One of the most common plumbing issues for households is blocked pipes and drains. Many of us don’t realise how easily pipes can become blocked, especially when their function is to ‘flush’ away waste. However, those of us who have experienced a blocked drain would know how stressful it can be, particularly when it involves the toilet!
HERE ARE FIVE MAIN CAUSES:
- Foreign Objects
Well, that’s just about anything that shouldn’t be in a drain! If you have small children, curious (or careless) hands might drop toys into the toilet, causing a partial blockage which worsens over time. Elsewhere around the home, be aware of small objects such as bottle lids, jewellery, hairpins and anything that can fit through the drain holes. Many homeware stores sell sink covers with very fine or mesh holes that can help catch objects before they fall through the sink.
- Plants, Trees & Sediments
Don’t underestimate the forces of nature! A build-up of leaves, dirt and sediment can also cause a blockage, especially during times of heavy rains and storm. When was the last time you had a look at your gutters? Regularly clearing of gutters can save you the headache of an overflow drain and avoid flash flooding. If you have heavy bushes or shrubs planted above your pipelines, roots can sometimes seep into the pipe joints and grow inside. If you suspect such a case, a CCTV drain camera can identify and pinpoint the location of the culprit to remove the blockage.
- Kitchen Grease & Fat build up
The kitchen sink, while convenient, is not the destination for food to be flushed away! Running water will not dissolve fat and grease, in fact, it helps to build up a layer inside the pipes as it cools. Think of your pipes like your arteries; grease and fat deposits will clog up and give you a heart attack – or in this case, an attack on your plumbing bill! Using hot water can help, however, once fat and grease attach to the wall of pipes, other waste can then lodge and ‘stick’ to it, causing a blockage if not properly removed.
- Hair & Toiletries
You might think that since hair is very thin and fine, it shouldn’t cause problems. However, large amounts of hair are actually one of the most common items removed from a blocked drain! This is especially the case when hair is caught up in already existing waste build-ups from any of the previously mentioned causes above.
Other toiletries such as facial tissues (which are different from toilet paper), cotton buds, and wet wipes are also unsuitable to flush down the toilet. Like hair, these items don’t naturally disintegrate and should be disposed of in rubbish bins instead.
- Installation, age, and broken pipes
In older homes where pipes have experienced deterioration, wear and tear or damage, there is a higher chance of blockages due to water flow being hindered or not optimised. As for newer homes, improper installation or DIY can also contribute to the cause of blocked drains, especially if you have frequent blockages, even after clearing. It is important to check that your pipes are in good health and always use a professional plumber for installation or repairs.
Understanding the common causes of blocked drains can help you maintain a healthy pipe system and thus reduce the incidents of blockages. Symptoms usually start with a slow-moving drain, strange odour around the outlets, or a ‘gurgling’ sound. Although, it can come on quite suddenly without any obvious symptoms as well. Once a drain is blocked, you might find every drain is affected in your home. That’s when you need to call in the professional leak detection specialists.
LeakSpotters leak detection engineers are experts when it comes to finding blockages in drains. We use the latest detection equipment such as sonar and CCTV drain cameras to identify and pinpoint blockages; saving you both time and reduces the risk of overflow and flooding. Give us a call today 1300 362 858 or contact us via email with your details.