Guide: Blocked drain? Find a solution fast!
A blocked drain calls for quick action. Limescale, hair, soap residue and skin oil can block a drain and stop water from flowing away. The following tips will help you solve the problem!
Cleaning pipes with chlorine
Where possible, choose organic enzyme-based drain cleaners rather than chlorine. They take a little longer to work, but are gentler and less harmful for the environment.
Everyday household products: Cleaning drains without chemicals
You can use far gentler products than chlorine to clear a blocked drain. Many of them are readily available in most homes. Blocked drains are usually caused by organic materials which can be treated very effectively with the following products:
- Vinegar and baking powder: Sprinkle a few tablespoons of baking powder into the drainage pipe and then pour in around half a cup of vinegar. This causes a chemical reaction in the drain which releases carbon dioxide. The bubbling and fizzing of the mixture loosens the blockage. Leave the solution to work for around 15 minutes and then rinse with hot water. If you don’t have any baking powder at home, you can use vinegar and salt instead.
- Washing soda and citric acid: This mixture works on a similar principle to vinegar and baking powder. However, it is rather more gentle and needs to be left to work for at least one hour.
- Dishwasher tabs: For stubborn blockages in a drainage pipe, you can use dishwasher tabs. Dissolve them in hot water and then pour the liquid slowly into the drain, just a small amount at a time.
- Coca-cola: This soft drink contains phosphoric acid which is effective against organic materials. In the evening, pour a litre of coca-cola into the drain – then leave it to work overnight to dissolve the blockage.
Why can you hear gurgling sounds from a drain?
Gurgling sounds in a drain can be an early warning of a blockage – but there are other possible reasons too. Here is an overview of the main reasons for a gurgling drain:
- Gurgling and unpleasant odours: Gurgling sounds accompanied by unpleasant odours most likely indicate a blockage. The constriction in the pipe stops the water from flowing freely and it starts to accumulate. This creates negative pressure below the blockage. Escaping air then causes these typical gurgling sounds. Use the method described above to clean the pipe before it becomes completely blocked.
- Gurgling sounds while the dishwasher is running: Don’t be alarmed if you hear gurgling sounds from your dishwasher. Water is being pumped from the machine into the syphon – and the gurgling noises are completely normal.
- Gurgling sounds on rainy days: Rainy weather can also cause gurgling sounds from a drain. Rainwater runs from the gutters on the roof into the drainage system. In this case too, the gurgling sounds are a warning: If you hear them again, it’s time to call in a plumber.