Let’s face it, nobody wants a blocked drain. They’re messy, smelly and can cause leaks and a build up of bacteria. Unfortunately, every homeowner will encounter a blocked drain at some point in time. The good news is that with a little bit of knowledge and some preventative measures, you can keep your drains flowing smoothly and easily unblock them when they become clogged.
Understanding How Drains Work
Before we dive into how to take care of your drains, it’s essential to understand how they work. Drains are designed to remove water and waste from your home and send it to the sewer system. Most drains rely on gravity to do this, meaning that the waste flows down the pipe and out to the sewer.
Signs of a Clogged Drain
One of the most common signs of a clogged drain is slow drainage. If water is draining slowly from your sink or shower, it could be a sign that there is a blockage in the pipe. Other signs of a clogged drain include:
- Foul odours coming from the drain
- Gurgling or bubbling sounds when the water is draining
- Water backing up in the sink or shower
- Overflowing toilets
- Waste coming back up in the toilet
Common Causes of Clogged Drains
There are several common causes of blocked drains, including:
- Hair: In the bathroom, hair is one of the most common culprits of a clogged drain.
- Soap: Soap scum can build up in the pipes and contribute to clogs.
- Food Waste: In the kitchen, food waste can accumulate in the pipes and cause blockages.
- Grease: Pouring grease down the drain can cause it to solidify and create a blockage.
- Foreign Objects: Items like paper towels, wet wipes, and feminine hygiene products can block your drains.
DIY Drain Cleaning Techniques
If you have a clogged drain, there are several DIY techniques you can try to clear the blockage. One of the easiest and most effective is by using a plunger. Here’s how to use a plunger to unclog a drain:
- Fill the sink or shower with enough water to cover the plunger’s cup.
- Position the plunger over the drain, making sure it creates a seal.
- Push and pull the plunger up and down quickly, creating suction to dislodge the blockage.
- Repeat until the water begins to drain freely.
If this doesn’t clear your blocked drains, it’s best to call a professional plumber.
Preventative Maintenance Tips
The best way to avoid a clogged drain is to take preventative measures. Here are some ways you can keep your drains flowing smoothly:
- Use a drain strainer to catch hair and other debris in the bathroom.
- Avoid pouring grease down the drain.
- Dispose of leftover food in the bin, not in the sink.
- Run hot water down the drain after each use to help flush away any buildup of food.
- Regularly clean your drains with baking soda and vinegar to break up any buildup.
Professional Drain Cleaning Services
If you have a stubborn clog that you can’t clear with DIY techniques, it may be time to call in a professional. A drain cleaning service carried out by an experienced plumber will include the use of specialised tools and techniques that can easily remove the blockage and get your drains flowing smoothly again.
The Benefits of Regular Drain Maintenance
Nobody needs the inconvenience of a blocked drain. To ensure that your drains stay nice and clear, make sure that you’re keeping up with regular maintenance, including cleaning your drains on a weekly basis. Taking that little bit of extra time each week to ensure your drains are clear, will save you money and time in the long run.
At Sydney Emergency Plumbing, we’re available 24/7 to fix your blocked drains and any other plumbing emergencies you may have. With over 20 years of plumbing experience, we pride ourselves on always being professional, friendly and punctual. Contact us today at 1300 115 429 to find out more about our services.