How to Unblock a Basin Waste

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How to Unblock a Basin Waste

At the beginning of last week, I noticed the water was starting to back up in the basin in my ensuite. I knew the blockage was in my basin waste, as the rest of the fixtures in the house drained normally. Here is what I did to unblock my basin waste:

Call my dad – the retired plumber to help me out. LOL.

I needed our sanisnake tool to unblock the basin waste. I was prepared to buy one myself, when I called dad to see if he still had the one we used when we both worked on the tools.

Dad was able to locate it and came over promptly to help me out.

I could have used my plunger, but experience has proven a sanisnake is the best option as the basin waste can accumulate with hair and soap, and sometimes the force of a plunger won’t necessarily push the blockage through.

blocked up basin waste
The common reason basins block up. Gross, hey?

Unblocking a basin waste with a sanisnake or auger as they are also known, is the best way to unblock a drain. Basin wastes can block up due to an accumulation of hair, toothpaste and whatever else gets rinsed down the basin. It can congeal in the trap or further along the line and cause a blockage. I had wondered if my girls had forced something down our ensuite basin to cause the water to back up.

To unblock a basin waste, the basin trap needs to be undone. Pour the waste water from the trap into the toilet (providing it won’t block up the toilet waste! Usually it won’t as the toilet waste is 100mm in diameter). My trap was full of soapy gunk which I was happy to flush away.

How to Unblock a Basin Waste

We took the floor grate off the floor waste that was directly in front of my basin. I used a torch to look for the end of the sanisnake as it made its way into the floor waste. Usually the end of the sanisnake will push the blockage out into the floor waste or the blockage will wrap itself around the end of the snake when it’s wound back up.

sanisnake unblocking basin waste

A torch is needed to look down the floor waste so you can see that the end of the sanisnake has made its way into the floor waste. Once the basin trap is hooked up, fill the basin with water and it should drain away quickly. You should see water run freely into the floor waste, which shows the waste has been unblocked.

torch down floor waste

We did pour a bit of Mo-Flo down the basin waste and shower waste to give the drains a good clean. My house smelled like a sewer for half the day, but once aired out, the smell does goes away. The last time we gave my shower and basin waste a good clean was 6 years ago.

open floor waste

A sanisnake or auger can be purchased from your local hardware store, but a good quality one can be purchased from your local plumbing supplier. It’s a great tool to have when unblocking kitchen sinks and basin wastes. If the sanisnake doesn’t do the job, it’s time to call a plumber with a jet rodder machine. It could also be a sign there may be a bigger issue (like tree roots) that could be causing the water to drain slowing from your waste pipes.

My basin drains efficiently now. If you have a blocked basin drain, you can try natural remedies, but usually, a tool will be needed to force the blockage out. If you’re not confident in unblocking your basin waste, call your local licensed plumber. It’s a job they can do efficiently for you.

As murphy’s law has it, the basin in the girl’s bathroom has started to slowly back up. Guess what job is on the to-do list this week!

Ever had to unblock a basin waste in your house? How did you unblock it?