Opening hours:

Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 6:00pm; Saturday: 08:00am - 12:00pm; Sunday: Closed

Common sink blockages: what to avoid

As a homeowner in the UK, it’s essential to keep your plumbing system in optimal condition to avoid any inconvenient and costly issues. One of the most common plumbing problems homeowners face is sink blockages. These blockages can disrupt your daily routine and lead to potential water damage. Fortunately, by being aware of common causes and adopting preventive measures, you can avoid such nuisances.

What are the common causes of blocked sinks?

  • Food waste

    Food particles are one of the primary culprits behind sink blockages. Avoid pouring large quantities of food scraps, grease, or oil down the sink. These substances can solidify and form a clog over time. Instead, scrape food waste into a compost bin or dispose of it in the appropriate food waste bin.
  • Hair and soap scum

    In the bathroom, hair and soap scum are common offenders. When washed down the sink, they accumulate in the drainpipes, leading to blockages. Use a drain cover or strainer to catch hair and remove it after each use. Regularly clean the drain cover to ensure efficient water flow.
  • Foreign objects

    Foreign objects, such as small toys, jewellery, or cotton swabs, can accidentally fall into the sink. These items can obstruct the pipes and cause blockages. Keep the sink area clear of any unnecessary objects, especially when children are present.

Keep these items away from your sink

  • Cooking grease and oil

    Pouring cooking grease or oil down the sink is a common mistake that homeowners make. While they may be liquid when hot, they solidify as they cool, creating a sticky residue that coats the pipes. Once solidified, scrape them into a container, seal it tightly, and discard it in your regular waste bin.
  • Coffee grounds

    Coffee grounds might seem harmless, but they can accumulate and form a dense blockage in your sink. Instead of rinsing them down the drain, consider composting or using them as a natural fertiliser for your garden.
  • Sanitary products

    Flushing sanitary products down the sink is a definite no-no. Tampons, pads, and wipes are not designed to dissolve in water and can cause significant blockages. Dispose of these items in a dedicated sanitary bin.

Steps to clear your drain and prevent sink blockages

If the previous sections have you worried about the condition if your sink, there are a few steps you can take to address minor drain issues. Just remember that it’s always best to consult a professional for persistent or severe blockages.
  • Boiling water

    Start by boiling a kettle full of water. Carefully pour the boiling water directly into the drain in two to three stages, allowing it to work for a few seconds between each pour. The hot water helps dissolve grease and flush away any accumulated debris.
  • Baking soda and vinegar

    This classic DIY method can help break down organic matter and remove mild blockages. Start by pouring half a cup of baking soda down the drain. Follow it with half a cup of white vinegar. The combination will cause a fizzing reaction, which helps dislodge debris. Let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes before flushing the drain with hot water.
  • Plunger

    For more stubborn blockages, a plunger can be an effective tool. Ensure there is enough water in the sink to cover the rubber part of the plunger. Place the plunger over the drain and vigorously plunge up and down for about 30 seconds. The suction and pressure created should help dislodge the blockage. After plunging, flush the drain with hot water to remove any remaining debris.
  • Plumbing snake or wire hanger

    If the blockage persists, a plumbing snake or a straightened wire hanger can help. Insert the snake or hanger into the drain and slowly push it through the pipes while turning or wiggling it to break up the obstruction. Be cautious not to scratch or damage the pipes. Once the blockage is dislodged, flush the drain with hot water.

Going forward, use a drain cover or strainer to catch hair, food particles, and other debris before they enter the pipes. You should also be careful not to overuse chemical drain cleaners. These products are harsh and can damage pipework over time.
By understanding the common causes of sink blockages and adopting preventive measures, you’ll be able to look after your sinks and avoid issues. These simple habits can save the frustration, inconvenience, and potential expense of dealing with blocked sinks. If you do need expert assistance, you’ll be able to rely on our team. Call 0204 579 2947 and we’ll be there to help.

Please fill the form below with as much details as you can and we will get back in touch with you ASAP.

  • Drop files here or
    Max. file size: 5 MB, Max. files: 5.
    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

    Please fill the form below with as much details as you can and we will get back in touch with you ASAP.

    • Drop files here or
      Max. file size: 5 MB, Max. files: 5.
      • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.