Plumbing Articles

Blocked Drains

Minor blocked drain can become a big headache, causing substantial damage to your home. It can also become a major inconvenience for you and your family.

Blocked drains are one of the most common plumbing issues we solve on a near daily and weekly basis for our clients. Many of the houses in Inner West Brisbane still have their house waste connected to old earthenware or clay pipe sewers. These can be notorious for allowing tree roots to grown inside if they are cracked due to earth movement and re-alignment. The best way to tackle this problem is to use a drain cleaning machine to remove the tree roots and allow a free run through the pipe for sewerage to flow. If the blockages continually occur, it may be worth considering getting the line replaced with PVC pipe.

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A sewer line clog might be unseen, but it can cause extensive damage inside a property.

The average property owner probably knows that sewer lines help transport waste water from the property to underground sewer mains. Beyond that, most property owners give little thought to their sewer lines until they have some type of clog.

A sewer line clog could lead to a raw sewage backup coming out of the drains, which could lead to significant damage to the property and an expensive sewer line repair or replacement.

Property owners who understand and respond to their property’s early warning system can stave off severe sewer and plumbing issues.

It may take a while for a blockage to build up and become completely apparent, but once a problem has started to take its toll it will be obvious very quickly. Keep an eye – and ear, and nose – out for these symptoms, and don’t hesitate to take action.

The sights
One of the most obvious signs that a drain is blocked is if your toilet, shower, bath or sinks are draining slowly. If a blockage is particularly bad, water may not drain away at all. If just one of these things is having issues, then the blockage is likely in the fixture itself. However, if all of them are backed up, then the blockage is most likely to be in the sewer drain.

The toilet is often the main driver for a blockage – if flushing the toilet causes water to rise in the shower, or running taps causes the water in the toilet to rise, then you’ve got a blocked drain on your hands. Essentially, if any water-based appliances are causing water to appear elsewhere when used, there’s a problem. Don’t forget to check external drains and manhole covers (from the outside – you should never go inside manholes) on your property – if there’s a blockage, water will start to rise here too.

Foul Odour
The most unpleasant symptom of all – foul smells are a dead giveaway for a blocked drain. If something has blocked the drain and begun to rot, you will certainly know about it. The bad smell may well begin to occur before any visual symptoms emerge, so if you start to catch whiffs of something being a little bit off then don’t ignore it.

Gurgling Sound
Finally, if your pipes and fixtures sound different to usual, it could be an indication of a blockage. Gurgling noises from drains, plug holes, toilet flushes and pipes are early warning signs – the sound is created when air trapped in the pipes by the blockage is displaced and pushed up through the system.

Any one of these symptoms on their own is cause for concern, but if you’re noticing two – or even all three – then you may well have a plumbing emergency on your hands.

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A blocked drain is a common plumbing inconvenience, which requires investigation to its location and cause in order to be rectified. Here are some of the common blocked drain issues, and their causes.

If you have any blockages at your property, contact the team at Faulkner Plumbers as we have the experience and tools to fix the blocked drain.

Common Causes of Blocked Drains

There are seemingly innocent products all over your house that pose a slow and steady threat to your drains. Every drain in your home has its own set of culprits.

Shower: Soap scum, hair and dirt slowly work their way down the shower drain. Over time, the buildup will cause a nasty drain blockage. Before the drain becomes completely blocked, you’ll notice the drain slowing and water taking longer to drain.

Bathroom Sink: Hair gets into the bathroom sink too. Toothpaste and soap residue will also build up over time, backing up your drain.

Kitchen Sink: We all love having a garbage disposal in prime working order. The problem is, it almost dares you to cram any type of kitchen waste down its throat. The main drain blockage reasons are food particles and kitchen grease.

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Blocked Sewer
The main sewer line leading from the council sewer to your home can be blocked due to tree roots, accumulation of waste or a bow in the pipes. A drain cleaning machine will need to be used to remove the blockage. In some cases, a drain camera may need to be used to locate the cause of the blockage to prevent it happening again.

Blocked Toilet
A blocked toilet can be caused from too much paper waste, not enough water flow or flushing the wrong waste. The toilet should only flush pee, poo and paper as quoted by Qld Urban Utilities. Children can flush toys or unknown objects down the toilet. Often a plunger can remove the blockage, but in some cases, a machine may need to be used to remove the blockage.

Blocked Shower or Bath Drain
A blocked shower or bath drain is usually caused by an accumulation of hair and soap, which can congeal at the bottom of the drain. This sludge can cause waste water to back up through the drain.

Blocked Basin or Sink
Basin drains can catch hair, toothpaste and soap and this can cause the s-trap to block up if not enough water is used to drain away. Sometimes the trap may need to be replaced or cleaned out to clear the waste.

Blocked Stormwater Drain
A blocked stormwater drain can be cause from water run off that moves sand, dirt, leaves and even rubbish into the stormwater grate and pit. Be vigilant in cleaning gutters and checking downpipes to prevent blockages.

If you have any blockages at your property, contact the team at Faulkner Plumbers as we have the experience and tools to fix the blocked drain.

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