At one point or another, as the head of a Sydney household, you will experience blocked drains, a common plumbing issue that seems to hit at the worst possible moment. The fact is the problems build up over a period with varied reasons for the occurrences.
Suppose you catch them close to the surface or early, like if you notice a slow drain, often a DIY trick or hack can remedy the block.
Still, if it’s a stubborn backup that won’t budge with a homemade solution, a call to a professional tradesperson like those at heroplumbing.com.au is the expectation. The idea is to avoid excessive damage to the system.
Potential causes for severe blockages can range from flushable wipes to kids’ toys in the toilet, roots from trees, grease, hair, and other types of odd obstructions.
It can be challenging to determine what it is, but a licensed plumber has the right equipment to make the determination before attempting to free the source.
Causes For Blockages In Drains Plumbers Most Often See
Blockages develop in drains due to an odd assortment of things. Often it takes a trained plumber to make the determination using expert tools. If you’re lucky, the solution will be simple.
Sometimes, when caught near the surface or when it’s just beginning, like with a slow draining sink, you can attempt a DIY remedy before even calling for help.
But for tough cases, there are often more extreme measures necessary for unblocking a system depending on the obstacle.
Tradies see things crammed in drains that border on simply odd most often because kids like to see what will fit, and then there are things people try based on common myths that ultimately work out poorly, like flushable wipes.
Let’s look at reasons why drains can back up.
Among the most common reasons for blockages is tree roots because these are consistently in search of water. These spread extensively nearly to the point that the branches reach.
The roots have the capacity to maneuver into pipe crevices or slight cracks to find water or nutrients. Once they find their way in, an infestation develops in the system, with other particles tangling in with the roots as they flush into the pipes creating an extreme block.
2. Grease/ Oil/ Fat
Many people believe it’s okay to flush greases and other fats or oils into the kitchen drain after clearing the dinner dishes. The problem with that is the substances go in as liquid but cool in the pipes as solids.
Myths indicate you can clear these blockages by incorporating boiling water into the system to turn them back into liquid.
Unfortunately, this fix merely moves the grease further into the pipes to a point it is unreachable. While there, it’s collecting food, hair, and other particles creating a more intense block.
What needs to happen instead of pouring these substances into your drain, the contents should go in a container where they sit to cool, and then you can dispose of them in the rubbish bin. Look here for guidance on preventing blocked drains.
3. Toys And Other Fun Items
Kids are a treat and intensely curious by nature, particularly when left alone in a room with a toilet. Every child wants to see what they can get to go down the hole until a parent shows up to stop them.
That could include rubber balls, toy cars, Barbie’s accessories. You don’t know what might end up in the drain. Plumbers have probably seen everything, including the pup’s favorite chew.
The only real proactive step is not to leave kids of a certain age unattended and always go searching when these same children are suspiciously quiet. No young one is genuinely silent unless they’re up to something.
Putting a child lock on the potty is not generally a good idea, especially if your kids are in the training phase. Supervision is your only defense and then a plumber when things go wrong.
4. Wet or Baby Wipes
Any variety of wipe should not go in the toilet even if the packaging claims it to be flushable. These are not of the consistency of toilet paper and won’t break down in the same way. That means they accumulate to the point of creating a blockage in the drain.
Not only do wipes attach to pipes but nappies, paper towels, and sanitary supplies. All items like these will expand in the system quickly, creating a problem that you will need to contact a tradesperson to work out for you.
Whether it be in the shower or basin or even in the laundry area, hair is a primary problem for drains, both human and pet varieties. It can attach to other particles or substances already in the piping system creating a more significant blockage.
We can’t stop hair from coming off ourselves or pets, but there are ways to prevent it from finding its way into the pipes.
Specific straining drain catchers mean stopping the hair on the surface in the bathtub/shower and in the basins so it can’t reach the piping. You can then pull it out and toss it away in a bin.
These can also prevent other particles from getting into the drain and accumulating into a blockage.
Usually, there will be warning signs if drains are becoming blocked. Typically, the basins will become slow in draining, or the toilet will hesitate before it flushes completely.
It’s wise to contact a professional plumber if you notice early symptoms to avoid extensive damages or a more severe problem.
In some cases, DIY solutions are successful in unblocking a drain, particularly when it’s near the surface.
But even if you’re able to clear the drain, it’s wise to have a plumber take a look at the system to ensure that it’s functional and safe for use. It is always better to be safe rather than sorry.