How our services are impacted & advice on emergency repairs Coronavirus: information for residents

How to deal with blockages

Unblocking baths, basins, showers, sinks or toilets

Please note:

  • The trap always holds some water which stops air or foul smells coming up the drain
  • Blockages in basins, sinks or showers are usually caused by the build-up of waste in the trap: cooking oil, fat, tea leaves, hair and so on. To stop this happening you should flush waste pipes and traps with hot water regularly and at least once a month use a clearing product to clear them (do not use caustic soda as it destroys modern plastic fittings)
  • If more than one fitting (bath, basin, sink or shower) is blocked, the blockage may be in the soil stack or main drain. This will need to be cleared by a contractor, so please report it as a repair
  • Blocked toilets are usually caused by unusual objects such as nappies, toys or toilet fresheners. You must not use toilets to get rid of rubbish.

You will need:

  • A bowl or bucket jug, cup or mug wet cloth
  • A plunger - for the toilet you can use a toilet brush
  • Rubber gloves.

To unblock a bath, basin or sink:

  • Scoop out most of the water
  • Hold the cloth tightly over the overflow opening
  • Place the plunger over the plug hole and pump it up and down quickly.

To unblock a toilet:

  • If the pan is already full, take out some of the water using some form of scoop (for example a jug, cup or mug) and put this into a bucket
  • Push the brush or plunger to the bottom of the pan
  • Pump it up and down quickly about 10 times. This should shift the blockage
  • Flush the toilet to see whether the blockage has gone
  • You may need to repeat this process several times before the toilet flushes normally. If there is no improvement, you should contact us.
  • When you have finished, thoroughly wash your hands and everything you have used.
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