The most disturbing thing about blocked drains and blocked pipes is the rate at which they develop into large-scale problems. What starts as slow water drainage can escalate into flooding and sewage backup if not attended to on time. Hence, it is important to watch out for the early signs and causes.
In this piece, we have compiled the 8 common causes of blocked drains in Melbourne, while adding the fix and prevention in each case.
We also have a guide on how to unblock a drain to help clear minor blockages yourself.
Grease or fat is part of the constituents making up a traditional soap bar. When this fat mixes with the minerals present in water, the result is a hard residue or soap scum. This, in turn, clogs pipes and stain bath fittings. To prevent this, use soap-free washes, and the simplest fix is to pressure clean all your pipes to get rid of these soap substances.
Hair can block shower and sink drains, considering its ability to bind with sticky substances, such as grease, and forming clogs in the process. Prevention is the best fix for blocked drainages caused by hair. Put guards in place to catch hair and clear the guards frequently.
Most of us rely on the drain and pipes to wash up whatever we throw at it. However, the truth is that the accumulation of this excess dirt can lead to blockages (or smelly drains). This can be prevented by shaking and rinsing extra mud or dirt off your body or clothes before washing them indoors.
4. Accumulation of minerals
Hard water is known to contain dissolved minerals, which can accumulate and become insoluble, thus blocking the drains. You can either install a water softener for your home (if you are restricted to a hard water supply) or descale and get rid of sediments and accumulations in your pipes. Fully formed mineral masses blocking your drains and pipes can be difficult to remove. Hence, bring in a competent plumber to take a look and fix your blocked drains and pipes.
5. Food Waste
Rather than allowing your food waste goes down the drain, they should be transferred into a composting pile. Even if you have a sink with the garbage disposal, do not send food waste down the drain. Watch out for tea leaves, coffee grounds, and other unbreakable wastes. Likewise, grease or oil end up becoming solids in the pipes, thus causing a blockage. To dispose of greasy and oily food wastes, absorb them on a paper towel and transfer to the compost.
6. Small Objects
The damages caused by small objects in your plumbing supply are usually serious. Your toilet, sink, or drain is made to allow only human waste, toilet paper, and water. Everything else will eventually cause blockages and clogs. So, ensure that you dispose of other objects by using compost, trash, or through recycling. If you have plumbing problems caused by these foreign objects, bring in a professional local plumber to check and repair as required.
7. Tree Roots
Your underground pipes are prone to cracks or leaks, no matter how small, caused by tree root growth. Roots get bigger once they find their way into your pipes and end up blocking the flow of water and damaging pipes. Common in stormwater drain blockages, you will require the service of a plumbing company to effectively clear tree roots from pipes. Such serious situations may require excavation, trenchless repair, pressure jet cleaning, and rooter service, among others. To prevent this, always observe the condition of your drains and monitor the root development of your trees and plants.
8. Accumulation of toilet paper
Everyone will experience it at some stage, but there’s nothing quite like realising your toilet drain is blocked. When there is too much toilet paper in your pipes, it causes clogging, and your toilets will end up not flushing. If the pipes still allow water to pass through, you can dissolve or shift the toilet paper by using a plunger. However, for a toilet that doesn’t drain at all, it is best that you call a plumber to handle the situation.
Blocked drains are now more common than ever, and in most cases, the best fix is prevention. Avoid doing things that will clog your drain, including sending down the wrong things or trying to clear the pipes by forcing down other objects or chemicals. In situations where your blocked pipes and drains require an instant fix, call an expert plumber like the guys at Ezy-Plumb to take a look at it and make the necessary repairs.