Blockages and Overflows

Clearing a sink or bath blockage

Bail out most of the water using a suitable container. Hold a rag firmly over the overflow opening, and place a plunger over the drain hole. Pump the plunger up and down rapidly. Plungers can be obtained from most DIY shops. After clearing the blockage, it is advisable to clean out the trap.

Cleaning out a waste trap

First bail out any excess water from the bath, basin, or sink using a jug or bowl. Place a bowl underneath the trap and unscrew the joints to remove the trap. Clean thoroughly and replace the trap, checking that the seals are in place and that all the joints are screwed up tightly.

If more than one fitting is blocked

The problem may be in the soil stack or main drain. This will need to be cleared by one of our contractors. Blockages are usually caused by the build up of fat, tea leaves, hair etc. It is advisable to clean wastes with hot water and soda crystals.

Clearing a blocked WC

If the pan is already full, remove some of the water into a suitable container using a jug or bowl. Push the toilet brush or plunger up and down vigorously about 10 times. This creates a vacuum and pressure which may shift the blockage. Check by flushing the toilet to see whether the blockage has gone. You may need to repeat the process several time before the toilet flushes normally. Do not use plungers with a metal disk, as these may crack the toilet bowl.

Avoiding blockages

Air fresheners that attach to the rim of the toilet pan should be fastened securely to ensure they do not fall in and cause a blockage. Blockages are usually caused by unusual objects: nappies, toys, sanitary towels, air fresheners, etc. If such a blockage occurs as a result of one or several of these objects becoming lodged, you may be charged for clearing the blockage.

To stop an overflow

If the toilet cistern is overflowing try lifting the float to close the ball valve: if this stops the overflow, try to tie it up, using a piece of wood and some string as in the diagram.

You can do the same with a cold water storage tank as a temporary measure.

Toilet maintenance