There is nothing more frustrating to deal with than a blocked drain at home. You’re living your life and the pipes have the audacity to back up and cause issues in your bathroom and your kitchen – sucks, right? Of all of the reasons you should call in an expert, a blocked drain is a great reason to get some help. It’s not just that the drain has blocked up, but that the smell coming from it is unpleasant and interrupts your day. It’s that even more water just won’t drain down properly and the pipes could be in danger of more issues, too. Blocked drains are difficult to manage if you don’t know how to, and life can become pretty difficult if you don’t get on top of the issue straight away!
Outside the house, you might have different types of drainage systems for rainwater and other types of water that needs to be drained from your house. Rainwater always benefits from things like a brickslot drain to move it all away from the house and the front yard, but what about the drainage system inside the house? The drains in your sinks and your baths need to be clear to work properly, and if they’re not clear, you’re going to find that you are dealing with a lot of costly issues. Let’s take a look at the signs of a blocked drain and what you can do about it.
The signs of a blocked drain
Blocked drains can damage your property and if you aren’t careful, you’re going to end up with a very expensive and very smelly problem. Blocked drains can cause a range of health problems so you need to know the signs of a drain in your home that’s blocked up and causing issues. Here are some of the signs to look out for:
- The smell. There is an unmistakable smell that comes from a blocked drain. It’s like sewage seeping into your house and it’s going to make you check the toilets in your house to see if someone forgot to flush them. It’s not a pleasant smell whatsoever!
- The overflow. From the sinks and baths, the plugholes are going to spill over and if the drains are badly backed up, that water is going to be sludgy, filled with debris, and likely brown. It can often happen while you’re showering – super not fun around your feet!
- The gurgle. When water pushes against the pipes and pools against them, there is a distinctive gurgling sound as a result. If you experience gurgling, the blockage is going to be a big problem for you. It means that the pipes are taking a hit!
- The time. When you empty a bath, a healthy drainage system will work really fast. When the drains are blocked up – no matter what they are blocked up with – they will be slow to drain out. If you notice it takes longer and longer for the water to drain, it’s because the blockage is expanding.
When you notice signs like these, you then have to make a plan to get the drain unblocked again. There are many things that can block up drains, from clumps of hair to fat from the food you’re washing down the sinks. You might even find tree roots to be a big problem – they can grow and interfere with your piping system. So, even if the inside of the pipes are just fine, the roots can crush and compress them and cause them to back up! A blocked drain can affect so many things inside and outside the house and if you can identify what’s causing the blockage, you’re going to have a much easier time of unblocking it all and making your house healthier again.
How to clean your blocked drain
The way that you clear out your drains will really depend on what the causes of the blockage were in the first place. If the causes are the soaps that you’re using leaving residue and soap scum inside the pipes, you can find a better soap poption and use different cleaning tools. Below, we’ve got a list of the ways that you can clean out your blocked drains and get rid of the blockage.
- Boiling water. If you boil the kettle and then pour it down the drain, you’ll be able to shift a lot of the muck that clogs up the drains. It doesn’t take much, but a pan of water will do the job if you don’t have a kettle!
- Natural cleaners. There are plenty of natural cleaning options out there that can create a fizzing effect and that can help you to break up the blockages and do better for your drains. You can do it with bicarbonate of soda and a cup of vinegar – no chemicals involved at all!
- Stronger cleaners. Caustic cleaners do well in the drains and as long as you follow the instructions on the packet you can add them to your drains and see a difference pretty much right away. These cleaners can dissolve oils and fat, grease, and more.
- Buy a plunger. You can use a plunger to effectively unblock most drain issues. They form a tight seal around the plug hole and then vacuum up the blockage. They are a cheap and effective tool to use and this can help to loosen if not unblock altogether.
- Drain snakes. You can do this yourself without the help of a plumber, and a DIY drain snake can help. You can do this from the hardware store or you can use an unraveled wire coat hanger if you don’t have one. This can help you to hook around the blockage and pull it up. It’s especially useful for hair clumps in the drain.
- A plumber. Plumbing drain snakes work similarly to the DIY versions, but they have lights and cameras on them to help you to see where you’re going. They can also get through the blockages much quicker and more effectively.
- Water. Rather than boiling water, you can use hydro jets to help you to unblock your drains. These are sharper and more intense bursts of water and they can break down and remove the debris from the pipes. Sometimes, this approach is used after other drainage techniques are used and they can get around the biggest parts of your drainage problem.
- Excavation. This isn’t often used in domestic blocked drains, but in commercial ones. Excavation is necessary when the blockage is severe and it involves digging the area surrounding the pipes so that you can get better access to them. This should only be done by an expert.
- Relining the pipes. In extreme cases of prolonged blockages, you can reline the pipes and it’s a better replacement option than changing the entire piping system. Relining the pipes is an effective option and resin and tools are used to reline them when the blockages have been removed.
The drains being blocked in the house are a pain! They take time to unblock and make better and you might not even notice when the drains are blocked initially. If you notice foul smells, then it’s time to look and see if your drainage could be an issue. If you notice any water backing up or your outside drains just aren’t doing the job, then you need an expert plumber to help you. It isn’t always nice to deal with blocked-up drains, but you can manage better when you have an idea of why it’s blocked in the first place.