Cost-Effective Ways to Unblock Sink in Birmingham
Blocked sink is one of the most frustrating household problems. Water backs up and won’t drain properly, leaving you with a mess to clean up and dirty dishes piling up. In these situation, calling a plumber to unblock sink can be expensive, with some charging over £40 – £60 per hour plus call-out fee.
However, before shelling out for a plumber, there are several cost-effective ways you can try yourself to unblock sink in Birmingham. We will walk you through the common causes of clogged sink and the best DIY methods to unblock sink and get your water flowing again without breaking the bank.
Cost-Effective Ways to Unblock Sink in Birmingham
Cause of Clogged Sink
Several things can cause a gradual buildup of gunk, grime, and sludge in your drains, leading to a blocked sink. The most common culprits are:
- Food scraps and grease – Cooking oils, fat, and food particles wash down, but then congeal into clogs.
- Hair and soap scum – Strands of hair and sticky soap residue accumulate over time.
- Foreign objects – Items like toys or bottle caps fall into the drain.
- Tree roots – Roots from outside/garden trees can invade and block drain lines.
- Rust and corrosion – Old pipes start breaking down and flaking off inside drains.
- Improper venting – Inadequate air flow can hamper drainage.
No matter what causes a clogged drain, it’s important to unblock sink as soon as possible to prevent further backup and damage.
Unclogging With a Plunger
The go-to tool for DIY drain clearing is the common household plunger. When positioned over the sink drain and pushed up and down repeatedly, the suction can dislodge blockages. Here are some tips for using a plunger to effectively unblock sink:
- Seal it off – Remove any drain stoppers and create a tight seal around the plunger over the drain opening. You may need to fill the sink partially with water first to cover the drain.
- Give it muscle – With the plunger sealed in place, use steady, firm force to quickly plunge up and down. The pressure needs to dislodge the clog, so don’t be dainty.
- Try angles – Twist the plunger as you plunge, and attempt it from different angles. This helps reposition the cup for maximum suction.
- Repeat as needed – It can take several rounds of forceful plunging to break up a stubborn clog. Keep at it until the water starts draining freely.
For minor buildup, a few minutes of vigorous plunging is usually enough to unblock sink. But for more extensive clogs, keep reading for extra methods.
Using Baking Soda and Vinegar
For slightly more difficult clogs, try unleashing the bubbly power of baking soda and vinegar. When combined, these two ingredients undergo a chemical reaction that produces pressurized foam. Those expanding bubbles can help dislodge and push through blockages. Here’s how to apply this home chemistry lesson to unblock a sink:
- Remove sink strainer and plug the drain hole.
- Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain. Make sure it coats the insides of the pipe.
- Follow with 2 cups of vinegar – it will start bubbling immediately.
- Place a sink stopper or cloth over the drain to seal in the reaction.
- Let it sit for 10-15 minutes as pressure builds up.
- Run hot water down the drain to flush everything through.
- Repeat if needed until fully unclogged.
The baking soda and vinegar method is safe for PVC, plastic, and metal pipes. It provides an inexpensive and non-toxic way to break down gunks/sludge/grime causing your clogged drain. Just be sure to give the foaming reaction time to work before rinsing. With this approach, you can unblock sink without harsh chemicals.
Unclogging With a Drain Snake
For really stubborn sink clogs or ones deep in the pipes, a mechanical drain snake is often the most reliable DIY method. This bendable steel cable device can maneuver through pipes and physically snag and remove built-up gunk. Here are some tips for using a drain snake to unblock sink:
- Choose the right size – Drain snakes come in different lengths and thicknesses. Match it to the expected depth of the clog. For kitchen sinks, 25-50 feet is usually sufficient.
- Protect your hands – Wear thick rubber gloves to grip and guide the snake without risking cuts.
- Feed it slowly – Gently insert the snake into the drain opening and twist clockwise as you push further in.
- Clear obstacles – If you hit a tight bend, twist the snake’s tip to navigate around it and keep feeding forward.
- Retrieve gunk – Once you hit the blockage, twist the snake’s end to ensnare debris and slowly extract it. Remove any material that comes back out.
- Rinse with water – After removing the snake, run hot water to wash away any remaining loose debris.
With some finesse and elbow grease, a drain snake has the length and strength needed to clear out even the most stubborn gunk. It’s an indispensable tool for learning how to unblock sink yourself.
Using Wet Vacuum
For drains clogged with mold, mildew, and serious buildup, a wet/dry vacuum can generate the hardcore suction power needed to unblock sink and pipes. To put one to work on your clogged drain:
- Remove any standing water from the sink and seal off the overflow drain.
- Cover wet/dry vac’s inlet nozzle with an old towel or rag. This prevents debris from entering the vacuum.
- Press nozzle firmly over the sink drain opening to form a tight seal.
- Turn vacuum to full power. The suction should draw out the clog and water.
- Angle the nozzle in different directions within the drain to clear all blockages.
- Flush with hot water after vacuuming to rinse away residual gunk.
When positioned correctly, a heavy-duty wet/dry vacuum can sometimes unclog drains faster and more effectively than a standard plunger. It provides aggressive suction via an electric motor. Be ready to capture any splashing dirty water in buckets or bins as you work!
Looking to Unblock Sink in Birmingham?
If you’ve tried every DIY trick and still can’t seem to unblock sink on your own, ESBAH Emergency Plumbing Services provides fast, reliable sink unblocking and drain cleaning services across Birmingham, West Midlands, and Surrounding Areas. Available 24/7 for emergency calls, our licensed plumbers utilise state-of-the-art equipment like high-powered hydro jetting machines to clear even the most stubborn clogs and blockages.
ESBAH plumbers will conduct camera drain inspections to identify the exact cause and location of the blockage before determining the best unclogging method. We carry a full range of professional-grade drain snakes, augers, and vacuums to fit any drain size and type.
Backed by 100% workmanship guarantees, our plumbers take great pride in providing exceptional customer service while getting your drains and pipes flowing freely again. Call us anytime your sinks back up for affordable solutions to unblock drains.
Using a plunger is the most affordable DIY method to unblock a sink. Baking soda and vinegar also provide an inexpensive chemical reaction to break up clogs. For under £10, you can purchase a hand drain snake to manually clear pipes of debris.
Most plumbers charge a call-out fee of £50-£75 plus hourly labour around £40-£60 per hour. Simple sink unclogging may take 30 minutes at £20-£30 labour. Extensive drain cleaning can cost £150 or more. Always get an upfront quote.
Drain cleaning from a plumber averages £75-£250 nationwide. Prices depend on call-out fees, hourly rates, number of drains, cause of clogging, and tools/chemicals used. Hydro jetting to power wash pipes costs more. DIY drain unclogging can cost under £20.
For accessible clogs, a plunger is very effective paired with boiling water. Baking soda and vinegar provide a non-toxic foaming reaction. For long or extensive jams, a drain snake can physically remove debris from pipes. Powerful suction from a wet/dry vacuum also works well.
Contacting our ESBAH emergency plumbers with high-powered equipment is advisable for extensive root growth, collapsed drains, or pipes embedded in floors and walls. Our methods are the quickest way to fully unblock sink clogs.