Blocked or smelly drains are usually the result of months of accumulated muck and debris.

You can prevent blocked drains by applying an organic substance down your drain regularly such as an Actizyme pellets which are also environmentally friendly.

While there are ways to maintain and prevent this from happening, here are some steps in unblocking a drain when this does occur.

Materials Required

Actizyme pellets

Tools Required

  • Gloves
  • Rag / Cloth / Towel (for cleaning up any mess and water)
  • Plunger
  • Flexible Drain Cleaner
  • Bucket (if you find you need to resort to STEP 3)
  • Wrench

Step 1: Plunger

Firstly, clear the area from any bathroom or kitchen object such as soaps, trays, toothbrushes and so on...

  • Next, begin by placing a rubber plunger tightly over the drain and fill the sink with water until the plunger is covered, creating suction.
  • Pump plunger up and down and then check if water is now running freely.

You may wish to repeat this step however if this does not seem to be working, try step 2.

Step 2: Drain Cleaner / Drain Snake

Try using flexible drain cleaner. The ideal type is one which is 9mm thick and 10m long.

  • Where possible, remove the drain protector but if this is not coming out easily, do not force its removal and simply leave it in place.
  • Place the end of the drain cleaner down the drain until you run into some resistance.
  • Bring the drain cleaner back up and remove any muck, hair and any other debris you find.
  • Repeat this step until the blockage is cleared.

You may be tempted to use a re-shaped metal clothes hanger however this may damage the pipe if too much force is applied and not clear the blockage completely through the S bend so a proper drain cleaner is always recommended.

Using a drain cleaner is your best option to avoid the next step but if this does not work, try step 3.

Step 3: Opening up the S-bend

If the blockage is persistent, look for an obstruction in the S-bend.

  • Firstly, place a bucket under the sink and then loosen the slip nut or undo the drainage plug at the base of the S-bend using a wrench
  • The S-trap will then drop and the bucket will capture any water which is sitting in this section
  • Clear any muck or debris you find and then reattach before turning on the tap!


When re-attaching the S-trap, ensure the rubber seals are still intact and not frayed or damaged as any damaged rubber seals will cause leakage.

If you find they are damaged, you can purchase new rubber seals. The 2 most common sizes are 40mm or 50mm but if you are unsure, simply take the damaged seal to your local Thrifty-Link Hardware store to have this matched to the correct size.

Keep in mind however, that pipes vary in each home and may be difficult to open. As this step may feel a little intimidating, you may wish to simply contact your local plumber.

If you’re unsure of what to do, pop by your local Thrifty-Link Hardware store for some friendly advice!