Plumbers tips to unblock a drain

Published On: June 24, 20200 Comments on Plumbers tips to unblock a drainTags: , Last Updated: February 11, 20245.5 min read

Blocked drains are probably the most common plumbing problem any residential or commercial property has encountered throughout Brisbane and the rest of the world. As unfortunate as it is, blocked drains are inconvenient and happen when you least expect it, this is why it pays to be prepared when the problem arises. If left untreated, then your blocked drain can lead to water leaking and potentially damaging your home or business space. The severe blockages can also lead to a burst in pipes, which would require costly repairs.

Plumbers tips to unblock a drain

Drains and pipes will often get blocked when people put drain the wrong things down, such as food scraps, paper, plastic, grease and fat. Wastewater that comes from pipes from sinks, basins and laundry tubs can get blocked especially if food waste, especially tea leaves, hot fat and other rubbish is sent down. If you pour down hot fat through an outlet pipe, then it sets in the pipe once it cools, causing a blockage.

Here’s what plumbing experts recommend to help you get rid of nasty, blocked drains:

Boiling Water

The quickest and easiest fix for your blocked drain would be to pour hot boiling water into the drain. In most cases, this is enough to loosen or dissolve any blockages without having to resort to more drastic, expensive measures. The only limitation to this is that it must only be used on metal or ceramic pipes. We do not recommend this method for PVC pipes because it will only loosen the joints. For PVC pipes, we recommend only hot, but not boiling tap water instead. This method works great for grease or food build-up, perfect for a kitchen sink. Although, it is unlikely to make any difference for solid blockages.

DIY Natural Cleaner

Another easy fix is a DIY cleaner, which you can create with baking soda and white vinegar. All you have to do is pour the baking soda in first, followed by the white vinegar. From there, you should cover the drain, preventing the mixture from bubbling out of the pipe. The chemical reaction created between the baking soda and vinegar will produce oxygen that scours the inside of the pipes to clear them out. If the blockage hasn’t been rid entirely, you can repeat the process. Once the mixture has rid your drain of blockages, you can pour in hot water to remove any residue that remains.

Caustic Cleaner

If the previous methods don’t work, you can also purchase a caustic chemical drain cleaner at your local supermarket or hardware store. A caustic cleaner contains chemicals that are capable of dissolving grease, food, hair and other common blockages. Caustic cleaners do not work on solid masses such as tree roots or small household items that have fallen into your drain. When using this cleaner, make sure you are always protecting your hands and face and flush your pipes with water afterwards to get rid of any lingering chemicals. However, this type of cleaner must only be used sparingly because it is harmful to the environment.

Plumbers tips to unblock a drain - caustic soda


A common household item, a plunger can clear a blocked drain of solid masses, just as it can clear a clogged toilet. A plunger consists of a heavy rubber cup attached to a handle on the closed side, it is used by placing it over the opening to the blocked outlet pipe and then moved in a quick thrusting up and down motion over the hole. The suction that is caused by this action is what will help to move the blockage. But before you can begin plunging, you must cover any overflow sprouts to get a strong seal. The up-and-down movement creates pressure, then loosening any blockages for your pipes to flow smoothly. While plunging works wonders for solid blockages, it is not as effective on grease build-up and mineral deposits.

Snake and CCTV

A snake or an electric eel tool is suitable for more severe blockages. It consists of a rotating coil at the end of a cable that spins rapidly, chipping away at the blockages in your drain until it has fully been cleared. Although, snakes have limited range, so the blockage would need to be close to the drain opening in order to be effective. While a snake is available at most hardware stores, there is also the possibility of damaging your pipes. We recommend you try the previous methods first or consult with a licensed plumber to get the job done for you.


Hydro-jets work wonders too by forcing a powerful stream of water through your pipes. The pressure created by this stream forces the blockage through the pipes out in order to allow water to flow through once more. This is a much safer method for your pipes compared to snaking, although it is not as effective when it comes to solid blockages. Although you may attempt to use a hydro-jet on your own, it’s best to leave that to the professionals instead of risking your pipes. Our experienced and professional plumbers at Buz Plumbing can finish the job properly and seamlessly.


For a more extreme case, wherein the previous methods have failed to work, you would have to resort to fully excavating your pipes. By hiring an experienced plumber to do the job, they can identify the exact problem point so that they know which pipe needs to be excavated. They then dig out the surrounding earth of the pipe before replacing or repairing the damaged pipe. The earth is then placed back around the new pipe to restore your property to its original condition. This process can become quite complicated, which is why it’s best to leave it to your trusted professional plumbers to do the job for you.

If you will be needing the help of experienced professional, reliable, prompt, and honest service, our friends at are happy to help. They take pride in being family-owned and have over 10 years of experience servicing content clients. The group of plumbing experts are capable of working on all areas of plumbing, including blocked drains, camera inspections, emergency plumbing, gasfitting, hot water systems, and general maintenance. Buz Plumbing goes above and beyond to take care of all your plumbing needs. Call us today to find out how we can help get rid of inconvenient blockages in your drain!

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