Blocked drains are a complete headache to deal with. The drains in our homes usually function unseen each day. They ensure that wastewater leaves our property and enters the main sewer without any problem. However, when there is a blockage in your drainage, either in your home pipes or the main sewer pipes, the draining of wastewater is reduced or stops. This problem can then result in flooding in your bathroom or any area where the drain is blocked. It can also let out an unpleasant and foul smell that may be hazardous for your health.
Blocked drains are common in homes and businesses. They can also cause serious damage to property. Pooling water can damage the floors, walls, furnishings and ceilings. Water damage can further cause mould or mildew growth which are both difficult to get rid of and can be harmful to your health and your family’s.
There are signs that you have to be aware of that tells you that you have a blocked drain. These include slow drainage of showers, toilets, sinks and baths, no drainage at all, gurgling noises, backing up of wastewater into showers or baths and the smell of sewage from the drains.
But what actually causes blocked drains? Drains were designed to carry wastewater out of the house, they were not, however, designed to deal with other materials. Various solid, non-degradable items that find their way into the drain pipe system, can build up and cause a blockage or a blocked drain.
Products like sanitary items, condoms, wipes, fats and oils, tree roots, leaves and other debris can cause a drain to be clogged or blocked. Feminine hygiene items take a long time to break down and are not designed to be flushed down the toilet even if their labels say that they are flushable. Therefore, they have to be disposed in a rubbish bin and not into the toilet drain.
Condoms also take many years before they can break down and should not be flushed down the toilet. Wipes don’t break down easily as well and can cause a blocked drain. Some manufacturers label their wipes as degradable and flushable, but they are actually not. They can really block the toilet if flush them in it. They should be disposed of in the rubbish bin to keep the toilet block-free.
The build-up of fats and oils in the drain pipes can cause serious blockages that are very difficult to remove. Oils and fats harden inside drain pipes once they have cooled down and solidify. The solidified oil and fat then causes blockage on the drain pipes. Therefore, oils and fats should not be poured down the drain to prevent clogging.
When drain pipes are damaged by tree roots, they crush the pipes and might even grow inside them and prevent wastewater from draining or escaping. Avoid planting trees near your drainage system to prevent this from happening.
Leaves and other kinds of debris can also cause blockages to drains, especially in autumn. We recommend that you remove leaves and other debris caught in your drains to prevent clogging the drain pipes that go to the main sewer. It is good to clean the gutters regularly, especially after a storm. Keeping the gutters clean will help them do their job properly and effectively, which is to drain waste water away from your property. If you find it difficult to clear the gutters on your own, you have the option of hiring a tradie to handle the task for you.
Hair is also a major cause of blocked drains. Humans lose about 100 hairs each day and many of them come off in the shower. When you wash your hair, strands fall out and go down the drain with the water. If several people use the same shower, a hair build up is likely to happen in your pipes and can cause a blockage. You can, however, prevent it from going down the drain. Put a drain catcher to catch the hair that accumulates and dispose of in the rubbish properly.
Some foreign objects like your toddler’s toys and other items sometimes find their way down the drains and can likely block them. Sometimes you also run the risk of cracking the drain pipes and cause more damage if a pipe leaks. The only thing that you should flush down the toilet is urine, faecal matter and toilet paper to prevent serious toilet drain blockage problems.
Every household is responsible for blocked drains that occur inside a homeowner’s property. A property owner is responsible for fixing any blocked drain problems inside his or her property. However, if the problem is a blockage in the main sewer pipe, the local water and sewage company is responsible for fixing the problem.
If you experience a blocked drain in your premises, it is best to hire a plumber to address the issue or problem. You can also tackle the problem on your own if you feel confident and know exactly how to fix it. Unblocking the drain on your own can save you money but it has to be done properly to really fix the problem.
Some techniques used to remove clogs or blockages from drains include the use of baking soda and vinegar, the use of drain unblocking chemicals, and the use of hoses and rods.
The use of baking soda and vinegar is a powerful combination of eco-friendly materials that can remove blockages from drains. With the combination of these two kitchen ingredients and a plumber, your simple blocked drains can be unclogged. The use of unblocking chemicals can remove stubborn blockages but are not very much recommended because harsh chemicals can harm the environment and are not eco-friendly. Drain rods, with a powerful water hose and plunger, can help you tackle blockages in your property. However, you might need to lift the manhole cover in your yard to find where the blockage is. Rods should be used clockwise. If done otherwise, you are at risk of unscrewing and making the blockage worse.
Helpful details for a Blocked Drain and Emergency Plumber situation: