The Manual - How to unblock a drain

You will need: heavy-duty rubber gloves and drain rods (interlocking rods are preferred to screw type).

1 Locate manhole

2 Lift inspection cover to establish where the blockage is.

3 Connect two of the rods and insert into the blocked pipe.

4 Keep connecting more rods until it is long enough to reach the blockage. (Childhood Meccano skills will come in handy here).

5 Move the rods back and forth and turn clockwise to clear (DO NOT turn anticlockwise. If you are using the screw type this
will cause them to unscrew and leave you with a drain even more blocked than when you started!)

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6 You will feel when the drain is clear of the blockage.

7 Run water down to ensure it is totally clear.

8 Stand back and enjoy the sudden lack of stench.

* If the drain keeps re-blocking then accept defeat and call a professional.

Words by Shammy Kalkat with Lee Trodd, plumber