A blocked drain will bring chaos into any household or business.
Not only does it render the sink completely unusable, but you’re also left with that gunk floating around in a pool of off-coloured water.
But a blocked drain, for all its chaos and disruption, is not insurmountable. Here are some common causes and ways to get your plumbing system running smoothly again.
Getting ahead of the game is key – especially when it comes to blocked drains. The longer you ignore these early warning signs the more blocked your drain could get:
- Bathroom/Kitchen sinks draining slower than usual
- Strange gurgling sounds coming from the drainpipe
- Bad smells coming from the drain
- The toilet is almost overflowing every time you flush
Several reasons could be behind your drain blockage. Here are the most likely:
You’re probably thinking…really? Can soap block drains?
Unfortunately, it’s true – many blocked drains are the result of soap and other sanitary products being discarded down the drain. These can slowly build up and (often with a mixture of hair, dust, and other debris) can cause a blocked drain.
Unless you’re running some underground barber shop in your bathroom, this issue will probably only crop up once in a while – but when it does – boy things can get messy.
Loose hair can easily build up inside a drain pipe, and form nasty little knots as it grows bigger and deadlier. These can compound over time and cause blockages to your drain system. If you start to see hair building up around the drain hole – make sure to remove it before it gets swallowed up.
Tree roots are a menace to vulnerable plumbing systems. Constantly on the search for water, they invade wherever possible with sometimes disastrous effects.
Preventing or even finding out about this issue is predictably quite difficult, as the whole event is taking place underground.
It’s best to know where your sewage pipes are located and keep track of how the root systems interact with your property – that way you can better diagnose the issue. But realistically – you’re going to want a professional plumber for this job – as it can get complex.
All pipes have a lifetime. And many suburban pipe systems are prone to becoming bent, split, filled with debris, or damaged due to earthworks or general wear and tear. Basically, old and damaged pipes can cause mayhem in your bathroom or kitchen sink.
Check for water damage around your property – as this can indicate a potential rupture and make sure you call a plumber as soon as possible to deal with the situation.
Oils and fats simply should not mix with drain pipes. If you’re regularly disposing of oils and fatty liquids into the sink – this could be your undoing. These liquids can easily re-solidify somewhere down the drain and lead to a blockage.
Try to keep fatty substances away from the sink and let them solidify first before disposing of them safely in the bin or compost.
Whether it’s a cheap ring that wasn’t worth the hassle or a stray condom that didn’t quite make it to the bin, items washed down the drain could have serious implications for your plumbing system.
When was the last time you dropped something down the drain? Chances are, you don’t remember because it was ages ago. But the drain will remember. Because anything and everything that doesn’t belong down there is probably still there, lodged in place and catching oodles of hair and other debris as time goes by.
Depending on what sort of blockage you’re dealing with, you have a few different options in front of you:
- Assess the situation and see what might be causing the blockage.
- Try pouring boiling water down the drain. This could loosen up any greasy fats, or soapy deposits.
- Try to unblock using a plunger.
- Dry unblock the drain using a DIY drain snake with wire from a coat hanger.
- Call a plumber. They can get to the root of the issue and fix your drain.
DIY methods can yield results. But they can also be potentially dangerous and harmful. Here are some things to avoid when you start your drain-clearing crusade:
- Pouring chemicals down the drain – this could seriously damage your pipes and cause further damage to your plumbing system.
- Using the wrong plunger size for your drain can result in some nasty splash-back.
- Sticking something down there that could get stuck.
- Using a hose to ‘flush out’ the drain.
Blocked drains can make life a living nightmare. And leaving it blocked isn’t a solution because that smell ain’t going anywhere, and yeah, you’re going to have to use that sink at some point.
Call the blocked drain professionals today. They’ll be over to assist you with all the right equipment and know-how.