Why is my sink blocked? Follow this step by step guide

If you’re running your taps and the sink is ending up looking like a mini bath, taking ages to drain, or perhaps refusing to drain all together, there’s a good chance you’ve got a blockage on your hands. A common problem, with a number of causes, follow this step by step guide to source the problem and get things running smoothly again.


Step One: Preparation

You will need:

  • Protective glasses and gloves
  • Baking soda and white vinegar
  • Dish cloths
  • A plunger
  • A bucket or plastic bowl

Step Two: Cleaning out the plughole

To begin, you will need to first unscrew the plug, then inspect the plughole and clean out any dirt or debris.

Step Three: Sealing the plughole and overflow

Fill the sink with water so that the plughole is covered, ensuring an airtight seal for the plunger. Block the overflow hole with a dish cloth.

Step Four: Plunging

Place the plunger tightly over the plughole and plunge several times. You may need to hold the dishcloth in place over the overflow to seal it well.

Step Five: Bring out the baking soda and vinegar

If plunging doesn’t work, you can try pouring a small amount of baking soda down the plughole, followed by a cup of white vinegar. If this works, you should be able to hear some fizzing as the mixture breaks down the grime. After a few minutes wash the system through with hot water.

Step Six: The U-bend

If you think you’re problem may be coming from deeper within the plumbing, locate the U-bend under the sink. Place the bucket underneath the join to catch any water that leaks out, and unscrew the plastic fitting that joins the U-bend to the pipe. If water starts to come out as you unscrew, let it drain into the bucket before unscrewing further.

Step Seven: Washing the U-bend

Once the U-bend is detached, inspect it and remove any objects that may be causing a blockage. Wash out the bend using soap and water and reattach once it is clean.

If these steps don’t work, it’s time to call a plumber!

West Country Plumbing and Heating only offer the above as an informative guide and cannot be held responsible for any damage or injuries caused. For more information about safety, please contact your appliance manufacturer.

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