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How to Clear a Blocked Drain

It's unfortunately pretty easy to clog up a drain, whether it's with hair, food scraps, or cat litter. To clear that blocked drain, you can call a licenced plumber or use one of these methods yourself:

1. Boiling Water

Boiling water is by far the most straightforward and affordable method of them all. Due to the low melting point of substances like grease and conditioner, you can easily break them up by pouring boiling water down the drain. Please note, however, that we don't recommend this method for PVC pipes, as they can be damaged by boiling water.

2. Natural Cleaners

You can make natural cleaners from stuff you have around the house, such as one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar. For the most effective method, we recommend first pouring boiling water, followed by the natural cleaner, and then more boiling water after about 10 minutes.

3. Caustic Cleaners

You can purchase caustic cleaners at the store to dissolve tougher substances like oils and fat. Just remember to follow their instructions carefully and to properly ventilate the room you're using them in.

4. Plunger

Due to the airtight seal they form, plungers have a highly effective vacuuming effect. Unfortunately, this vacuum effect works a lot better with shallow blockages than it does with blockages deeper in your pipes.

5. DIY Drain Snake

You can reach deeper blockages, especially in your shower, using your own DIY drain snake. All you need is a thin metal wire, like a coat hanger, which you can mould to have a hook at its end. Carefully insert your drain snake into the drain, fish around for the blockage, and then slowly remove it once you've got it hooked.

6. Plumber's Drain Snake

If your own drain snake isn't working for you, it may be time to call in a professional with their own plumber's drain snake. Plumber's drain snakes are far more effective at getting deeper into your pipes and removing tougher, more rigid blockages.


If the methods above don't work, you may need to hire a professional to conduct a CCTV assessment. Using CCTV technology, a plumber will be able to run a camera through your pipe like a drain snake. They'll then use the footage to determine the location and severity of the clog to figure out how to remove it.

8. Hydro-Jet

The high-pressure water blast from a hydro-jet is a reliable way to flush out the bulk of the blockage in your pipes. Still, you may need to apply some of the more basic drain clearing methods afterwards to ensure that the jet didn't miss any smaller obstructions.

9. Excavation

Excavation is when your affected pipes need to be dug up and repaired or replaced. We recommend this method only in cases of severe blockages that can't be removed any other way.

10. Pipe Relining

If left too long, severe blockages can cause significant damage to your pipes. In this situation, you may need to have your pipes relined after removing the blockage. This procedure isn't cheap, but it's far more affordable than having to undergo a full pipe replacement.

Drain Still Clogged? Call a Professional

If the more simplistic boiling water and DIY drain snake methods don't work, you may need to call in a professional plumber. Make sure that this plumber is licenced, insured, and can offer you more complex services like excavation and pipe relining if the situation calls for it.