How to Clear Blocked Drains: 5 Top Tips
If you’re a homeowner dealing with blocked drains, you’re not alone. Drain blockage is a common plumbing issue that can cause inconvenience and even flooding if not addressed promptly. Knowing how to clear a blocked drain is essential to properly maintain your plumbing system.
This article will provide some top fixes for clearing blocked drains and prevention methods to help you avoid future blockages. Whether you’re dealing with a minor clog or a significant water backup, having at least the most basic ideas on how to clear blocked drains will help you keep the plumbing system in your home flowing smoothly or know when it’s time to call in professional Perth plumbers.
Common Causes of Blocked Drains
Blocked drains can be caused by various factors, ranging from hair and toiletries to heavy rain and broken pipes. It’s vital that Western Australia homeowners know the top causes of clogged drains.
1. Hair Buildup Resulting To A Clogged Drain
Hair buildup is a common cause of clogged drains, especially in a shower drain. Hair strands can get trapped in the pipes and combine with other substances, such as soap, shampoo, and other hair products, forming a mass that blocks water flow. As the blockage grows, it can cause the drain to slow down or stop altogether, leading to water backup in the bathroom sink, bathtub, or shower area.
2. Plants and Dirt Stuck on Drain Pipes
Plants and dirt are common causes of blocked drains, especially in outdoor drainage systems. When heavy rain occurs, soil and debris can quickly accumulate in the drainage system, leading to clogs. It can happen in areas with poor drainage design or where the drainage system needs to be regularly cleaned and maintained.
When plants and dirt get stuck on the drain pipes, they can accumulate and cause a blockage. It can lead to slow drainage or even complete blockage, which can cause water to overflow into the surrounding area and, ultimately, damage the property. Fixing drainage blocked by dirt and plant roots requires the help of experienced plumbers in Perth.
3. Food Scraps and Grease Buildup
Grease buildup can cause clogged drains, especially in the kitchen. When items such as coffee grounds, grease from fats, and cooking oil are poured down the drain, they stick to the insides of the pipes and can solidify over time. The hardened grease and fat can create a sticky coating on the walls of the pipes, which can accumulate with other debris and lead to a blockage.
4. Flushing Toiletries and Sanitary Products Down The Toilet
Toilet paper, wet wipes, sanitary products, and cotton buds can clog drains if flushed down the toilet. These items do not break down easily in the water and choke the toilet system.
Top Signs of a Blocked Drain
As a homeowner, you should be aware of the signs that your drains are blocked, which can lead to significant plumbing problems. Below are some top signs of a blocked drain. Knowing them will allow you to take the necessary measures to prevent further damage.
One of the signs of a blocked drain is slow drainage. If you notice that water is taking longer than usual to drain from your sink, shower, or bathtub, this may indicate a clog in the drain. In severe cases, the water may not drain at all.
Do you experience unpleasant smells from the sink, shower, or bathtub? Bad odour in these areas can be caused by waste materials trapped in the pipes and stagnant water in the drain. The smell can be overwhelming in the bathroom or kitchen.
If you hear gurgling sounds coming from the drain when you flush the toilet or run water, there is a high chance that your drain is blocked. The gurgling sound is caused by trapped air trying to escape through the clogged plumbing system.
A wholly blocked drain can cause water to overflow. It is especially true in the toilet, where the water may rise higher than normal levels and even spill onto the floor.
If you’re experiencing clogs in multiple areas of your home, such as the sink, shower, and toilet, it is a sign that the plumbing problem may be more severe. It may indicate a clog in the central drainage system, which requires professional assistance.
Understanding the signs of a blocked drain can help you take preventive measures and avoid costly repairs. If you notice these signs, quickly acting on them is essential to prevent further damage. You may try clearing the clog with a plunger or a drain snake, but if the problem persists, it’s best to call a professional Perth plumber to inspect and fix it.
Top Tips To Clear Blocked Drains
Blocked drains can cause inconvenience, bad smells, and even flooding if not addressed promptly. If you are dealing with a clogged drain, here are some simple things you can do to clear it and get your plumbing running smoothly again.
1. Use a Plunger
A plunger is an effective tool for clearing blockages in sinks and toilets. Ensure you apply pressure to push the clog through the pipes.
2. Try Boiling Water
Pouring boiling water can help break down blockages caused by grease and soap scum. Carefully run a pot of boiling water down the drain and wait a few minutes to see if it clears the blockage.
3. Use Baking Soda and Vinegar
Mix equal parts of baking soda and vinegar and pour it down the drain. Wait for about 30 minutes before flushing it with hot water. Baking soda and vinegar solution can help break down clogs caused by organic matter like food wastes.
4. Use a Drain Auger
A drain auger or a plumber’s snake is a flexible tool to help unblock drains. Insert the plumber’s snake into the drain and gently push it through the clog until it breaks apart and clears the pipe.
5. Caustic Cleaners
Acidic cleaners are chemical drain cleaners that contain strong alkaline chemicals, such as sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide. They can dissolve and break down blockages in clogged drains. However, they can be dangerous, damage older pipes, and require pipe relining. It’s best to seek the help of a professional plumber if you’re unsure about using caustic cleaners or other DIY methods when clearing a clogged drain.
At Kenec Plumbing and Gas, our licensed and experienced plumber in Perth can quickly diagnose the cause of the blocked drains and recommend or apply the best solutions to clear the clogged pipes.
How to Prevent Drain Blockages
Preventing clogged drains is critical to the proper functioning of your plumbing system and avoiding costly repairs. Here are some tips to help you avoid clogs:
Proper disposal of waste – Do not pour grease, fats, or oil down the drain, and dispose of food wastes and toiletries in the trash.
Regular cleaning and maintenance – Regularly cleaning your drains and plumbing system can help prevent clogs from forming. Professional cleaning and maintenance services by plumbers can ensure that your plumbing system is in top condition.
Drain strainer installation – Drain strainer in your sink and shower can prevent hair, food waste, and other debris from getting into the pipes.
Tree root prevention – Tree roots can grow into your drainage system and cause clogs. Make sure to plant trees away from your drainage system and have your system inspected regularly for any tree root intrusion.
Use hot water – Running hot water down the drain after using it can help prevent grease and oil buildup.
Call a professional plumber – A plumber will inspect your plumbing system and diagnose the problem, whether it’s a simple clog or a more severe issue like broken pipes or tree root intrusion. Contacting a qualified plumber near you will save you time, money, and hassle in the long run.
Dealing with blocked drains can be a frustrating and an unpleasant experience for any homeowner in Western Australia. However, by using the top fixes outlined in this article and taking proactive steps to prevent blockages in the first place, you can avoid the inconvenience and expenses of a full-blown plumbing emergency.
If you’re uncomfortable handling the plumbing issue yourself or the blockage is particularly stubborn, don’t hesitate to contact Kenec Plumbing and Gas. We are a full-service plumbing company with extensive experience in fixing blocked drains and carrying out all types of plumbing services in Perth. You may request a job estimate today or book online and enjoy a 10% discount on labour.