Unblocking the kitchen sink

in Old style MoneySaving
105 replies 263.1K views

My kitchen sink is blocked and bicarb and vinegar aren't helping, neither are soda crystals and hot water. I am thinking of buying a plunger but what else can I do? The water does drain but very, very slowly...I'm quite worried and fearful I will have to spend oodles on a plumber...HELP!

Thank you very much


  • SquiffySquiffy Forumite
    173 Posts
    Have you tried disconnecting the U-bend yourself and manually clearing it out? It isn't too hard a job to remove. Just remember not to use the taps while it is disconnected though! ;)
  • I wouldn't usually recommend nasty chemicals as I am a greenie, but my partner buys this thing that really works call 'One Shot' and puts in down our drains. It is a very strong acid, so if you use it be v careful. Your local hardware store should have it.
  • BadgergalBadgergal Forumite
    531 Posts
    I will try disconnecting the u bend as a last resort as this kind of thing scares me a bit.

    I wonder if the One Shot is available from a builders merchants, there is one down the road...
  • honeyhoney Forumite
    703 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Badgergal - don't be scared of unscrewing the u-bend. I had to do it a couple of weeks ago for the first time. It was much easier than I thought and sorted out the block in a jiffy.

    If you decide to go for it wear a pair of rubber gloves though as it's a bit yucky in there and have a bin/carrier bag ready to put the gunk in and a bucket/sink of soapy water ready to dump u-bend in a give a bit of a wash.

    Good luck:D
  • If you do want to resort to chemicals, then use caustic soda. It's much cheaper than branded pre-prepared items. Do follow the instructions carefully - it's very simple to use though. I have to resort to this when my shower drain blocks up as I can't get underneath it and vinegar etc isn't strong enough.
  • elonaelona Forumite
    11.8K Posts
    If you get a curtain wire and unscrew the "hook" - then thread it GENTLY down the drain and "wiggle it" that should help a lot. Do not force it or push too hard as you will break the pipe if it is plastic.
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  • A traditional floor mop works as a plunger in an emergency....works with toilets!

    edit....I'm going to add this to the 'tips' thread, this tip got me out of a very tricky situation ...small boy, lots of toilet paper etc....
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
    44.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    I've unscrewed a few U-bends in my time: the hard part is screwing them up tight enough afterwards so they don't leak! Oh, and remembering not to use the taps, of course. :o
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  • researcherresearcher Forumite
    1.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    I had exactly the same problem as you, after months of trying everything (even the chemicals which I detest) as a last resort before calling a plummer I took the u-bend off, and the gunk in there was really disgusting. I took off the next bit and cleaned that too. I then pushed a bendy wire down the pipe as far as it would go and did some serious wiggling about. Once I'd put it all back together I poured kettles of boiling water along with a very hot running tap which cleared all the gunk I'd loosened with the wire. I finished with a couple of cups of soda crystals.

    I've now got the fastest flowing, freshest smelling pipes you could hope for - and it cost me next to nothing.

    It was sooo EASY and the only thing that annoyed me was how long I'd lived with it before doing it!
    I've just thought of something else - before you buy a plunger try holding a cloth tightly over the overflow outlet with one hand whist using the heel of your hand as a plunger with the other. (Making sure there's enough water in the sink) and don't forget to wear rubber gloves!
  • marybmaryb Forumite
    4.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    caustic soda works most of the time so try that first. it's not too scary as long as you wear long sleeves and rubber gloves plus eye protection

    we have a very long pipe run going through our cellar which doesn't have much of a fall so gets gunged up. we borrowed a pressure sprayer with an attachment which squirted water through a small pipe at very high pressure. It's a sort of miniature version of what the drain clearing firms use. you can hire them and it worked in seconds
    It doesn't matter if you are a glass half full or half empty sort of person. Keep it topped up! Cheers!
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