Almost every household at one time or the other will experience blocked drains problem. Blocked drains occur when there is a hindrance in between the bathroom drain and the drainage pipe it leads to. These hindrances could be sand, hair, soap, or sanitary towels Any of these objects can hinder free flow of water.

0400 923 060
Quick Enquiry


Before reading the below you need to accept and understand that all plumbing related work must be carried out by a qualified and licenced plumber.

how to unblock a sink using a plunger photo

how to unblock a sink using a plunger

However, a minor blockage can be remedied by using various tools that can be found in the local hardware store such as set of drain rods, pliers, hook-like wire, plunger and protective clothing.

  1. The first step to take in solving blockage problem is to stop emptying water into the drain in order to avoid making the blockage worse and difficult to repair.
  2. Before attempting to repair the blocked drainage, protective clothing, such as gloves, goggles, and overalls should be worn.
  3. The next step is to remove the drain cover by using a screwdriver to prise the cover off and if the cover has a handle, a string or wire can be tied to the handle to pull it off.
  4. If the blockage is caused by accumulated hair, the problem can be solved by using a drain snake to dislodge the accumulated hair.
  5. A plunger can also be used to dislodge the blockage caused by other objects – this can take several minutes of plunging.
  6. The last step is to flush the drain thoroughly with water to remove any remaining debris.

How to use a plunger to unblock a drain? 

How to Avoid Blockages

Blockages can be avoided by; regularly checking drains as this will help in the early detection of minor blockages before they become worse; properly disposing waste such as face wipes, sanitary towels, and the likes, as these have the tendency to block drains; try as much as possible to prevent plant matter from falling in and causing blockages if you have a leafy garden; also, remember to rinse plates and cutlery before they are loaded in the dishwasher because excess food could build up to cause a blockage.

So Who’s Responsible?

As a homeowner or occupier, we are responsible for our drains and sewer.  It is imperative to find out who you can contact when you have drains or sewer challenges.  As homeowners, we are generally responsible for our property drains but sometimes, the house insurance can take care of some drainage problems.  ACTEW or Queanbeyan City Council should be contacted if there is a water main problem.  In a situation where a neighbour’s drain overflows leaked into your home, a local ACTEW or Queanbeyan City Council should be contacted.


Note: this page contains general advice only and Mr Pipes ACT highly recommends the use of a licenced and experienced plumber for all plumbing related work – Mr Pipes ACT accepts no responsibility or liability for any injury, loss or damage to person or property as a result of directions followed on this website.