Blocked drainage pipes are a common issue in household appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers. These can cause issues with your appliance draining and become a nuisance when trying to get your washing done. In this article, we look at effective methods to clear clogged waste pipes and provide tips to prevent future blockages.
What are the signs of a blocked drainage pipe?
The main sign of a blocked drainage pipe is that your appliance simply isn’t draining, or seems to cut out when it needs to drain. Other signs can include gurgling sounds when it is draining, draining slower than usual, or not starting another cycle as the machine detects water in the appliance.
Before checking for blockages
Before you pull the machine out to check the drainage pipes for blockages, we suggest checking the filter on your appliance. This is because debris can collect in the filter which creates a blockage internally. By removing the blockage in the filter, it may fix any drainage issues without the need to check the drainage pipes.
Manoeuvre the pipe to dislodge debris
If you believe the blockage is in the drainage pipe and not the filter, you can start looking at the pipes. We recommend repositioning to remove any kinks or bends which could be restricting the water flow. You may find this fixes the issue immediately. If it is still going slowly you may need to do a bit more movement to dislodge. You can disconnect the hose from under the sink, put it into a bucket, and run a cycle whilst ensuring you are holding the pipe to avoid the possibility of any bends. This will help the movement of any debris.
Using a drain snake
A drain snake is a simple solution for a blocked drainage pipe. You can get these from most hardware stores. To use them, detach the hose from under the sink and push the drain snake down into the hose until you feel a clog or blockage. Once you feel the blockage, twist the snake around to break down the debris. Alternatively, you can try to grab the blockage with the end of the drain snake and pull it upwards to remove it from the hose. When doing this, ensure you are not too harsh as this could damage the hose.
Flush out the blockage with hot water and vinegar
You can try a cleaning hack of mixing 1 cup of vinegar and 2 cups of water to flush out the blockage. Boil this solution and pour it down the waste pipe. This will help to remove the blockage, but vinegar can also deodorise the hose to remove any foul smells.
Clean with a commercial cleaner
You can even try a commercial drain cleaning solution which can be bought from various retailers or hardware stores. Simply follow the instructions which typically involve pouring some solution into the drainage hose to break down any dirt and grease. We suggest checking your user manual to ensure it is suitable for your appliance.
Prevention tips for future blockages
You can adopt a few habits to prevent future blockages. For washing machines, always check the pockets of all your clothing before putting it in the wash. Similarly, check items of clothing for loose buttons or threads before a cycle. This prevents any small debris from slipping through the filter and into the waste hose which can create a blockage.
With dishwashers, ensure to rinse any dishes before washing, as small food deposits can create a large blockage over time.
There are many different ways to unblock your appliances waste pipes, from moving the pipes to trying a vinegar cleaning hack. Before you try any of these tips, always check your user manual for specific information about your product.
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