Updated on 16th December, 2022 by Martin Astley
A blocked sink isn’t the end of the world, but it can be more problematic than it sounds! Perhaps grease, oil, and food debris have gotten stuck in the trap waste pipe, with this obstruction gradually worsening over time, or perhaps you or a member of your household has accidentally dropped something down the drain.
Whatever the case, you’ll need to know how to unblock a sink. You don’t have to be an expert emergency plumber to unblock your drain; in fact, you may be able to resolve the problem yourself without any specialist tools or any effort.
We’ve already written about how to unblock a drain, but if you’ve followed that advice with no success, read on!
You might need:
- A bucket, or another container
- Drain unblocker
- A sink waste plunger
- A sink auger, a plumber’s snake or a length of wire
- A piece of cloth
Try drain unblocker
If you can, empty as much water out of the sink as possible; a pan, a cup, or any other container could come in handy for this task. Pour the water out of the window—you could even water your plants!
Once the sink is almost empty, pour in some caustic soda or drain unblocker. Follow the instructions on the bottle. It’s a good idea to leave the drain unblocker standing in the drain for as long as possible, so pour it in before you go to bed or leave for work in the morning.
Try a plunger
Another way to unlock a sink is with a plunger. Put the plunger cup over the plughole. Then stuff a damp cloth half-way into the overflow opening and hold it in place—don’t drop it in!
This will prevent air and water from escaping through the overflow opening and concentrate the force of the plunge in the pipes, where the blockage is.
Simply pump the plunger up and down, periodically removing it to check if the water has started flowing again. If the water starts flowing, wait for it to completely drain, and then pour some sink unblocker down the drain. This will dissolve or corrode away any grease and debris you did not manage to plunge out.
Warm up the blockage
This tip works particularly well for grease-related blockages. Grease causes blockages because it hardens inside pipes and drains and collects debris as it does so. To resolve this problem, simply heat up the outside of the pipe with a hairdryer; you will need to have a rough idea of where the blockage is located to do so. Don’t use any open flames to heat up the pipe!
Manually remove the blockage
This might sound like the kind of work you need a professional plumber for, but it should be completely within your capabilities.
- Put a bucket or a large pan underneath the sink.
- Remove the ‘trap’ – this is the J-shaped pipe that is located directly underneath the sink.
- Take a look in it—is it blocked up? Wash any debris out of it thoroughly.
- If it is not blocked up, the obstruction will be past the sink trap. Carefully push a plumber’s snake, a sink auger, or a piece of wire into the pipe the sink trap led into, and rotate it slowly. This will break up the blockage and get the water flowing properly.
Still got blocked drains?
We can help. Simply give us a call today on 0345 3192 247 and our technical teams will run through some simple troubleshooting tips with you to see if your problem can be resolved over the phone. If not, we’ll send a highly skilled and qualified plumber to your location as soon as possible to resolve your drainage issues.
Remember, if you’re unsure, it’s better to trust the professionals, as any DIY work you carry out yourself could make things worse, and you’ll be faced with a huge bill to repair the damage.
247 Home Rescue accepts no liability for any injuries or damages you sustain following the advice on this website. If in doubt, seek professional assistance.