How to Unblock a Drain Using Caustic Soda

How to Unblock a Drain Using Caustic Soda

Unblocking a drain can be a difficult and unpleasant task, but it is something that many homeowners will need to do at some point. Whilst we would love for you to contact us to fix your issue, we’re under no illusions that the majority of homeowners will try some DIY drain unblocking methods first in an attempt to fix the problem.

One effective method for unblocking drains is to use caustic soda, also known as sodium hydroxide. This is a powerful cleaning agent that can break down the build-up of grease, hair, and other debris that can cause a blockage in your drain.

Before you begin, it is important to take a few safety precautions. Caustic soda is a strong alkali that can cause burns to the skin and eyes, so it is important to wear gloves and safety goggles when handling it. You should also work in a well-ventilated area and avoid breathing in any fumes.

To use caustic soda to unblock a drain, you will need the following materials:

  • Caustic soda
  • Water
  • A plastic container or bucket
  • A toilet plunger or drain snake

The first step is to pour a small amount of caustic soda into the plastic container or bucket. The amount you need will depend on the size of the drain, but a general rule of thumb is to use about 1 cup of caustic soda for every gallon of water.

Next, slowly pour the water into the container or bucket, stirring constantly to ensure that the caustic soda is completely dissolved. Once the solution is ready, carefully pour it down the blocked drain. Be sure to pour slowly and avoid splashing, as the solution can cause burns if it comes into contact with your skin or eyes.

After the solution has been poured down the drain, use a plunger or drain snake to try and break up the blockage. If you are using a plunger, cover the overflow hole with a damp cloth to create a better seal. Then, use a forceful up and down motion to try and dislodge the blockage. If you are using a drain snake, insert it into the drain and turn the handle to try and break up the blockage.

After using the plunger or drain snake, let the caustic soda solution sit in the drain for about 30 minutes to an hour to allow it to work on the blockage. After this time, flush the drain with hot water to rinse away any remaining debris.

It’s important to note that caustic soda is not recommended for use in certain types of pipes like PVC and aluminium, and it’s also not recommended for septic systems.

If you follow these steps and the blockage persists, it may be necessary to call a professional plumber or drainage company for further assistance. However, in many cases, using caustic soda to unblock a drain can be a quick and effective solution.

Remember to take all necessary safety precautions when handling caustic soda, and always be sure to use it in a well-ventilated area.