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How can you tell when drains are about to block up?

When you're madly chasing around for a plumber to clear a blocked drain on a Friday afternoon, you are no doubt thinking, that it would be helpful if you had advance warning. Don’t worry, your plumber is probably thinking the same thing.

So how do you know when your drains are about to block up?

Some of the warning signs are:

  • A healthy drain does not smell. As your drains start to partially block you should notice a sewer odour, especially outside, either near the boundary connection, or near your educt vent. Don’t dismiss it.
  • After you flush the toilet the level in the pan drops dramatically after the flush or seems to suck the water seal out entirely. This means your drain is partially blocked between the toilet and the vent, so it has to suck air through the toilet pan.
  • In the bathroom or laundry the drains will begin to smell rather musty when there is a blockage starting to build up. These drains will also gurgle at the basins etc.
  • Once again in the bathroom or laundry, you will notice that whereas you used to hear the water pouring down through the floor waste drain, from the bath and basin; now they are very quiet. Those basin wastes may even start to drain rather slowly also.
  • Maybe rather obvious of course, but your outside traps may overflow a little and then the level subsides. Don’t believe that this problem will just get better

What to do at this time?

Do Not - Waste your money buying plungers to try and push it clear because there is every chance it is tree roots. Don’t waste your money buying those expensive blue tablets, as most times roots will grow in through the top of the drain and the tablet will go sailing harmlessly by. Also these things are only designed to burn off fresh new roots. They are not an effective solution.

Do - Call a good, reliable plumber with a good reputation and experience. Now is the time, if you don’t know who to call, to start asking around for recommendations, or googling for the same.

 

u.1.BrokenPipeWithRoots.png A badly broken drain with tree root intrusion. Major problem for you? Only a minor challenge for us with our drain cameras and high pressure water jetters. This photo was after the initial pass with the jetter which cleared the drain and blew away some of the roots already.

 

How will you find the right tradie?

Some things to consider: Take into account where you are getting the information from. Is it a friend or relative of the Plumber? Do they attend the same sporting club or pub? If they have testimonials, are there only three or less, five star reviews and that is all? Or do they have many testimonials from a huge cross section of the community? It is fairly easy for a tradie to ask a few friends post five star reviews for them, but it is near impossible that they will have dozens of them.

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