How to unblock a sink, find out how to unblock your bathroom and kitchen sinks

Blocked sinks

If any of your sinks aren’t draining fully after use you may have a blockage in the waste pipes or the sewer line. Common causes are food debris and cooking fats. 

Relatively easy to unblock yourself, try the two methods below:

 

Plunging

 

  • Firstly block the overflow holes with some damp tissue, a cloth or sellotape and fill your sink with water.
  • Take a plunger and apply pressure over the plughole, pumping up and down several times. The suction you create should dislodge any blockages.
  • Once the water begins to drain away, pour some disinfectant down the plughole and rinse your sink thoroughly.
  • If using a plunger has proved unsuccessful you’ll need to check the pipes under your sink.

 

 Dismantling pipes

 

  • Before you begin taking apart the pipes, place a bucket underneath your sink in order to catch any dripping water, and place your plug in the plughole.
  • If the pipes under your sink have a clear ‘U’ shape, known as a ‘U-bend’, unscrew the nuts that hold it together at either end. If you don’t have a U-bend, unscrew the whole pipe as normal.
  • Once removed, inspect the pipe for any blockages. If you see something go to a different sink and rinse with hot water, or try using a wire coat hanger to dislodge the blockage.
  • Reconnect the pipe, tightly screwing the nuts in place, before removing the bucket of wastewater. Take the plug out of the plughole and pour boiling water and washing up liquid down the drain to clear away and remaining debris and to disinfect your sink.
  • If for any reason this fails to work it may be time to contact your local plumbing engineer, as the problem may lie in the waste pipe, which is connected to the sink pipe.

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