Clean the drain. What to do if the drain is blocked?

Plumbing Tips
Anna Urban

Whether the sink in the kitchen or the shower in the bathroom: over time, the drain becomes blocked and must be cleaned. We introduce you to household remedies with which you can clean your drain without chemicals and a lot of effort and thus avoid the expensive use of sanitary services.

Cleaning the drain with the suction bell

Even the use of a classic suction cup – also known as a “plunger” or “plunger” – can help in most cases. To clean with the plunger, first pour a glass of warm water with a little soap into the tube. If there is an overflow, it must be closed with a wet cloth.

Cover the drain completely with the suction cup and then fill the sink with water until the red part of the pool is covered. Now quickly push the suction cup down on the wooden handle and let it jump up, then push it down again. This creates a suction effect which loosens deposits in the pipe.

Plastic bottle as an alternative to suction cups

If there is no suction cup at hand, a standard plastic bottle can also be used. The opening should have approximately the same diameter as the drain. Fill the bottle with hot water and press it firmly with the opening onto the drain. Then squeeze the bottle vigorously several times in a row.

This creates pressure, which causes the water to shoot through the blocked drain and dissolves deposits. This simple method is particularly recommended for comparatively narrow shower and kitchen drains.

Disassembling the siphon

If the blockage cannot be removed in this way, it is recommended to clean the siphon directly. To unscrew it, you will need a pipe wrench, a wire brush, a cloth and a bucket. Place the bucket under the siphon to collect any leaking water. Wrap the cloth around the union nut of the siphon to prevent scratches.

Now remove the siphon using the pipe wrench. Now you can clean it with a special wire brush, which has the shape of a toilet brush but is attached to a flexible wire. On this occasion you should also check the seals and replace them if necessary. Then tighten the siphon so that no water escapes.

Clean the drain with vinegar, baking powder or cola

Another home remedy for drain cleaning is vinegar in combination with baking powder. Add four to five tablespoons of baking powder to the drain and quickly add half a cup of vinegar. Both substances react with each other, causing it to bubble and foam violently. When you no longer hear any noise from the drain, rinse with hot water.

Cola is another popular household remedy to clean a blocked drain. The contained phosphoric acid is corrosive in high concentrations and can dissolve deposits in the pipe. Simply pour a litre of cola into the drain and let it take effect overnight. Rinse with water the next morning. Slight blockages can thus be easily removed.

Loosen blockages with the spiral

If the deposit is further back in the pipe, the use of a special pipe cleaning spiral can be helpful. You can buy these at a DIY store.

Push the spiral a little into the drain and then start turning the crank clockwise. Continue to move the spiral forward. The circular movement of the spindle will break up and loosen blockages in the pipe. Then add hot water to rinse away the deposits. You can also prevent blockages caused by hair with a simple cable tie. Cut a millimetre into the side of the tie. It then looks like a kind of Christmas tree. Then insert the plastic strip into the drain. Hair and other parts will then stick to the protruding teeth. If you perform this trick regularly, you can prevent the drain from becoming blocked.

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