Category: Stormwater

  • Causes of a Blocked Drain and What to Avoid

    There are several causes of a blocked drain and knowing the best way to avoid them is essential for your home plumbing system. Some of the most common culprits that are problematic when it comes to your drain system is  dumping fat, grease, or food waste down the drain. These ingredients solidify on the walls of your drain pipes, causing clogs. In some cases, this can even lead to flooding.

    The best practice is to prevent a clogged drain from ever forming. Clogged pipes can cause a water back-up or overflow, which can damage your septic system or sewage line. Knowing the causes of clogs can prevent them from happening in the first place. Here are some of the common causes that can clog your drain:

    Toiletries – Avoid throwing them down the drain and dispose of them properly in the correct bin. There has been an increase in toiletry and sanitary items that are continuously being thrown down the drain in recent years. Nappies, wet wipes, anti-bacterial wipes, sanitary pads, cotton sticks and balls, cotton pads are all common items that can cause a blocked drain.  These materials can solidify and block pipes, causing foul odors and give your huge plumbing problem. To avoid this problem, it is important to dispose of your toiletries in separate bins and not flush them down the drain.

    Paper towels – are another common cause of a clogged drain. These towels are often highly absorbent and can double in size when wet, they do not break down as quickly as toilet paper and are not designed to be disposed of down the drain. While most adults know not to flush certain items down the toilet, kids are notorious for doing their own experiments. Even small items can lead to clogs. If you are not careful, you may find that you have to call a plumber to help you resolve the problem.

    Hair and animal fur – are another major cause of a clogged drain. The clogged hair particles can cause a clogged drain by trapping in the pipe and blocking the water flow. The hair can also clump together with grease or other sticky substances to form a clog. To prevent this problem, you can install drain screens and clean hair with a brush after every shower. Using commercial drain cleaners is another way to get rid of hair down blocked drains but often with mixed results.

    Grease -Fat, grease and cooking oil that is washed down the drain can solidify in the pipes when the weather is cold. At first it may not be noticeable as all the oily residue from cooking seem to be washed away without a hitch. Due to the temperature fluctuations, over time the grease sticks to the walls of the pipes making it more difficult for water to pass through. You’ll first notice slow suction in the sink, then no drainage and that’s when you’ll need a blocked drain plumber.

    Tree roots – Debris from trees and plants and foreign matter can find their way into the drain pipes. Leaves and particles can be washed down gutters into the stormwater pipes and be a cause for blockages. If you are finding that your downpipes are making a gurgling noise or water is flowing back up when there is heavy rain, it could be a sign that tree roots are to blame. Especially if you have large trees in the backyard close to pipes, tree roots search for water and can penetrate through brittle pipes and cause stormwater drain blockages.

    Soap scum – Soap is another major cause of clogged drains. Soap residue can clog the pipes over time, reducing their diameter and making them prone to clogs. You can avoid this problem by avoiding using bar soap altogether and regularly cleaning your shower to rid of any excess scum.

    These causes of a clogged drain are very common and some are easy to fix. However, some of them can be very expensive to fix. The first thing you should do is understand how important the plumbing system is and what items that do no belong down there. Often, it is the accumulation of hair or other sticky substances that clogs the drain. Taking steps to prevent a build up can ultimately save on expensive repairs later down the track.