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Top 5 Household Methods You Shouldn't Use to Clear A Blocked Drain.

When it comes to unblocking a blocked drain there are 100's of DIY methods and home remedies and whilst some of these may work in very particular cases, some of them are downright dangerous and have the potential to damage your pipes and injure yourself or any future plumbers working on your drains. It is always best to call a plumber for a blocked drain as you never know, what is causing the blockage, or how it will react to you method of unblocking the drain.

Household methods for blocked drains

To help ensure you get it right the first time and don't cause more damage to yourself or your pipes we have complied a list of the most common household method of unblocking drains and why you should not use them.

Chemical Drain Cleaners

Chemical drain cleaners (also referred to as Draino) is a dangerous chemical cocktail that really shouldn't be handled by anyone who doesn't have a PHD in chemistry, they work by being corrosive and as such can cause physical damage to both you and your pipes when used wrong. In addition to the toxic chemicals contained within, chemical drain cleaner simply do not work on solid objects, if you have already used chemicals to try and unblock a drain and it fails to work, when you call a plumber in make sure you inform them that you have recently put chemicals in the pipe as it is a hazard to plumbers and they will need to ensure that protect themselves accordingly.


Unless you are a qualified plumber it is highly recommended that you do not disassemble your plumbing and attempt to locate and remove a blockage yourself. There is a high risk of damaging pipes and fittings which even if you are able to reassemble your plumbing system yourself, will cause long term damage and increase the likelihood of future blockages.

The Garden Hose

A lot of people believe that the added pressure of water coming from the garden hose will help dislodge the blockage, when in reality all it will do is damage your pipes, flood your house and possibly just move the blockage making it hard to fix.

Coat Hangers

Obviously putting foreign object down a drain such as wire coat hangers is not a good idea, these are extremely inefficient, highly likely to damages pipes, and very likely to get stuck in the drain, cause more work and a bigger repair bill when you need to call a plumber to unblock your drain.

Coat Hanger

Drain Augers

A drain auger is an extremely efficient tool for unblocking drains when in the right hands, when in the wrong hands the flailing cutting head is dangerous and has a high potential to do permanent damage to your pipes. These tools are also very inefficient at working on deep blockages and wide pipes.

When it comes to drain there is one simple rule, all that should go down them is water. Unless you are a qualified plumber who knows exactly what they are doing do not ever attempt to put chemicals, tools or other household items down the drain unless you want to spend hundreds on a plumbing repair bill or a hospital trip due to the miss use of your plumbing system.


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