Slow drains? Try these quick fixes

Date published: 3rd April 2013

You’ll know if your drains are blocked because it will take ages for the water to drain away. The residue is not a pretty sight and you’ll want to fix the problem as soon as possible.

Plugholes and drains get blocked so easily with the build-up of hair and soap in a bathroom and food debris in a kitchen. Face the problem head on – it will only get worse if you do nothing about it. And whatever you do, don’t be tempted to force the blockage further down into the system as you will just be shifting the problem. You need to get the gunk out, and there’s no glamorous way of doing it so just get your rubber gloves on, roll up your sleeves and follow our tips on the best ways to clean out your sinkholes.

Firstly, remove what you can with your hands

Pull any hair or other bits and pieces out with your hand. Try and get as much as you can out. There are some tools on the market designed to be poked through the holes to snag bits that have fallen through, so get one of those on the case. If you don’t have one then tweezers will do a fine job too. Don’t throw the bits down the toilet or you’ll just be risking causing another blockage – throw them in the bin. Chase some boiling water down to wash away any smaller bits.

Pour drain cleaner down the hole

Sometimes a little drain cleaner is enough to shift the blockage and clear the system. Send some down the plughole and see if that solves the problem. If you’re not fond of harsh chemical cleaners have a look on the internet – there are plenty of recipes for making your own home made drain cleaner. The best ones tend to include baking soda, white wine vinegar and a kettle of boiling water. This is cheaper than shop-bought products and it also has the massive bonus of being a lot kinder to the environment.

Clear the sink overflow

The little hole at the top of the sink is the sink overflow. Air comes in via this hole to help the plug drain the water. Over time this can get clogged up with debris so give it a good clean.

Use a plunger

You can use a plunger on a sink which is draining very slowly or even one which is totally blocked. Plungers create a vacuum in order to shift any offending items out of the way to clear the passageway. Only use a plunger when you have shifted what debris you can first – you don’t want to be forcing any more objects down there than you absolutely have to.

If despite your best efforts the water is still not draining away quickly, then it’s time to consult an expert. There are loads of really good quality plumbers in Plymouth but make sure that whoever you choose is fully registered and knows what they are doing.


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