Proper drainage is essential for the smooth functioning of our homes and businesses. However, nothing can be more frustrating than dealing with blocked drains. They disrupt our daily routines, emit unpleasant odours, and even lead to potential damage if left untreated.
In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of blocked drains, exploring the signs to watch out for, the common causes behind these pesky drain blockages, and, most importantly, effective fixes to clear them out.
Signs of Blocked Drains
Water takes longer than usual to clear a blocked drain from sinks, showers, or tubs. Accumulation of water around the drain area.
Foul and lingering smells come from drains, especially in the bathroom or the kitchen sink. Odours can be caused by decomposing food particles, trapped hair, or stagnant water.
Unusual gurgling or bubbling noises come from drains, particularly when using other plumbing fixtures. Indicative of air trapped in the pipes due to blockages.
Water Backing Up
Water coming back up through drains or overflowing from toilets, sinks, or tubs. It can occur when blockages prevent water from flowing freely through the drainage system.
These signs warn that your drains may be blocked and require attention. It’s important not to ignore these symptoms, as they can worsen over time and lead to more significant plumbing issues.
Causes of Blocked Drains
Accumulation of Hair and Soap Residue in Shower Drains:
Hair, particularly long strands, can easily get caught in the shower drain and form clumps. Soap residue combines with hair, forming sticky clogs that impede water flow.
Food Debris and Grease Build-up in Kitchen Sinks:
Leftover food scraps, oils, and greasy substances can accumulate in the drainpipes. Over time, they solidify and create blockages that hinder water drainage.
Flushing Inappropriate Items Down Toilets:
Flushing items like baby wipes, cotton balls, sanitary products, or paper towels can cause a blocked toilet bowl. These materials do not break down easily and can get lodged in the plumbing system.
Tree Roots Intrusion into Drain Pipes:
Tree roots naturally seek moisture and can invade drain pipes through small cracks or joints. As roots grow, they pressure the pipes, causing them to crack or collapse.
Broken or Damaged Pipes:
Aging pipes, corrosion, or external factors like ground movement can damage pipes. Cracked or collapsed pipes impede water flow and provide spaces for debris to accumulate.
Identifying the specific cause of a blocked drain is crucial in determining the most effective solution. By understanding these common causes, you can proactively prevent blockages and address any underlying issues.
Effective Fixes to Clear Blocked Drains
Explore these six ways to clear your blocked drains. These methods range from simple do-it-yourself techniques to professional plumbing services, providing various options to tackle different types of blockages.
- Baking Soda and Vinegar
- Mix half a cup of baking soda and vinegar and pour it down the drain.
- Let the mixture sit for about 30 minutes, allowing the chemical reaction to break down blockages.
- Flush the drain with hot water to clear away the loosened debris.
- Boil a kettle or heat a pot of water until it reaches boiling point.
- Start by carefully pouring boiling water down the drain in two to three stages, allowing it to work for a few seconds.
- The heat can dissolve grease and other substances that contribute to the blockage, helping to flush them away.
- Insert a drain or plumber’s snake into the blocked drain and maneuver it through the pipes.
- Rotate or push the snake to break up or dislodge the blockage.
- Pull out the snake, along with the accumulated debris, to clear the drain.
- Use caustic drain cleaners as directed on the packaging.
- These cleaners contain powerful chemicals that can dissolve stubborn blockages.
- Follow safety precautions and instructions carefully when using caustic cleaners.
- Create a seal around the drain with a plunger.
- Push the plunger vigorously to create suction and pressure, dislodging the blockage.
- Repeat if necessary, and flush the drain with hot water to clear any remaining debris.
- If the blockage persists or the DIY methods are ineffective, it may be time to seek professional help.
- Professional plumbers have the expertise and specialised tools to diagnose and clear stubborn blockages.
- They can use techniques such as high-pressure water jetting or more advanced methods to tackle severe blockages.
These six tried and tested methods offer a range of options to clear your blocked drains. Before progressing to more aggressive approaches like caustic cleaners, it’s important to start with the gentlest methods for clearing blocked drains, such as baking soda, vinegar, or hot water. Remember to exercise caution when using chemicals and always follow the instructions provided. If all else fails, don’t hesitate to contact a professional plumber who can expertly assess and resolve the issue.
Professional Solutions for Blocked Drains
When faced with a stubbornly blocked drain, sometimes the DIY methods just don’t cut it. That’s when it’s time to turn to the expertise of professional plumbers with the knowledge, skills, and specialised tools to effectively resolve even the most challenging blockages. Professional solutions for blocked drains go beyond simple home remedies, offering advanced techniques and services that can restore the proper flow of water in your plumbing system.
Clogged Drain Cleaning Services
- High-Pressure Water Jetter:
- Professional plumbers use high-pressure water jetters to clear stubborn blockages.
- The jetter releases a powerful stream of water into the drain, dislodging and flushing away the blockage.
- It effectively removes grease, scale, and other debris from the pipes.
- Plumbing Snake or Drain Auger:
- Plumbers employ plumbing snakes or drain augers, which are long, flexible cables with a coiled ends.
- The snake is inserted into the drain and rotated, allowing the coiled end to break up or retrieve the blockage.
- This method is particularly useful for clearing solid obstructions like tree roots or accumulated debris.
- Pipe Relining for Damaged Pipes:
- Professional plumbers may recommend pipe relining when the drainpipes are damaged.
- Pipe relining involves creating a new lining within the existing pipe using a specialised resin.
- This process repairs cracks, leaks, and damaged areas, restoring the functionality of the drainpipes.
Drain Blockage Repairs:
- Professional plumbers are equipped to diagnose and repair various types of clogged drains.
- They can identify the cause of the blockage, whether it’s a broken pipe, collapsed sewer line, or other issues.
- Blocked drain repairs may involve replacing damaged pipe sections, fixing joints, or addressing structural issues in the drainage system.
Blocked Sewer Drain and Stormwater Pipe:
- Professional plumbers are experienced in dealing with broken pipes, blocked sewer lines and stormwater drains.
- They have the expertise and equipment to diagnose and clear blockages in these critical parts of the drainage system.
- Plumbers can utilise specialised techniques such as CCTV drain inspections to locate and resolve issues within sewer and stormwater drains.
A blocked drain plumber offers expertise and specialised tools to tackle severe blockages and complex drainage system issues. Professional plumbers can efficiently clear stubborn blockages and restore proper drainage, whether utilising high-pressure water jetters, drain snakes or pipe relining.
In cases where repairs are needed, they can address damaged pipes and ensure the integrity of the plumbing system. Moreover, professional plumbers are well-equipped to handle blocked sewer and stormwater drains, which require specific knowledge and solutions. They can also provide some tips and recommendations on how to prevent blocked drains in the future.
Timely action is crucial when dealing with drain blockage. Ignoring the signs or delaying action can result in more severe plumbing issues and costly repairs. You can maintain a healthy and efficient drainage system in your home or business by recognising the signs, implementing preventive measures, and seeking expertly trained plumbers. Don’t hesitate to take action and restore the water flow, ensuring a hassle-free and properly functioning plumbing system.