How to clear a clogged drain
YOU are washing your vegetables and suddenly the sink starts overflowing with water. Before you panic and call a plumber, try these tips.
Hot water to clear natural plugs: If you’ve been cooking oily food, and you’ve emptied the pan down the sink, you may have inadvertently created a plug of solidified oil and grease. The easiest way to clean this is to boil a kettle of water and pour the hot water down the sink.
Power chemicals for stubborn plugs: If hot water trickles through but doesn’t do the trick completely, then you can use a chemical drain cleaner mix. Follow instructions on the side of the pack. Note: if your sink is full of water, don’t try this method. Chemicals like these tend to froth and you don’t want them sloshing over your surfaces and floors.
Use suction: For this you need a plunger with mouth that’s wide enough to cover the drain. Don’t worry about that water from the kettle; you need this to help you create suction. Place plunger over the drain, push down to expel air, and then pull up. You should feel the water sloshing up and down as the plug shifts.
Tip: If you have a double sink, or an overflow gap, cover these with a wet rag. Remember, the aim is to create vacuum suction.
Use an auger: Not the Roman priest who used to inspect the inside of chickens to see if generals should go to war, but the one with an “e” that is a thin, supple wire with a weighted end that drops down into the drain, hopefully banging loose or clearing whatever is down there. You can get these from any hardware shop.
Still nothing? Then you have to remove the clean-out plug from under the sink and push the auger upwards to clear the blockage. If this still doesn’t work, gather up all your spare cash, and call your plumber.