casues of blocked drains

Blocked Drains – Causes, Prevention & What To Do

Blocked drains are undoubtedly a common plumbing problem – at some point, everyone comes across this situation. Issues arise when least expected. If left untreated, blocked drains can cause water leaks, which in turn can severely damage your home or business facility. The escaping water and waste trapped in the drain can cause mould to grow in various places. Bacteria can build up, and harmful diseases can develop in the water. Since the drainage system is a crucial part of the property, it shouldn’t be neglected. Blocked drains are a nightmare, and recurring issues can turn out to be very expensive. 

If you’re the homeowner, it’s your responsibility to take care of the blocked drain. On the other hand, if you’re renting, check with your real estate agent to understand who is responsible for the blocked drains and fixes. Anyway, it would be best if you informed the landlord right away. Their duties don’t refer just to the cleanliness of the space but also to the plumbing and drainage system. If you’re a business owner, it’s up to your organisation to put it right. 

Common Causes of Blocked Drains 

Whether you have a blocked kitchen sink, a slow running drain in the shower, or a toilet that refuses to flush properly, these problems result from a blockage. If you’re curious to know why it’s happened to you, check out these common causes for blocked drains. 

Hair Build-Up 

Human and animal hair can clog bathroom sinks, showers, bathtubs, and laundry wash troughs. The hair that builds up days, weeks, and months at an end lead to problems in various parts of the plumbing system, which aren’t visible to the naked eye. Hair tangles up and clings onto all sorts of debris, such as soap, grease, and dirt. Given that hair flows through larger holes, it’s recommended to get a drain protector. It’s a stopper that keeps the hair from clogging your drains. It should be replaced every few months, so save time and order a pack. 

Foreign Objects Flushed Down the Toilet 

If you’re in the habit of flushing cotton pads or baby wipes down the toilet, don’t be surprised that your drain is clogged. It’s not designed to handle foreign objects. It would help if you had a wastebasket near the toilet. With things like car keys or your phone, you have to be extra careful. Anything that can’t decompose will need to be removed from the sewer tank. A toilet clog requires a plumber’s assistance to be clear. Besides cotton pads and baby wipes, you should never throw down the toilet paper towels, dental floss, facial tissue, band-aids, and cat litter. 

Outdoor Debris

Similar to the plumbing system in your house or business facility, the outdoor drain gets blocked too. Leaves, mud, and burrowing nests are to blame. It’s essential to determine if the blockage originated in your home or if there’s a more significant issue affecting the shared drains. Avoiding a problem such as a blocked outdoor drain isn’t necessarily difficult. Practice regular maintenance. In other words, clear away the leaves and different types of debris at the entrance and exit. Take preventative measures, like installing a drain cover. Reach out to a local plumber for help and support in the event of a blockage. 

Food Waste 

Food waste is a typical result of kitchen activities. It’s a mistake to treat the sink plughole as a place to discard all sorts of foodstuff, which should normally go into the bin. Foods contain high levels of oils, fats, and grease that are detrimental to the pipes and drains. These substances can stick to the inner lining of the drainage pipes and restrict wastewater flow. Examples of trash that shouldn’t go down the kitchen sink are eggshells, flour grease, milk, coffee grounds, seeds and grains. 

Bar soap 

Perhaps it didn’t cross your mind that soap can clog your drain, but it can. The explanation is simple, in fact. Soap builds up inside the drain and attaches to other things that cause blockage. Soap re-solidified in the drain, which in turn leads to non-negligible chunks. Even if you take pleasure in the smell and colour of bar soaps, it’s best to switch to liquid soap. It flows more easily through your plumbing, not to mention that it doesn’t create scum on the counters or showers. Your hands won’t get dry or cracked. 

How To Tell If Your Drain Is Blocked 

Not only can a blocked drain cause stress, but also create unwanted costs. If you blatantly ignore the signs of a blocked drain and the problem escalates, it will become more difficult and expensive to fix. Without further ado, these are the warning signs to watch out for:

1. Smells 

A blocked drain will emit a foul, unpleasant odour similar to that of rotten eggs. What happens is that odour-causing bacteria are feeding on the debris in the pipes. Smells are an obvious sign that something is wrong. Attention needs to be paid to the fact that they occur before the drain becomes completely blocked. If you ignore the issue, showering and cleaning will become more difficult with time. If you have reason to believe that the odour is coming from the water itself, contact a plumber and ask them to come to inspect the pipes and water quality. 

2. Water Draining Slowly 

Do you have a slow, sluggish sink, toilet, or shower drain? Even if the water eventually drains out, it takes far too long. That’s a tell-tale sign that you have a blocked drain. You may experience additional problems, such as water rising in an appliance. The water can rise to the point of overflowing. Tempting as it may be to reach out to commercial products like drain cleaners, it’s best to play it safe. In case you didn’t know, they’re harsh and corrosive chemicals. They can linger on after being used in the drain, damaging the skin and eyes. 

3. Gurgling Sound in The Pipes 

If you hear any strange sounds coming from the drain or plug hole, that indicates a clogged drain line. The gurgling sound can mean a complete or partial blockage. But how can you tell the difference between the two? Well, if the drain is partially blocked, the water drains slower than usual, and the gurgling sound begins right away. If you have a complete blockage, the water will rise in the sink or bathtub. Multiple drains can experience blockage, so it’s necessary to inspect the sewer line with a camera. 

When Should You DIY Or Call An Expert?

If you fix the blocked drain yourself, you can save some money and get a better understanding of how your plumbing system works. Let’s not even talk about the satisfaction of a job well done. Take a plunger and try to solve the problem. Make sure there’s standing water in the toilet bowl; add water, if necessary. Grip the plunger with both hands and push down forcefully. The water will be forced in both directions, so this should loosen the blockage. Repeat the series of plunging motions and, when you’re done, flush the toilet. If you can’t unclog with a plumber, don’t waste any more time and call a plumber. 

The truth is that some projects are better left to the experts. A plumber can undertake tasks that are complicated, time-consuming, or simply unpleasant. Some blocked drains are too complicated to fix yourself. Even if there are various DIY methods you can try, leave the task up to a professional plumber who knows what they’re doing. Try as you might, you won’t succeed in unblocking the drain yourself. A blocked drain might seem like a minor issue, but it can transform into a major expense if you’re not careful. DIY plumbing may turn out to be a case of false economy. 

The Advantages Of Hiring A Local Plumber 

Even if you have the technical know-how when it comes to minor fixes, you should refrain from carrying out repair work. You need a plumber that you can count on, and one that’s local to you. They will help you when things get out of control. The professional’s workplace is near your place, which means that it doesn’t take them a great amount of time to reach you and solve the problem. To put it simply, a local plumber ensures efficient service. They rush off to your home or business facility and address the situation in a timely manner. 

A plumber has the skills and confidence to take the pipes apart and get to the bottom of the problem. A local plumber will offer top-notch services at an unbeatable price, so you can save your hard-earned money. However, you’ll want to check with the plumber the cost of your blocked drain repair and find out how much the hourly rate is. Factors that influence the final cost include the type of plumbing system involved, the ease of access to the job, and whether or not it’s necessary to drain the system. 

The drains and water pipes extend all the way through the property and out into the yard, but there are some common areas where blocked drains tend to occur. We’re talking about the kitchen, the bathroom, and the laundry room. The good news is that a local plumber can effectively solve the problem. 

How To Prevent Clogged Drains 

It’s better to prevent a drain from getting blocked than to fix the problem once it’s happened. If, until now, you’ve ignored the importance of drain care, you won’t make that mistake again. It’s an essential activity because it prevents blockages. The question now is: What can you do to prevent blocked drains? Let’s find out, shall we? 

Use The Drains Properly 

If you’re careful about what you put down the drains, it’s unlikely that you’ll deal with blockages. Additionally, you won’t have to clean the drains so often. To drastically reduce the amount of waste that gets washed down, consider investing in a drain guard. It’s a steel grate that sits atop of the plug and collects debris such as hair or dirt. When it’s no longer useful, you can remove it and throw it into the bin. When washing pets, put a cloth over the shower drain to catch the excess hair. Drains should be cleaned regularly by a professional plumber at least once a year. 

Have Regular Pipe Inspections 

Having regular pipe inspections is of the essence. As you’ve been able to see, drainage issues aren’t always evident. Have a professional inspect your home or business facility rather than doing it yourself. They’ll go underneath and in crawl spaces to find minor leaks, failing pipes, blocked drains, and so forth. Regular check-ups carried out by a skilled plumber represent a guarantee that your plumbing system will run smoothly for a long time. You don’t have to deal with the stress of a blocked drain emergency. The plumber can make a physical visit or undertake a video inspection. 

Final Thoughts 

To sum up, maintaining a functional and efficient place is a never-ending task. Don’t leave the invisible – drainage system – unattended. It deserves your complete attention. One of the most common issues to look for in the plumbing system is a blocked drain. If you don’t clear the drain, the issue will end up creating big headaches. You should never ignore a plumbing issue. It may be tempting to put off plumbing problems because of the costs involved. However, as highlighted earlier, it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, whether it’s a minor problem or a major plumbing issue. 

Blocked drains need professional attention. So, don’t pick up the chemical cleaner at your local shop and try to fix the issue yourself. Hire an expert. Chances are that more than one plumbing fixtures are impacted by blockages. Although handling the fix yourself might seem like a good idea, lack of experience and expertise will only make the situation worse. A plumber is well-trained and skilled in handling drain problems. Plus, they’re equipped with the right tools.

Have an issue with a blocked drain? Contact MPJ Plumbing Today!

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