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Unblocking Drains

We've all been there - you're enjoying your shower, only to find yourself ankle-deep in soapy water that just won't go down the plughole. Never fear! Here are some simple DIY tips to unblock that drain.

How big is the problem?

If multiple drains in your house are blocked at once, then the problem is somewhere deep within your plumbing system, so it's best to call in a professional. If only one plughole is clogged, read on.

Take the plunger

You can buy a plunger for a few dollars from any hardware store. Simply push the rubber cup over the blocked drain and thrust the handle down as hard as you can.

This should force the blockage down the drain and allow the water to flow out. Repeat if necessary.

Unclogging hair

Most shower blockages are caused by hair. Luckily the same stuff that removes hair from your legs or back will remove it from your drain. Try pouring a liquid hair remover (such as Nair) down the plug hole.


Home-made drain cleaners

Pouring a mixture of baking soda and boiling water, or baking soda and vinegar down your drain will clear most minor blockages.

Commercial drain cleaner

You can buy a number of drain cleaning chemicals from the hardware store. These are usually effective, but are quite toxic. Never pour more than one type of chemical down your drain at a time.

Plumber's snakes

Serious clogging needs serious tools. A plumber's snake is like a highly bendable drill that is fed down your drainpipe to break up any blockages.

This tool can seriously damage your plumbing if used the wrong way, so steer clear unless you really know what you're doing.

Call in a pro

If you can't unblock the drain yourself, it might be time to call in a professional. A qualified plumber can take apart your pipes or use motorised tools to clear the blockage.

To compare quotes on professional plumbers, check out our plumbing directory here.

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