There is a world of difference between a slow drain and a blocked drain, but both could suggest that you may need a bit more than a drain cleaning product.

Mindful of the fact that you can create more trouble than you have already, there are a number of options that people try and frequently they can get things moving again.

Proprietary drain cleaning products like One Shot (available from B&Q) and Jeyes Fluid Drain Unblocker, use powerful chemicals to attack blockage material. Most use sulphuric acid or sodium hydroxide which iare dangerous chemicals if used carelessly and can easily result in injury.

If you use these products, make sure you follow the standard safety advice:

  • Keep product locked up and out of the reach of children.
  • In case of contact with eyes, rinse immediately with plenty of water and seek medical advice
  • Never add water to product or combine with other products
  • Wear suitable protective clothing, gloves and eye/face protection
  • In case of accident or if you feel unwell, seek medical advice immediately
  • Dispose of material and its container to hazardous or special waste collection point
  • After contact with skin, take off immediately all contaminated clothing, and wash immediately with plenty of water
  • Allow product time to act do not use a plunger

One method that often works is the vinegar/bicarbonate of soda method:

  • Pour a pot of boiling hot water down your drain.
  • Dump in about 1/2 cup baking soda. Let that sit for a few minutes.
  • Then, pour a mixture of 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup very hot water down on top of the baking soda.
  • Cover with a drain plug and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
  • Flush one more time with a pot of boiling water.

The hot water and baking soda breaks down sludge and the violent chemical reaction created by the addition of vinegar moves blockage material.

While these methods can be very successful on household plumbing, external plumbing will usually require specialist expertise.

If you are unsure it is always best to give us a call, we are only too pleased to help.