A blocked drain can be an absolute nightmare to deal with and it’s likely to cause more than a few problems. While some can be easily unplugged with a few simple tricks, you may need professional help in order to open up the pipes inside or outside your home.
There are a wide range of reasons your drains may be blocked. It can be difficult to tell what the exact problem is without the necessary equipment to check, but there are certain things that are more likely than others to cause issues. These include:
The main cause of blocked pipes has nothing to do with people and everything to do with trees. Tree roots can manage to get inside drain pipes, thanks to the water content. They then break through a small crack and grow into the pipe, causing a complete blockage that needs professional help to get rid of it.
If any trees exist near your pipes, you should be very careful of tree roots. It’s best to inspect the pipes with a video camera at least once every few years. This allows you to take care of the problem before it becomes too serious and results in a complete blockage. If you can prevent the issue by cutting back the roots before they even reach the pipes, you won’t need to worry later on.
Fat and Grease
Many people dump their kitchen waste down the drain. It may seem like an easy disposal method, particularly if you’re using hot water to wash your dishes. However, these substances can cool and solidify in the pipes, then collect other waste to add to the clog. Eventually, the grease forms a complete blockage that must be cleared out by a professional.
Even fatty things like meat and chocolate being sent down the garbage disposal can create a blockage, due to the fat content. Be very careful what you put down the drain.
In shower and bathtub drains, it’s not uncommon to find that hair has caused the blockage. This is a big problem because it doesn’t just disintegrate over time, like paper might. Everyone loses hair and often that hair is washed out when we’re in the shower. The end result is essentially a hairball in the drain, which collects soap scum and becomes more solid.
If your water has a lot of dissolved minerals in it, these will tend to build up on the inside of the pipe. They can end up creating a thick layer of calcium or metal and magnesium, or what we refer to as scale. This scale can eventually block the pipe completely.
Pipe scale tends to attract more of the same and so it can grow quite rapidly. You may even see it in the shower or faucets as a white build up that can be quite annoying. However, inside the pipe, it’s downright dangerous, so regular inspections are a must.
Feminine Hygiene Products
Surprisingly, feminine hygiene products end up in the toilet quite often, despite not being designed to biodegrade. They catch in the plumbing and cause blockages that may require professional help to unclog. Since they are made with fibres that absorb liquid, they can expand and collect other items that will also block your pipes.
Nothing in the sewers will break down pads, tampons, applicators, or pad wrappers. These should be disposed of in the rubbish bin to prevent clogs.
Despite the fact that these wipes are supposed to be flushable, they can wreak havoc in your drainage system. They’re supposed to disintegrate once flushed, but they don’t actually do that in many cases. The wipes can catch in the pipes and create a blockage that prevents other waste from moving down the pipe. In some cities, water treatment systems use shredders to get rid of the wipes.
Most flushable items are not actually meant to be flushed and can create problems if they are. Essentially, the only thing your toilet is designed to handle is water, toilet paper, and human waste. Anything else can cause some serious issues with the pipes.
These are just a few of the more common reasons for blockages being found in drainpipes. Once you know what causes them, it’s easier to prevent the issues, but what if you already have a blockage?
You’ll notice that things just aren’t right when your drains are blocked. In most cases, if your drain seems slow, you should call in a professional drain cleaner immediately. The longer you wait, the worse the problem will get. Here are some of the signs that a drain is clogged and you need some help.
Slow Drainage: Your sink or tub may not drain rapidly anymore and the water sits in the basin for a while before slowly trickling away. This is a sign that the water has to pass through a clog in order to reach the pipes.
Horrible Smells: Does your bathroom smell bad? Does your kitchen drain stink? These foul odours are often due to stagnant water in the pipes, with rotting food or waste stuck in a clog. This happens when grease captures other food and items and the bacteria get to work.
Toilet Backs Up: When you flush your toilet, does the waste flush out completely or does the toilet water level rise before sinking down again? If it does, you may have a serious problem on your hands and it’s best fixed before you end up with human waste all over the floor.
Odd Gurgling: When your sink starts to gurgle and make bubbling sounds, particularly when it drains slowly, you are most likely dealing with a big clog that will need to be cleared out as soon as possible. The gurgling is caused by the water trying to move past the clogs.
Gunk in the Drains: Have you noticed dark ooze in the drains? When you have a blockage, it can cause this unpleasant, and usually stinky, gunk to form. This muck tends not to rinse away easily and comes back almost immediately.
Fly Infestation: Are you seeing more flies than usual, particularly in the bathroom or kitchen sink area? Fruit flies and regular flies are more likely to abound when you have a drainage blockage, since they can be attracted by the scent of rotting food and waste. They will also tend to lay eggs in the drains, causing more and more to appear.
Water Returns: Have you noticed water rising in your sinks? This may be more likely to happen in sinks that are on a lower level than the other bathrooms and drains in the house, but this can indicate a blockage in a drainage pipe. The water has nowhere else to go, so it comes back up in the lowest sink. Even if you don’t actually see the water rising, you may notice puddles around your sink or laundry areas, or anywhere there are drains. The water may or may not contain waste.
As unpleasant as these signs are, they are a good indication that you need to find a professional to come look at your drains immediately. Never leave a potential clog until later, since it can end up being far more serious and causing water damage and other types of damage in the long term.
As soon as you suspect that there is a blocked drain outside the house, you should look for a domestic drainage company to come and sort you out. You’ll want someone close to your home, so they can come see your drains as soon as possible. It may not be an emergency, but it’s best not to leave a blocked drain for very long.
You can look up a company near you online or you can ask friends and family who they recommend. If you do find a company online, consider checking their reviews to ensure you are getting the best for the job. Otherwise, they may not fix the problem completely and you’ll be stuck with a semi-functional drain.
It’s best to hire experts and people who are ready to do the job correctly the first time.
Are you seeing signs of a blocked drain in your home? Call Aqua Rod to get your drain unblocked as soon as possible. It’s the best way to ensure you can avoid further problems and we’re always ready to help.
Published by: David Parkes on: July 13th 2021