Blocked drains are a nightmare experience shared by many Australian homeowners. It’s also among the top 5 reasons most plumbers go out to residential properties.
While clearing your blocked drain is a common domestic plumbing service, our experts have decided to share a few handy tips to help you deal with smaller problems. Quite often the problem isn’t as big as it appears. visit https://organizedworktips.com/ for more information
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Signs Of a Blocked Drain
If blocked drains are a recurring problem in your home, then you’ll know the signs all too well. But in case you’re a new homeowner, here are some simple signs to look out for:
- Bad smell: A wide variety of household waste matter such as hair, grease, fat and food scraps can easily block your drain. As this gunk festers in the drain, it blocks the water flow which in turn causes a bad smell.
- Overflow: A sure sign of a blocked pipe is an overflow of water at the drain or sink. This water will most likely be dirty and full of bacteria.
- Gurgling sounds: The water in your pipes will always try to find a way around the blockage. This will result in strange gurgling noises created by the trapped air which you’ll be able to hear coming from the sink, drain or pipe.
- Water is slow to drain: If the water in the sink, shower or bath is slow to drain it’s because something is obstructing its flow.
Common Causes Of Blocked Drains and Sinks
Speak to any plumber Essendon residents rely on, and they’ll tell you that there are a few common culprits that cause blocked drains. Avoid disposing of these items in your drains, sinks and toilet and you’ll have fewer recurring drain issues.
- Cooking oil: Pouring fat, grease and cooking oil down the kitchen sink causes it to harden in the pipes and turn into large blockages, commonly called “fatbergs.”
- Food scraps: While food scraps seem small enough to wash down the drain, they latch onto the other debris in the pipe and create an obstruction. Even items as small as tea leaves and coffee grounds don’t break down and add to the problem.
- Toiletries: The most common reason for toilet blockages comes from flushed toiletries. Cleaning wipes, sanitary products and even disposable diapers are the main culprits. Even wipes that claim to be “100% flushable” don’t break down in sewer pipes and end up creating enormous blockages every year.
- Soap: Essentially, soap bars contain oils and fats. Despite turning to scum by the time they hit the drain, the oils can cause soap scum to cling onto other debris already in the pipes.
- Hair: Another blockage culprit is hair loss from shampooing.
- Vegetation: The most significant cause of blockages in your outdoor drains comes from leaves, soil and other plant vegetation. Autumn leaf drops and heavy rains are primarily to blame for this.
Expert Hacks to Clear Minor Blockages
Fortunately, homeowners can easily clear up most minor blockages with a few simple steps. Our plumbing experts have shared a few unblocking tips.
1. Boiling Water
A non-toxic option should always be the preferred way to clear a clog. Our number one go-to for minor blockages is boiling water. Pouring a few litres of boiling water down a kitchen or bathroom sink is a great way to loosen soap or minor oil build-ups.
For stubborn blockages, repeat the process a few times. You can also add a mild detergent to help break down grease.
Pro tip: A mixture of vinegar and baking soda is a common addition to drains to break down fat and kill bacteria. Add some lemon juice to neutralize a smelly sink.
2. Invest In a Plunger
Using a simple cup plunger is a practical, cheap and non-chemical solution for minor clogs. Simply press the plunger up and down a couple of times to create some air-based pressure that can easily shift small obstructions.
Pro tip: To effectively unblock a double sink, seal the second drain. You can do this by putting in a plug or taping it shut. This creates extra pressure to push the clog out.
3. Make a DIY Drain Snake
Use a plumber’s snake to remove hair or other items that are close to the top of the drain or sink. To make your own, bend a wire-coat hanger to have a small hook to scoop this gunk out.
Pro tip: Wear rubber gloves when doing this as the gunk your drain snake will pull out is full of bacteria. Always rinse the drain or sink with boiling water afterwards.
As with other plumbing problems, the sooner you deal with your blocked drain the easier it will be. When you first suspect your water seems to be flowing slower, start with rinsing the offending sink or drain with boiling water and vinegar.
As a further preventative measure, pour boiling water down all your drains and sinks every week to keep them from clogging. If all else fails, call your trusty plumber who will sort the blockage out in a jiffy!