How To Clear A Blocked Drain

  • William Demirdonder
  • July 23, 2021
  • No comments
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So you want to know How To Clear A Blocked Drain?

Great! Because if left untreated, blocked drains can cause some serious damage to your home’s pipe and plumbing system. So, you want to unblock that drain ASAP and get water and waste flowing smoothly away from your property once more. In this article we’ll share some easy tips you can try yourself to clear your blocked drain as well as explain the process we take to clear your blocked drain when our team attends your property. We’ll also explain why drains become blocked by sharing some of the top materials that contribute to a blocked drain.

At Proximity Plumbing, we’re all about helping you try some DIY plumbing before you call the pro’s. In any case if you don’t want to get your hands dirty you can book in a service with our expert team in a matter of minutes. Click here to book and online service or call our friendly team on 0420 102 394.




Here are some fast and easy solutions to help clear a blocked drain yourself:

If you’ve ever had a blocked drain, you know just how annoying it is. Here are some tips and tricks to try unblocking your drain before you call a plumber.


Good Old’ Fashioned Boiling Water

Put the kettle on Jan!

To loosen up any build-up of grime or grease, get that water boiling. Boiling water is a great first step to try and unblock your drain, and you can’t get more eco-friendly than H20. Best not to use boiling water on PVC pipes, only use on metal or ceramic pipes. For PVC pipes you can use plain hot water.


Baking Soda And Vinegar

Another excellent eco-friendly option. Start by pouring some boiling water down the blocked drain then pour half a cup of baking soda and leave for a few minutes before pouring a cup of vinegar down the drain. Let it sit and fizz up and hopefully clear out the residue that’s blocking things up. Finish with another cup of boiling water. You can read more about this method here.

Try A Plunger

For those drains, sinks, or toilets with a physical blockage (something you know is stuck) it’s time to take the plunge. Get those elbows pumping and use a plunger to ‘bring up’ anything that’s blocking the drain. Plunging can get messy to be prepared with some drop sheets or rags to clean up any mess.

Invest In A Drain Snake

A drain snake is a more invasive tool but can do the job of unblocking your drain quickly. For more stubborn blockages you may have to repeat the process multiple times. You can find these at your local bunnings or hardware store.



Here at Proximity Plumbing, when we attend a blocked drain, our expert plumbers focus on 3 things:

1. Locating the exact spot of the blocked drain. We typically will do this with the help of a CCTV plumber’s camera.

2. Clearing the drain so it becomes usable ASAP. For stubborn blocked drains we will use a plumber’s high-pressure jetter.

3. Determining the reason why the drain became blocked and provide advice to reduce the chances of it happening again.

Blocked drains can be a simple fix and hopefully, one of our tips helps you out! However, blocked drains can be a warning of an underlying issue and if a blocked drain is not cleared it could render a bathroom or kitchen inoperable quickly.

At Proximity Plumbing, we pride ourselves on being the plumber Sydneysiders turn to when they have a blocked drain. We are blocked drain experts and we’re here to help with all your emergency plumbing needs. So, if you’d like a super-fast fix to any blocked drain call us today on 0420 102 394 for a free quote. Plus, we guarantee to be on-site within Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs in 30 minutes. Click here to contact Proximity Plumbing


Knowing What Can and Cannot Go Down the Drain


Blocked drains typically occur when foreign matter and organic debris get pushed down the drain and then build-ups in the plumbing pipes. 

In case the drains of your home get completely blocked, wastewater can reverse in the pipes while overflowing out of sink drains. You don’t want this! This is a major health risk to your family.

Knowing what can and cannot go down the drain is the first step to preventing emergency plumbing situations like a blocked drain.

To keep it simple, the only material that should go down a drain is water.

This includes soapy water from dishwashing and greywater from laundries and bathrooms. 

The only thing to get flushed in your toilet is Pee, Paper (toilet paper) and Poo. Anything else, including “flushable wipes”, is off-limits. 

A few big concerns that we see causing havoc all over Sydney include: 

Flushable wipes

Talk to any plumber, they’ll tell you – there’s no such thing as ‘flushable’ wipes. However they’re marketed, they do not have a place in your toilet or pipes. This includes baby wipes, makeup wipes, and any sanitary wipes.


Clumps of hair going straight down your shower drain will get stuck eventually. When you wash your pet or your hair, pet fur and hair get accumulated and washed down the drainpipe. Hair turns out to be the most common cause for drain blockages. 

Food Scraps

These might include rice, noodles, eggshells, pasta, coffee grounds, and tea bags. Upon going down the drain, these can combine with other debris to clog the drains underneath your kitchen sink.

Oil and grease

Oil does not belong down a drain. It not only ends up blocking the kitchen sink, but it can also lead to significant blockages in the primary sewer line. Grease can harden upon cooling. Therefore, it starts acting like glue. It can easily bind other items like hair and debris to form clogs in the drain pipes called fatbergs. 

Foreign Items

In some cases, items can wash down the drainpipe accidentally. Such items can include dental floss, cotton tips, tampons, teaspoons, and small kids toys.

Garden scraps

Soil, grass, including weeds! Outside, garden drains can become blocked super fast with this material. Bottle caps and straws – whether metal or plastic, straws will create blockages and take a long time to break down. After that big family BBQ make sure all these items are in the bin, not down the drain.


What To Do If You Have  A Blocked Drain?

A blocked drain is considered a plumbing emergency and will need to be cleared ASAP to ensure further damage to your pipe system and mainline does not occur.
When you can see an obviously blocked drain at your home, definitely try the tips mentioned in this article first to try and shift the blockage yourself. If you are seeing signs of a blockage somewhere along the pipeline, but you’re not sure where or how to investigate then please call our team today on 0420 102 394. Our local, eastern suburbs plumbers are only a call away and we’re ready and willing to assist with any blocked drain service.

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