You will need to be a bit more confident in your DIY skills to attempt this though.

The first step is to make some room under your sink and then place a bucket under the U-Bend. Most modern U-Bends will simply unscrew by hand. If your U-Bend is older it may be sealed so you will not be able to unscrew it. Assuming you can however, simply unscrew the U-Bend and let the dirty water drain in to the bucket. Looking down from the top of the sink you should be able to see all the way down to the bucket. If you can’t, there is an obstruction and you can try poking this through in to the bucket using a long knitting needle or similar.

Once the obstruction is removed, screw the U-Bend back on and, keeping the bucket under the sink, run water through the system to make sure the obstruction has truly gone and also make sure you have fitted the U-Bend back properly.

Finally empty the bucket, remembering not to pour the bucket down the sink in case you block it up again with all the rubbish you’ve just taken out!

 

Still not draining?

Unfortunately it’s now time to call in the professionals. You can find a great local and trusted plumber on our site who will be able to help you to unblock your sink.

 

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