Saturday, 18 October 2014

Black Country Ladies Plumbing Team

A lady boater asked a question on Facebook about unblocking a sink. I have been there and done this little task a few times. It can get messy if sufficient care is not taken to avoid any leaks and drips.  Unclogging a kitchen sink can be frustrating, and potentially messy fixes you’ll have to do. No matter how careful you are about the things you wash down the drain, it inevitably happens.

Here was the advice I offered.

Boating ladies, cleaning out a blocked sink plughole is an easy task - its achieved everyday by black country ladies and other homespun female DIY enthusiasts. The first task is to clear out the accumulated contents from under the sink. This is also a convenient time to dispose of the almost empty, infrequently used household cleaning products in various packet and bottles. After hoovering, washing and tidying the contents back into colour co-ordinated groups. Once it looks tidy, remove all the items again and place a large bowl or bucket beneath the U bend (water trap) to catch any spillages.

If the U bend does not have a drain plug at the bottom. Loosen the two pipe connections (coupling nuts) and allow the contents to slowly dribble out of the pipe and into the bucket. You may be surprised at the rich deep brown colour of the liquid contents. However, the solids can be equally as colourful.

If there is more content in the pipe than space available in the bucket. Tighten the connectors and then empty the
Black Country Ladies
Plumbing Team

bucket. Its advisable not to empty the bucket into the sink. You must then completely remove the U bend after the dribble has subsided. Then you can visually check the pipe between the water trap and the sink. It can easily be done by looking up the pipe from beneath. However, plumbers only do this one time. Usually while still an apprentice - before resorting on each subsequent occasion to view the pipework from above.

Using a finger, poke, shake and prod the solid contents out of the water trap. The water trap or U bend can now be washed clean with a solution of hot water and washing up liquid. However, there is one proviso. Never wash the U bend in the sink it has been removed from without placing the plug in the sink first. Never drain the sink by removing the plug without first replacing the U bend. Once again, plumbers only do this one time. Usually while still an apprentice - before resorting on each subsequent occasion to replacing the trap.

It is important to identify the contents, creating the blockage. So that it can be avoided in the future. Usually the blockage consists of toothpaste residue, hair, fat and other similar items that have been spat into the sink, or washed off plates after a meal. 

Now carefully examine the contents that you extracted with your fingers. You should do this carefully in case something of great or sentimental value has made its way down the plug hole before discarding the contents. Incidentally, you may be able to identify items from various meals over quite a long period in time. If you have problems identifying food items. Sniffing at the contents, carefully savouring the aroma may help in identifying the mystery ingredients. Alternatively the taste test usually works equally well in identification. 

Next time, you clean out the drain plug water trap, you might find a pair of marigold kitchen gloves are quite useful when doing this kind of work. Tomorrow, I shall describe the interesting process for cleaning out a toilet macerator.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please put your name to your comment. Comments without a name may automatically be treated as spam and might not be included.

If you do not wish your comment to be published say so in your comment. If you have a tip or sensitive information you’d prefer to share anonymously, you may do so. I will delete the comment after reading.