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22Nov 2013
Slow Draining Plug Hole? Fix It Now!
Slow Draining Plug Hole? Fix It Now!

Slow Draining Plug Hole? Fix It Now!


Gurgling sounds coming up from the plug hole whenever adjacent taps are in use, unpleasant smells, and water draining painfully slowly from baths and sinks, are all signs of a likely blockage in the waste drainage system. Kitchen and bathroom drainage/waste pipes inevitably become clogged sooner or later. Most are easy to unblock using a little care, an organised approach, and some simple procedures.

Experience proves that most blockages are the result of a slow build-up of waste food particles, hair, soap scum, grease, oil and cooking fats, paint and other sticky and/or greasy substances. Eventually this material fuses and congeals – usually at the low point in a u-bend waste trap – forming a barrier and thus slowing drainage to a crawl.


1. Clear the u-bend waste traps
These are located below sinks and baths and will contain water. The method is to place a bucket beneath the waste trap to catch any water or dirt before loosening the lock nuts at each end of the u-bend section. Release the tubing, empty any remaining water into the bucket, and then push a piece of stiff wire through to clear any obstruction in the pipe. The u-bend section should then be rinsed clean in warm water and detergent before replacing the fittings and re-tightening the lock nuts.

2. Using a plunger
A plunger tool has a semi-flexible rubber cup at one end with a wooden handle. It is used to clear blockages in the waste drainage pipework beneath sinks and baths. This is achieved by slightly greasing the plunger, temporarily sealing the sink/bath overflow (the hole just below the taps) with a wet cloth, then positioning the plunger over the waste water outlet to seal it off. Next, run the tap until the water completely covers the plunger cup. Finally, push the plunger handle up and down fairly vigorously. This quickly generates a suction effect which helps to loosen and clear any pipe blockage.

3. Using a ‘snake’
A snake tool is a flexible steel rod with a handle attached, sold in hardware stores. If the plunger fails to clear the obstruction, the snake should be fed down the blocked pipe or drain outlet using a rotating movement to keep the tool moving. The snake can be gently pulled back through the pipe to break up and remove any obstruction. This should be repeated until the debris has been cleared.

4. Household cleansing agents
A solution of bicarbonate of soda poured down the drain outlet may help to loosen stubborn debris sufficiently for the above methods to then clear the blockage. Bleach, handled with great care, may do the same if a more powerful remedy is required.

5. Chemical solutions
Chemical drain cleaners are extremely powerful. Toxic fumes and other issues can cause significant harm and such cleaners must be used only in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. These preparations work by pouring in the liquid which then dissolves the blockage by chemical action.

The above methods will clear the majority of slow drainage problems and you should notice immediate improvements. If not, you will need to summon professional help without delay to both locate and remove any remaining persistent blockages, and to check underground drains are functioning and in good order.

This post is written by Ashley for Express Drainage Unblocking Solutions.