Blocked drains are a major concern in many households. Some can be solved easily by carrying out simple procedures like pouring vinegar and hot water down the drain while other blockages require a licensed plumber to clear them. You probably do not know if you are dealing with a blocked pipe or drain but if you have the following signs be sure to inspect your drain system: overflowing, foul smell, slow draining and some gurgling sounds. We will address common causes of blocked drains and the possible solutions you can apply.
Causes of Blocked Drains
Most people experience some hair fall every time they wash their hair in the shower, basin or bathtub. Whether it is long or short, hair buildup in your sinkholes or drains over time leads to blockage. It might become a more serious concern if it mixes with other materials like soap.
Fix: You can use drain cleaners which are designed to dissolve hair. Another option is to use hydro jets and snakes to remove the hair knots. To prevent hair from clogging your sinks or bathtub, using a hair strainer guard over the water outlet can be of help when washing it.
Flushing wipes, cotton swabs, and diapers down your toilet can lead to blockage as they are bulky. Human waste and tissue/toilet papers easily loosen in the presence of water therefore should be the only materials going down the toilet. Note that some quilted tissue papers when used excessively could lead to clogs. Some products like tampons or sanitary cloths swell once they absorb fluid. Therefore, it is advisable to dispose of them in a designated bin rather than flushing them down the toilet.
Fix: Utilise a plunger or an auger to clear the blockage. If the clogging is severe, you can consider a water jet or plumber’s snake.
3. Foreign objects
Children play everywhere including the toilets and bathrooms and as a result, they drop their toys into the bowls or sinks accidentally or intentionally leading to blockages. If your sink opening or the toilet bowl is not protected by a guard, small objects can be flushed down the drain and block it.
Fix: If you can access the object, try plunging or using an auger. If the toy is lodged firmly, you might need to call a professional plumber to help with it. Educate your children not to flush toys down the toilet, shower or sink openings.
4. Natural debris
Your external drains such as the gutter can block as a result of fallen leaves and twigs. During the fall season especially, leaves can get into the drain and cause clogging.
Fix: Remove the leaves or twigs if they are not too deep into the drains. If they have accumulated at the deep ends, call for a plumber to sort out the issue.
When your drains or pipes are in the way of growing plants, their roots may tamper with them causing cracks. Once the roots gain access to the pipes and continue to grow, they will obstruct the flow of water or waste thus causing clogging.
Fix: You might opt to carry out excavation yourself, however, pipe relining is a little bit messy and not easy to carry out. Therefore, you will need to seek professional help from a pipe relining company.
Clogged drains can be frustrating but you do not have to feel helpless. If it is just a single fixture that’s blocked, you can try using basic tools and methods such as commercial cleaners to dissolve the matter or else plunges and augers.
Some blockages will require a licenced plumber to clear. If you are dealing with multiple appliances, i.e., sinks, tubs, showers or toilets, call for professional help. Do not wait for your clogs to worsen. Take care of them as soon as possible to avoid unpleasant effects like a foul smell and overflowing.