Drain blockages are a common household issue that can occur for a myriad of reasons. From ageing pipes and an abundance of hair in the shower drain to excessive paper and sanitary items flushed down the toilet, these blockages can cause quite a hassle. Tell-tale signs of a blocked drain include unpleasant odours, unusually high water levels in the toilet, gurgling sounds, and overflowing drains. A blocked drain can pose a significant threat to your property, as an unexpected surge of water can lead to extensive damage. Therefore, it’s crucial to address the issue promptly.
At Tradie Near Me, we’ve compiled some handy tips on how to tackle blocked drains based on recommendations from top-notch plumbers, specialists in blocked drain cleaning and repair.
Flush with boiling water
One of the simplest and most accessible methods to unblock drains is using boiling water. Although it may not clear substantial blockages, it can effectively eliminate minor ones from your slow-functioning drain. However, caution is advised when using this method, especially with PVC pipes, as extremely hot water can cause melting or softening of joints. If you’re unsure about the best method for your pipes, use warm water or water at a similar temperature to that from your hot tap. If you’ve boiled the kettle, let it cool for a minute before pouring it into your sink drains.
Try a drain cleaner
There are a lot of liquid drain cleaners available in supermarkets and hardware stores. However, bear in mind that some cleaners are specifically designed for certain types of blockages. Many plumbers suggest that commercial drain cleaners should be the last DIY option. If a minor issue is causing your drain blockage, you can create your own organic drain cleaner using baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water. This process is simple, requires minimal effort, and is environmentally friendly. It’s a great way to clear a shower drain without a plunger.
Another effective method to clear your blocked drain is by using a plunger. There are two types of plungers: the cup plunger and the toilet plunger. A cup plunger has a flat rubber suction cup at the base and is designed for sinks, showers, and drains with flat surfaces. The cup plunger uses the forces of compression and suction to unblock drains. The toilet plunger, on the other hand, comes in two basic types: the bellow plunger and the ball plunger, obviously suited to unblocking toilets. Both have a rubber base and longer handles to fit the size and shape of the trap opening within the toilet bowl.
Snake it out
If hair, soap debris, or other smaller clogs are blocking your drain, a drain snake might be your solution. Drain snakes are designed to unclog light blockages only, and misuse or excessive force can lead to unexpected pipe damage. So it’s important to use them with caution.
Inspect the P-Trap
If you’re trying to unblock a sink drain, the blockage could be in the P-trap – the “P” shaped drain pipe under the sink that prevents drain smells from wafting up the pipes. Simply unscrew the P-trap pipe at each end to remove it, and then clean it out. Remember to place a bucket underneath to catch any water when removed.
Advanced blocked drain equipment
Experienced plumbers can use CCTV drain cameras to determine the cause of the blockage and use water jetters to clear the obstruction. In cases of damaged or collapsed pipes, pipe relining is a new plumbing technology that offers a great alternative to traditional methods.
Are your drains blocked or not coping?
Understanding the difference between blocked drains and drains that are simply not coping with the demands placed upon them can help you take the appropriate steps to address the problem and prevent future complications. Inadequate capacity or poor design can cause drains to struggle, especially stormwater drains that back up and overflow during rain events.
The final word
While minor maintenance work can be done at home to unblock your drains, professional blocked drain plumbers are necessary for major or problematic issues. These professionals are highly experienced and work with specialised equipment that can effectively correct drain blockages with minimal disturbance.
At Tradie Near Me, we’re ready to assist with all your drainage needs across Australia. Reach out today for fixed price services from expert drainage plumbers!