Blocked Drains

Whose responsibility is it to attend to a blocked drain? If the drain is on your property, it’s your problem to unblock it. Plumbers advise that if you are renting, you should check with your real estate agent to find out who is responsible for plumbing issues like this.

In some instances, it might be the council’s responsibility. If you are unsure, you can visit the council website or give them a quick call.

Unblocking Drains

There are many ways to unblock a clogged drain. Some are relatively easy, others not so easy. Here are a few things you can do before you call a plumber.

Baking Soda (or Bicarb Soda) and Vinegar

It’s an old way to do it, but it works often enough to head the list. Most households carry these items, which are environmentally friendly – more so than caustic-type chemicals.

Here are a few mixtures and methods you can try. Mix half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of vinegar, then toss it down the sink quickly. The other way to use this combo is to wait for the sink to dry, then pour the baking soda and vinegar into the sink. Leave it overnight or for a few hours, then clean it with boiling water from the kettle.

Boiling Water

This method is the simplest and sometimes gets overlooked as we seek more complicated ways. Boil a kettle full of water. Pour it down the sink. If oils, greases or fats have caused the blockage, it might take a few kettles, but the hot water will melt and loosen the solidified oils and fats.

Boiling water, Baking soda and salt.

Mix half a cup of salt and half a cup of baking soda and pour them down the sink. Wait a few minutes (15 – 20), then pour the boiling water into the sink. Unwanted blocks will hopefully be removed with the chemical reaction.

A Plunger

It would be best always to buy a plunger before you need one. They can come in handy when almost everything else fails. They still sell plungers in hardware stores for the simple reason that they continue to give excellent results. When using a plunger, ensure a good seal before starting the up-and-down movement.

A Drain Snake

A drain snake, an auger or a tool for cleaning drain pipes can be purchased at your local hardware store. They are okay if the blockage is not too far down the pipe. They are a handy tool. You can push the extended cable down into the drain and turn the handle, hoping it will unblock whatever it is causing concern.


After you’ve tried everything else and the sink is still blocked, you can try to take the pipes apart. You can watch a YouTube video if you are unsure how to do it. Most of the time, the blockage is in the trap at the bottom, and once you have removed it, you can access the material clogging the drain.

When all else fails – call your local plumber!