As a homeowner, you will at one-time experience blocked drains or pipes within your home. Blocked drains are always a nuisance. These drains can eventually interfere with the smooth running of activities in your home, but if they are caught and fixed early, you can avoid serious problems such as overflows, leaks, damage to your electrical system, and serious health risks to you and your loved ones. There are a number of new technologies that enables professionals to easily identify the cause of the blockage, and unblock the drains using techniques that can cause minimal or no damage to your drain pipes.
Common Causes of Blocked Drains
1. Grease and fat
This is one of the leading causes of blocked drains. Any fatty substances that you wash away down the drainage often stick onto the walls of the pipes and harden. They can eventually build up and bring about a clog to the extent that no liquids can pass through. You can easily avoid such a scenario by always watching out over the liquids that you wash away. You can pour the cooking oil and grease into a container or coffee can and dispose it in your trash.
2. Tree roots
Another common reason that can be the cause of your blocked sewer is tree roots. Although your house may be positioned directly above the drainage pipes which are free from trees, the roots of trees from neighboring yards can be the cause of your drainage problems. Tree roots can cause several damages on your drainage system. They can grow into the drainage pipes causing blockage or holes, and in some cases, they can wrap around the pipes crashing them. If you have trees in your yard, keep them well-watered so that their roots don’t grow and get drawn to your drain pipes for water.
3. Poor installation
Not all tradespersons are qualified enough to maintain the required plumbing standards. One of the causes of blocked drains is poorly installed plumbing. In some cases, the drainage pipes are misaligned and may fail to work properly if they were installed by an unqualified person. Such a problem can only be fixed by hiring a qualified and experienced professional plumber.
4. Storms and heavy rain
During the wet season, drainage pipes often experience floods due to the heavy rainfall. Drainage pipes aren’t always designed to cope with the full impact of such weather, and water can eventually build-up. If recently your gutters and down pipes overflowed with rainwater, this can be the main reason as to why your drain pipes are clogged, and they need to be cleared out. Ensure that you prepare yourself for the wet weather by cleaning the gutters to prevent the build-up of leaves and debris which are common causes of blockage. If you have a drainage problem that has been caused by a heavy storm, you will require a professional to unclog it for you.
One of the reasons that can cause serious drainage problem is disposing of toiletries down the drain. Several people have the habit of dumping baby wipes and diapers down the drains which can block the drain after they are flushed down the toilet. When these items are immersed in water, they enlarge after they absorb the moisture and they can quickly block the water pipes and drains. Ensure that you dispose of your toiletries in the right way by taking them out with the rest of your trash. If you are using public toilets and changing rooms, make use of the bins.
In most cases, removing hair from the drainage pipes can be easy. You can remove small amounts of hair by pulling them out with gloved hands. In some situations you can also purchase devices that can hold or grab the hair if it is visible in the drain. However, if the hair isn’t cleared up, it can cause serious drainage issues. Hair falling off when getting ready over the sink or in the shower is one of the major causes of blocked drains, and you will require a professional to unclog it for you.
7. Broken drainage pipes
Drainage pipes can break due to general wear and tear or due to other reasons such as tree roots. When these pipes get fractured, they are more prone to getting blocked than intact pipes. Unless the pipe is visible, such a problem can be difficult for you to diagnose. In case you suspect that a fractured pipe may be the cause of your blocked drainage, ensure you call a professional to take a look. You can also inspect if your ceiling is water stained which is often an indication of leaking water pipes. To have leakages diagnosed properly, shut off the water valve, and call a professional to replace the damaged section.
Some of the natural debris like shrubs, trees, and leaves can be the cause of your damaged water drains, especially after autumn and spring. Regularly maintaining your garden to keep your outdoor space looking good is essential to the proper functioning of your water pipes and drains. Ensure that you keep your outdoor area clean from leaves and debris to prevent them from blocking your drains. In case you leave such a mess for a long time, it can block your pipes.
9. Foreign objects
Some objects such as soap, jewelry, sanitary items, and children’s toys among other foreign materials can be dropped easily down the drains causing the blockage. For this reason, whether unintentionally or intentionally, some materials shouldn’t be washed or flushed down the drains. Always keep an eye on your young children who can flush away anything. Also, dispose of wastes properly rather than attempting to wash them down the drains. You should also be cautious of items that accidentally fall that can cause blockage.
10. Water flow
If you observe that your taps are only letting small amounts of water to pass through and the water isn’t gushing out normally, this means that there is a low water flow or pressure. While this may be caused by poor installation, it can also signify that your pipes have accumulated sediment. Water that flows through the pipes often has dissolved minerals that get deposited on metal surfaces. Therefore, such sediments can clog your taps and reduce the water pressure.
Diagnosing Your Drainage Problem
The best way to know the cause of your drainage problem is by hiring a professional to check it for you. They can perform a cctv pipe inspection of your drainage lines to identify the exact cause of the problem. The camera is inserted and lowered down the sewer lines, and the plumber can view the insides of the pipes from a monitor. Additionally, the plumber is also able to view the state of your pipes and can prescribe the safest, most appropriate, and the least expensive solution.
Tools Used To Unclog Your Blocked Drains
One of the tools that could be used is a high pressure water jetting tool called a hydrojetter to remove the clog in your drains. The nozzle of this tool is lowered into the drain, and high water pressure is let out to reduce the size of the clog into smaller pieces that can flow down the drain.