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How to clear blocked drains: Tips, tricks, and professional assistance

How to clear blocked drains
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Experiencing blocked drains is a common, yet aggravating issue faced by many in Sydney. This seemingly small hiccup can quickly escalate, disrupting the peaceful flow of your daily routine. Ensuring a clear blocked drains system is not a luxury, but a necessity for the smooth operation of both homes and commercial establishments. At Sydney Essential Plumbing, we specialise in resolving blocked drains efficiently, providing a breath of relief in the bustling life of Sydney. With our 24/7 emergency services, tackling drain blockages has never been easier. Our seasoned professionals are just a call away, ready to restore the free flow of your drains, making blocked drains a worry of the past.

Understanding the common causes of blocked drains:

Blocked drains are a prevalent issue and knowing what causes them is the first step towards effective resolution. Here are some common culprits:

Food scraps

Disposing of food leftovers down the sink can lead to substantial blockages over time. It’s advisable to clear plates into the bin before washing them.

Grease and fat accumulation

Grease and fats are notorious for causing blocked drains. They solidify upon cooling and cling to the pipes, narrowing the drainage passage.

Foreign objects

Accidentally dropping foreign objects like toys, or even accumulating debris can cause immediate blockage in the drains.

Hair and soap scum

Over time, hair and soap residues can accumulate, intertwining and forming stubborn blockages in your drainage system.

Tree roots invasion

Tree roots can infiltrate the pipes searching for water, especially during dry spells, leading to severe blocked drains.

Signs you have a blocked drain in your home or business

A blocked drain is a common yet avoidable inconvenience when detected early. Whether at home or on your business premises, here are tell-tale signs that you might be facing a blocked drain issue:

Slow draining water 

One of the most noticeable signs of blocked drains is water taking longer than usual to drain away. This is often the first indication that there might be a blockage.

Gurgling sounds

Unusual sounds, like gurgling from your drains or plumbing fixtures, are a clear sign of a drain struggling to clear itself due to a blockage.

Foul smells

Persistent unpleasant odours emanating from your drains are a strong indicator of a blockage, often caused by trapped food scraps or other decaying matter.

Water backing up and forming pools

If water starts to back up out of sinks, toilets, or showers and pools around drain openings, it’s a classic sign of blocked drains.

DIY techniques to clear blocked drains:

Blocked drains can be quite the nuisance, but before calling in the professionals, there are a few DIY techniques you might want to try out to alleviate the issue. Here are some simple methods:

Boiling water technique

This is one of the simplest methods to attempt for alleviating blocked drains. Boiling water can be effective in dissolving or loosening blockages caused by grease, soap, or other soft materials. Here’s how to do it:

  • Boil a kettle full of water.
  • Once boiling, carefully pour the water down the affected drain slowly to avoid splashing, ensuring that there’s a continuous flow to maximize the heat retention.
  • The heat from the water may help to dissolve or dislodge the materials causing the blockage.

Baking soda and vinegar solution

The combination of baking soda and vinegar creates a chemical reaction that has the potential to dislodge blockages. Here’s the step-by-step process:

  • Initially, pour a pot of boiling water down the drain to warm up the pipes.
  • Next, add half a cup of baking soda and let it sit for a few minutes.
  • Mix a cup of vinegar with a cup of hot water and pour this mixture down the drain.
  • Allow the concoction to sit for about 10 to 15 minutes to work its way through the blockage.
  • Finish off by pouring another pot of boiling water down the drain to flush away the dislodged material.

Plunger method

The plunger can create enough suction to dislodge a blockage. Here’s how to use it:

  • Ensure the plunger cup completely covers the drain hole.
  • Press down to create a tight seal and pull up vigorously for about 20-30 seconds.
  • You might need to repeat the process a few times until the water starts to drain.

DIY drain snake and coat hanger technique

These methods are for manually removing blockages. Here’s how:

  • Straighten out a wire coat hanger but leave a small hook at one end.
  • Insert it gently into the drain, twisting it around to catch onto blockages and pull them out.
  • If you have a DIY drain snake, insert it into the drain until it reaches the blockage, then turn it clockwise to catch the blockage and pull it out.

Checking the U-bend

Sometimes, blockages occur in the U-bend under the sink. Here’s how to check:

Place a bucket underneath the U-bend to catch any water.

  • Unscrew the connections on either side of the U-bend using a wrench, and remove the U-bend.
  • Check for blockages and clear out any debris you find.
  • Reattach the U-bend, ensuring the connections are tight to prevent leaks.

Each of these DIY techniques can be effective for minor blockages. However, if the blockage persists or if you are unsure, it’s wise to call a professional like Sydney Essential Plumbing to ensure the job is done safely and effectively.

Expert solutions to clear blocked drains

Blocked drains can range from minor annoyances to severe plumbing issues that could potentially lead to more serious problems like flooding or structural damage. While there are DIY methods to tackle simpler blockages, there are scenarios where calling a professional plumber from Sydney Essential Plumbing is not only advisable but essential.

Persistent blockages

If a blockage resurfaces despite your DIY attempts, it’s a sign of a deeper, more persistent issue that requires professional attention.

Multiple blocked drains

When several drains block simultaneously, it’s a red flag indicating a serious problem in the main drainage system.

Foul smells

Persistent foul odours could signify a severe blockage or other issues that necessitate a professional inspection.


In the event of flooding, immediate professional intervention is crucial to prevent further damage.

Gurgling sounds

Unusual noises from your drains could be a precursor to blockage or other drainage problems.

Sydney Essential Plumbing offers a host of professional solutions to address blocked drains, ensuring quick and efficient resolution:

High-pressure water jetting

Utilising high-pressure water to obliterate blockages and clean the internal surfaces of the pipes, restoring normal flow.

CCTV drain camera inspections

Employing advanced camera technology to accurately locate and diagnose the cause of blockages, enabling targeted interventions.

Pipe relining

A trenchless method to repair damaged or blocked pipes by creating a “pipe within a pipe,” which eliminates the need for extensive digging and disruption.

With Sydney Essential Plumbing, you not only get expertise but also the convenience of 24/7 emergency services, ensuring that help is available whenever you need it. The ‘no call out fee’ policy and upfront pricing further accentuate the commitment to transparent and affordable services, making them a trusted choice for tackling blocked drains in Sydney.

Preventive measures to clear blocked drains

Keeping your drains clear is easier than fixing blocked drains. Here are some simple tips:

Proper waste disposal: Avoid flushing down items like food scraps, grease, and hair. Use drain screens to catch debris.

Regular cleaning: A bit of routine can help. Pour hot water down the drains weekly to clear grease and soap scum.

Professional inspections: Have a plumber check your drains annually to spot and fix small issues before they escalate.

Following these steps can significantly reduce the risk of facing blocked drains and ensure a smooth, hassle-free plumbing system in your home or business.


Keeping a vigilant eye on your drainage system and addressing blocked drain issues promptly is crucial for maintaining a hassle-free household or business premises. Sydney Essential Plumbing stands ready to assist you with skilled services and a special offer: enjoy $75 off on blocked drain services.

Take action today!

Don’t let a blocked drain disrupt your day. Reach out to us for professional, prompt service. Call 0450 528 494 or fill out our online form to get a free quote. Let’s restore the free flow of your drains together!

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