Friday 15 December 2017

Blocked sink is driving me mad

Send your queries to Declan Feely:

My kitchen sink is driving me crazy, it's slow to drain and sometimes blocks for minutes at a time. There seems to be some sort of a blockage. What's the best way to get things moving again?

If you need to unblock your kitchen sink, there are a few common cleaners found in most households that should work. Pour approximately 300ml of grease remover down the blocked drain followed by a few of cups of boiling water. Don't use the drain again for a number of hours or overnight. This should clear any grease blockage. Once the blockage is removed, run hot water down the drain for at least five minutes.

Another common method is a solution made of equal parts of baking soda and vinegar to unblock a kitchen sink.

Kitchen sink plumbing can be tricky and frustrating to deal with. Prevention in most cases is better than having to constantly unblock drains.

Cast iron pipes can experience a build-up inside them that will reduce the opening for food and water to escape. If you have cast-iron plumbing or you notice a leak in the U-joint, most likely replacing the sink plumbing will help to prevent future blockages.

Newer pipes, such as PVC, should not need replacing to prevent blockages.

Instead be careful of what you put down the drain and occasionally run just the hot water tap to clean the drains and pipes.

I've tried to unblock my kitchen sink with drain cleaner fluid but it doesn't seem to work. What tools are available to unblock my kitchen sink?

The first option should be the good old fashioned plunger. A plunger can be very helpful if you need to remove a mass from your kitchen sink drain. It does not matter if there is water in the sink.

Simply place the plunger over the drain of your sink and push down. Be careful to push gently so as not to break your pipes.

If you have a double sink you may notice that when you plunge the water simply moves from one sink to the other. In this case, you will need to firmly push a stopper into the adjacent sink. In most cases, the blockage will pass after the first few tries. If you plunged for more than two minutes and the drain is still blocked try the next option.

You could also use a plumber's helper or plumber's snake. If you have a blockage deep in your pipes a helper will probably be your only option. You can buy a plumber's helper at your local hardware store or purchase online at

A plumber's helper is a long flexible tube that can be run down through your pipes to push out a blockage. Some helpers have a brush on the end while others do not. You will want to gently push the snake deep into the drain until you feel resistance.

Once there is resistance you will continue gently pushing to pass the clog.

After you have tried all of these methods, you may have to call in a professional.You can get a free plumber's quote from an accredited plumber on

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