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Unblocking a sink – free advice from a Tooting plumber!

Unblocking a sink – free advice from a Tooting plumber!

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Here at TDP HQ, we (like everyone else), encounter the occasional maintenance issue. And as Dave, the TDP Editor, isn’t exactly what you’d called skilled in DIY, he always finds it useful to have a Community Partner on hand to give advice. In this case, the brilliant Ed Barros of Tooting-based plumbing business, Permanex Plumbing.

Dave: “Hi Ed. My bathroom sink is blocked. The water’s draining incredibly slowly, and by slowly, I mean hours. Any ideas?”

Ed: Alright Dave, talk me through it…”

Thus began the start of chatting to Ed of Permanex Plumbing who helped me unblock my sink with some simple advice over the phone (and didn’t once judge me for being a bit of an idiot). He talked me through the following...

Always a first port of call. More often than not, there’s a bit of gunk that can be shifted with a swift tug (stop sniggering at the back there). However, after some vigorous plunging, the sink was still draining incredibly slowly.

Check the trap
Really easy – sink traps are designed to be unscrewed by hand, eliminating the need for a wrench or spanner. Soap and hair can clog it up from time to time, so make sure that’s clear. Checked, all clean, nothing there.

Unscrew here and here; a clean trap.

Sink unblocker
Right, getting a bit more serious now. There’s all kinds of unblockers out there, but Ed recommends One Shot to me – however, this stuff is very corrosive and should be treated with extreme care. I’ll get the rubber gloves then.

Dropped pipe
But before I started to unscrew the One Shot...

E: “Hang on Dave,” says Ed, “Are you sure that it’s the drain that's blocked?”

D: “Of course I am Ed, what else could it be?”

E: “Can you see the drainage pipe? What does it look like? Is it sloping downwards?”

D: “Yep – appears to have come loose...oh...”

The drainage pipe slopes up to the left so water can’t drain; fixed to the bracket with some Sugru.

That’s right – the bracket holding the pipe in the correct position had come loose and the pipe had dropped – now, I’m not a physics expert, but even I know that water cannot flow upwards. As there was no hole for the lower bracket screw (suggesting whoever fitted it did a shoddy job), I used some Sugru to keep it in place while I await a friend with a drill to come round and give me a hand. Pipe fixed. Water draining beautifully.

Thanks a million to Ed for giving me a few minutes of advice over the phone. He’s more than happy to help with common plumbing problems – see his previous blog for more details.

Remember, Permanex are offering 10% off your total bill when you mention Tooting Daily PRSS!

Permanex Plumbing and Maintenance Ltd is a 24/7 Tooting-based plumbing and maintenance service and one of our Community Partners. Call them on 020 8879 7372, find out more on their website, and follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Find out more about our Community Partners here.


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