Dealing with a clogged or blocked drain can be a real headache, and it’s crucial to address the issue promptly to prevent damage to your home. Don’t let blocked drains disrupt your daily life; follow these expert tips from Dynamic Tradies to maintain clear, free-flowing drains.
4 Signs You Have Blocked Drains
Foul odours are often the first noticeable sign of a blocked drain. When your sinks or drain holes emit unpleasant smells, it indicates something is amiss. This typically happens when household waste, such as paper, fat, and hair, accumulates and obstructs the drainpipe. While the blockage festers, it impedes the water’s flow and generates a persistently lousy smell that can permeate your home. If you detect a foul odour, it’s time to take action.
An overflowing toilet should be a significant cause for alarm. A blockage in your plumbing can lead to raw sewage spilling out of the toilet bowl, causing substantial hygiene concerns and potential damage to your property. Even with clean water, overflows in sinks can lead to extensive household damage. To identify potential blockages, inspect outdoor drains and maintenance holes from a safe distance and report your findings to a professional plumber. Timely action is critical to prevent more severe issues.
When water attempts to flow around a localised blockage within your drains, you may hear strange gurgling or unusual noises from pipes, sinks, and showers. These sounds are an indicator of trapped air within the plumbing system. Hearing these noises, particularly near bathtubs or showers, suggests a blockage further down the drainpipe. Addressing this issue promptly can prevent more significant problems from arising.
If you’ve noticed that water in sinks, showers, baths, or toilet bowls is slow to empty, pools, or forms bubbles, a blockage is likely causing the disruption. This occurs when an obstruction restricts the water flow, leading to delayed drainage. In cases where multiple fixtures are affected simultaneously, such as water level fluctuations in both the basin and the toilet bowl after flushing, it suggests that the blockage is located further down the main sewer drain.
Common Causes of Blocked Drains
Tree Roots: Tree roots infiltrating older pipes can cause significant damage, especially during dry spells when plants seek water sources.
Toiletries: Items like wipes, tissues, and sanitary products, when flushed down the toilet, can lead to severe blockages.
Foreign Objects: Keep kids’ toys out of the toilet to prevent hygiene issues and expensive blockages.
Cooking Oil: Kitchen oil, fat, and grease poured down the sink can thicken and harden, creating obstructions.
Food Scraps : Food waste can block sinks, even if you have a garbage disposal. Coffee grounds and tea leaves don’t break down and can cause blockages.
Tips To Help Fix Blocked Drains – Nowra, Ulladulla & Shoalhaven
When dealing with blocked drains, it’s essential to have a range of practical solutions. Dynamic Tradies is here to provide you with the know-how to tackle minor blockages and when to call in the professionals for stubborn issues.
One of the simplest remedies for minor, non-toxic blockages is to carefully pour boiling water down the sink or drain holes. This method is particularly effective in breaking down grease, soap, and food particles that may be causing the blockage. If you’re dealing with PVC pipes, opt for hot water rather than boiling water to avoid damaging them. To tackle grease-based bottlenecks, you can mix boiling water with a suitable detergent for better results.
Natural Drain Cleaners:
A household-friendly solution for dealing with blockages is the combination of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) and white vinegar. When these two substances react, they can break down grease and disintegrate solid blockages.
After using this method, flush the drains with hot water to remove any remaining residue. You can also explore commercial, eco-friendly cleaning fluids, such as bacteria-based enzyme cleaners, which are kind to the environment. However, this approach may not be practical against blockages caused by plastic objects or tree roots.
While not the most environmentally friendly option, commercial caustic cleaners can dissolve more challenging blockages like hair and grease. If you decide to use these products, ensure that you do so carefully, wearing protective gear and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
After leaving the chemicals in the drain for the recommended time, flush the pipes with cold water to minimise chemical residue (avoid using hot water, as it can react with the chemicals). Remember that caustic cleaners are unsuitable for PVC pipes, older pipes, or specific types of pipe glues.
Cup plungers are practical tools for unclogging sinks and drains without resorting to chemicals. Start by covering the overflow drain with tape or a damp cloth to create a seal when using a plunger.
To ensure sufficient pressure in a double sink, seal the second drain. The up-and-down motion of a plunger over the drainage hole creates an air-based force that can dislodge obstructions.
You can even improvise by using an empty milk carton to create a jet of air over the sinkhole. Greasy or mineral-based blockages may not respond as effectively to plunging and may require alternative methods.
DIY Drain Snake:
For minor blockages, use a coat hanger to scrape away nearby blockages, such as those caused by hair or soap buildup.
CCTV Drain Inspection Camera:
CCTV drain inspection cameras are invaluable for plumbers verifying cracked and obstructed pipes. These cameras are attached to a cable reel and guided through the lines, providing real-time inspection and precise identification of the problem.
This technology enables professionals to assess the extent of the blockage and recommend the most suitable solution.
High-Pressure Water Jet:
Hydro jets, or high-pressure water jets, are powerful tools capable of dislodging even the most stubborn blockages. However, operating this equipment requires the expertise of a trained plumber, as the force generated by high-pressure water can be significant.
The water jet can effectively remove tree roots and obstructions, providing a comprehensive blockage solution.
It’s commonly seen that most blockages require excavation work as a permanent solution. Plumbers may need to dig out the area around the affected pipe, remove the blockage, repair any damage, replace the pipe, and backfill the site.
This is often required when old clay pipes or PVC pipes have cracked or collapsed, leading to severe blockages. A complete replacement of the damaged section may be necessary to clear the blockage effectively.
A professional plumber can opt for pipe relining as a cost-effective solution for older, damaged pipes. This method uses an epoxy resin that hardens, rendering the pipe watertight and resistant to further issues like tree root intrusion. Before relining, plumbers employ CCTV inspections and water jets to locate and clear blockages. This “No Dig” pipe relining is popular for those looking to repair their pipes without disrupting their landscaping or property.
Whether you’re dealing with a minor hiccup or a more serious plumbing issue, you can count on the Dynamic Tradies team 24/7 to sort out those pesky blocked drains. Just reach out to our team via our chat button below or book a time with us.