How to: Clear a Blocked Drain

Our team deals with blocked drains every day of the week and we know our stuff. Blocked drains are one of the most common plumbing issues, and we like to pass on our knowledge on what causes them, how you can clear them, and when you should call a professional to clear a blocked drain.

If left untreated, blocked drains can cause major damage to your property. For instance, they could be leaking sewage to underneath your house causing mould and also weakening the foundations of the dwelling. In general it’s a health risk having any overflowing sewage due to hepatitis B and other known forms of pathogens. So what causes your drains to block?

Most blockages are caused by tree roots entering the drains seeking water and nutrients. Once a tree root has entered a drain, they will continue growing larger and thicker until the drain is cleared. It’s worthwhile to note, however, that roots tend to grow back even after being cleared, if they have entered the drainage system. Other common causes for blocked drains include debris and silt building up from garden materials and washing into stormwater sumps and open drains, as well as fat, oils and foreign items getting into the drainage systems.
In some circumstances, the trouble can stem from incorrect installation and the earth moving from underneath the pipe. This can remove support from underneath the pipe, resulting in collapsed pipes.

As mentioned, blocked drains are an incredibly common nuisance, and something all of us are bound to come across from time to time. Slow drainage, bad smells, gurgling noises and overflowing are common signs that indicate your drain is blocked. So, if you notice a sudden change in your drainage speed, any unpleasant odours, gurgling sound, or overflows or raised water levels, it is time to give a specialist a call.

If you think the blockage is only minor and an easy fix, you can have a go at clearing the drain yourself. Check the inspection openings to your drains outside the property dwelling to see if all your sewer drains are blocked. A good indication of this is if the water level is high in the outside drains or overflowing. If this seems to be the case, it’s time to call the plumber as they will need specialised drain clearing equipment. If not, you can try the traditional tricks of using a plunger or boiled water to clear your drains from inside your property.

If, however, the above mentioned tricks don’t work, or you’re dealing with a bigger problem, get in touch with our team and we’ll have a fully qualified and licensed team member there on the same day. We use our specialist tools to find out where the problem is, what’s causing it and how we can fix it for the most cost-effective solution. Depending on the cause of the blockage our team will give advice and treatment options, as well as general knowledge, so your drains can keep running clearer for longer.

Other measures you can take to prevent blocked drains in the future are quite simple. Plant trees and shrubs as far away from your pipes as possible so their roots won’t disturb the drainage system. You should also use strainers over drains of sinks, bathrooms and so on to catch any foreign items, debris, hair and other common things that cause blockages. Lastly, you should learn the signs of a potential blocked drain so you can spot one and treat it before it becomes a bigger problem.

For more information on our blocked drain services and the tools we use, take a look at our Blocked Drain Plumber page.