Common causes of blocked drains guide, Online property drainage advice, Home plumber tips
Common causes of blocked drains
9 December 2023
Blocked drains are a widespread issue in households, often causing inconvenience and, in severe cases, leading to significant plumbing problems. Understanding the causes of these blockages is essential in identifying the most effective solutions.
Commonly, blocked drains result from the accumulation of foreign materials like hair, grease, food particles, and soap scum in the pipes. Over time, these materials can build up, hindering the free flow of water.
In some cases, tree roots searching for water sources can also infiltrate pipes, leading to obstructions. Additionally, the improper disposal of sanitary products, wipes, and other non-biodegradable items can contribute to blockages.
Also, in Australia, where varied climates can impact plumbing systems differently, addressing blocked drains promptly and efficiently is crucial to maintaining a well-functioning household.
Effective Solutions for Blocked Drains
Once a blockage occurs, it’s important to approach the problem methodically. The first step is to identify the severity and location of the blockage. Simple blockages, often found in kitchen or bathroom sinks, can sometimes be resolved with basic techniques such as using a plunger. Read more info on this link https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2023/jul/19/how-to-dispose-of-cooking-oil-australia-cant-go-down-sink.
A plunger works by creating a seal around the drain opening and using air pressure to dislodge the blockage. For this method to be effective, ensure there is enough water in the sink to cover the plunger’s head, creating a strong vacuum effect.
For stubborn blockages, chemical drain cleaners can be used, but with caution. These cleaners contain powerful chemicals that dissolve grease, hair, and other common blockages.
However, they can be harsh on pipes and the environment, so it’s advisable to use them sparingly and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. It’s also important to consider the type of pipes in your home, as older pipes may be more susceptible to damage from chemical cleaners.
Another effective solution for clearing blocked drains is the use of a plumber’s snake or drain auger. This tool is a long, flexible rod that can be inserted into the drain to physically break up the blockage. It’s particularly useful for obstructions that are beyond the reach of plungers.
The snake is fed into the drain until it reaches the blockage, and then it is twisted and pushed to break up and clear the obstruction. This method can be more effective than plunging, especially for blockages deeper within the pipes.
For blockages that are difficult to locate or remove, high-pressure water jetting can be a viable solution. This process involves sending a high-pressure stream of water through the pipes to blast away blockages.
It’s an effective way to clear away not only the immediate blockage but also any build-up along the pipe walls. High-pressure water jetting is a method often used by professional plumbers and can be particularly effective for severe blockages or in situations where other methods have failed. Discover more on this page.
In some cases, blocked drains may be symptomatic of more significant plumbing issues, such as broken or collapsed pipes. In these instances, it’s crucial to engage a professional plumber. Professional plumbers have the expertise and equipment to diagnose and resolve complex issues.
They can use tools like CCTV drain cameras to inspect the pipes internally and identify the exact location and nature of the blockage or damage. This technology allows for a targeted approach to repair, saving time and reducing the need for extensive excavation.
Prevention is always better, especially when it comes to plumbing. So, while you’re in the kitchen, avoid disposing of grease and food scraps in the sink. Instead, wipe down greasy pans with a paper towel before washing and use sink strainers to catch food particles. In bathrooms, regular cleaning to remove hair and soap scum can go a long way in preventing blockages.
Homeowners should also consider regular maintenance checks by a professional plumber. This can be particularly beneficial in older Australian homes where the plumbing system might be more susceptible to issues like tree root intrusion. Regular checks can identify potential problems before they escalate into major blockages, saving both time and money in the long run.
Professional Fixes for Blocked Drains
First of all, one of the key advantages of blocked drain experts is their ability to accurately diagnose the root cause of the blockage.
Unlike the trial-and-error approach often associated with DIY methods, professionals use their expertise and experience to quickly identify the underlying issue, whether it’s a simple clog, damaged pipes, or tree root infiltration. This accurate diagnosis is essential for applying the correct solution and preventing recurrent problems.
Not only that, but experts have access to advanced tools and equipment that are not typically available to homeowners. This includes high-strength augers, hydro-jetting machines, and CCTV cameras for drain inspection.
For instance, a CCTV drain survey involves inserting a small camera into the drain to visually inspect the interior of the pipes, helping to identify blockages, cracks, or collapses. This equipment allows for a more thorough and effective clearing of blockages than what can be achieved with basic household tools.
Professionals not only bring efficiency to the task but also ensure safety. Drain cleaning and unblocking can involve dealing with harmful bacteria, chemicals, or potentially damaging high-pressure water jets.
They are trained to handle these hazards safely, protecting both themselves and your property. They also know how to effectively use chemical agents, ensuring that they don’t damage your plumbing or the environment.
They also provide solutions that aim to prevent future blockages. After clearing a block, they often clean the entire pipe to remove buildup that could cause future issues. Furthermore, they can offer valuable advice on maintenance practices and changes to household habits to minimise the risk of future blockages.
While some may hesitate to call in professionals due to concerns about cost, in the long run, professional services can actually be more cost-effective. Improperly handled blockages can lead to more significant plumbing issues, resulting in higher expenses. Professionals ensure that the job is done right the first time, saving homeowners from repeated or escalated problems.
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