Have you noticed water draining slowly from your sink, or can you hear gurgling sounds? Perhaps you are just here to learn about clearing blocked drains and how to prevent future blockages.
Whatever the case, learning how to clear blocked drains and maintain them is important. Food scraps, cooking oil, coffee grinds and other foreign objects can block your pipes, and cause major damages.
A plumbing problem can seem like an ignorable issue since it doesn’t have immediately visible consequences on your property. However, not knowing how to look for signs of damage can be a grave mistake for a property owner. Besides leaks, issues with access to water, and drainage problems, you’ll have a lot of expensive repairs to pay for.
Looking For Drain Problems
Property owners need to have a good eye for property damage to minimise their overhead costs in the long term. Although minor issues can seem like a natural occurrence of wear and tear, others may lead to more severe and expensive consequences. Unfortunately, drain problems aren’t always that easy to spot since they’re built underground or within a property’s foundations. However, that doesn’t mean all red flags of drain problems are impossible to identify.
Before you encounter a disastrous plumbing problem, here are four warning signs you should watch out for:
1. Stagnant Water
One obvious sign of drainage system issues is when your drains fill up and create stagnant water. In this case, the blockage prevents the water from draining down fully, if at all. Using a plunger to force standing water to drain may seem simple at first glance, but this method doesn’t always work.
Stagnant water can be a breeding ground for contaminants like bacteria, fungi, and insects. Since this infected water can slip and spread across your property, there’s no telling the extent of where it will reach. Besides compromising your building’s foundations with moisture, pets and even small children can come into contact with this dangerous water.
2. Foul Odours
You don’t need a blocked drain pipe to determine if your property has drainage issues. Sometimes, you don’t have to wait for things to get that far before detecting a plumbing problem.
Detecting foul odours from pipes can be a sign of blockage due to water accumulation, as standing water creates a foul stench due to bacteria and fungi in the mix. On the other hand, the drain blockage can result from drain gunk made from different soils, like dirt, oil, and grease, which can deteriorate your drainpipe’s inner linings.
3. Soils and Residue
Finding residue along your drain’s path can be a sign of drain blockages building up within your pipe. Besides being an issue of cleanliness of your pipes, powdery and scaly residue can mean that your water has high mineral content. This means a potential cause of concern could be the quality of water you’re using will ultimately lead to a blocked drain.
4. Frozen Pipes
While other regions in Australia don’t deal with cold winters, others are more prone to frozen pipes now and then. Still, water within the pipes can turn into a solid block of ice in these cold areas. Consequently, water cannot move through the pipeline, compromising its durability. With the accumulation of blockages and the increased volume of still water turned to ice, you’ll need to do more than use a plunger to get your water flowing again.
If any of the situations above affect your pipelines, you may need to adjust your water usage. Once you’ve indicated the cause of the damage, you’ll need to take preventative measures to avoid further damage to your plumbing systems.
Preventing Drainage Emergencies
Finding the source of your drainage issue is the first step to fixing it. You can experience a clogged drain anywhere from your shower drain and the kitchen sink to outdoor drains. Thankfully, you can maintain healthy plumbing care habits to avoid stubborn blockages. Listed below are five ways you should do to minimise damage to your plumbing systems.
1. Stop Using Compromised Drains
If your drains have amassed many plastics, food particles, oil-based residue, and other drain blockages, it’s best to avoid using these drains. Although water may still flow slowly down the drain cover, that doesn’t mean you should continue using them. It’s unlikely that clogs will improve by still operating these pipes and drains.
2. Inspect Your Water Quality
Clogs aren’t the only signs of drainage problems. As mentioned above, residue around your drains can signify potential pipeline issues. Mix it with soap if you want to inspect your water for mineral content. The longer it takes for bubbles to form, the more likely the water is hard. This means it contains minerals like calcium.
If your water is high in mineral content, the problem is more minor about how you use your water and more about your water source. Since residue build-up is hard to remove with drain covers, you need more systematic solutions. For this reason, you may need to install a filtration system to prevent yourself from regularly contacting plumbers for repairs.
3. Perform Routine Drain Cleaning
It would be better if you didn’t wait for a plumber to clean your drains. Homeowners need to clean their drains monthly to prevent complex blockages or build-ups. You can use a DIY drain snake/drain auger or other methods for unblocking drains. If you’re using a chemical solution or drain cleaner, remember to rinse it with hot water to prevent damage to your pipes’ inner linings. Chemical drain cleaners can do more harm than good, so we suggest speaking to your plumber before selecting one. Also, remember not to use boiling water as it can damage PVC pipes.
Another great way to prevent clogged drains is the baking soda and vinegar method.
4. Receive Regular Plumbing Maintenance
Although the tips above can help prevent plumbing problems, other issues can occur even if you’re extremely careful. This can be due to natural disasters or other variables out of your control. Calling a local plumber to look at your plumbing regularly is a great way to minimise these risks.
5. Install Preventive Measures
After cleaning your drains, you must be more meticulous about your drain care usage. For example, you should install hair catchers or similar filters on drains that frequently get clogs. Doing so even before drain problems occur will prevent you from calling a professional plumber regularly. You can ask your local plumber which solutions best fit your plumbing fixtures. You can also have things like a toilet plunger or plumber’s snake nearby, so you can clear a blocked drain hole the minute you notice it.
Dealing With Emergency Drainage Issues
Once one or more of these signs pop up, it’s best to make a self-inspection first to see if it’s a manageable issue. However, if these warning signs start getting out of hand, you should know when to get help from professionals. For severe blockages caused by tree roots or other debris, speak to your professional services about pipe relining. Licensed plumbers should only handle severe blockage from tree roots or other debris. Thankfully, your local plumbing experts are just a call away.
Getting professional plumbers to diagnose and treat your plumbing issue is a great way to minimise damage to your property. At 24/7 Blocked Drains Sydney, we can assist you with emergency drain clearing. Contact us to schedule an appointment.