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We thought today we would focus on one of our project pages which affects everyone at some point – how to unblock toilets, sinks and drains. It may not be the nicest topic, or indeed the nicest job to do, but there are some simple DIY steps you can do to help with blockages.

As the project states, the first thing to do is don some decent rubber gloves – you really need to be aware of hygeine when dealing with waste pipes etc.

Now if you are trying to clear a sink, basin, bath or shower tray you will need a plunger, so that the pressure built up by the suction of the plunger will dilodge the blockage. There are several types of plunger available, simple rubber plungers, power plungers and sink and bath plungers which uses water injected through it.

Finally, if it is a blockage in your toilet and you think it is in in the U-bend, you can use one of the ordinary rubber plungers, but if you think the block is further down the pipework, it takes a bit more work. You will need to work out which manhole relates to your foul water. The project page guides you through instructions for this and then gives step by step guide to using drain rods so you should be able to shift the blockage. Safety is important if you are dealing with manholes due to the potential height and also the gasses which may be present and can be dangerous.

Diagram of a manhole

If however, the blockage appears to be in the soil and vent pipe, you may decide you need to call in a professional plumber as this job can turn tricky and messy. If you need to find a plumber, you can go to our Find a Trademan page which will help you to find reliable, trustworthy tradesmen in your area.


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