Unblocking a Waste Pipe

Waste pipes in baths, sinks and showers can become clogged over time.  It is recommended that after the initial blockage has been cleaned, you should put a small amount of chemical cleaner in the hole to protect it against future blockages.  Chemical cleaner, such as caustic soda, can be used to clear some blockages, but for others, there are a couple of other things you can try.

A plunger is a great way to get rid of a blockage, but only if there is water in the waste pipe that goes all the way back up to the sink.  The plunger will push and pull the blockage by creating a vacuum around it until it dislodges.  To use a plunger, you need to fill the waste pipe with water until it backs up enough to cover the cup of the plunger completely.  Next, block the overflow with a wet cloth to ensure you get the best results.  To use the plunger, push down hard onto the plughole and pull it up sharply; continue this step until the blockage dislodges.  However, if the blockage is further down the pipe than originally thought, it is best to check the waste trap itself for any obstructions.

Normally, a modern waste trap can be unscrewed to fish the blockage out by hand.  Put something under the trap to collect any water that comes out; however, you should try to get as much water out as possible beforehand to minimise spillage.

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