Upon discovery of a blocked drain, many of us hit a wall. We frantically question: What’s the cause? Why now? What should I do? How soon will this be fixed? Amidst a flurry of thoughts and actions, small problems can turn into larger ones – or worse, ongoing ones.

This is why getting straight to the cause of a blocked drain is essential first off the bat, so resolution can be swiftly and smartly carried out. And, often enough, when it comes to blocked drains there are key tell-tale signs to look – and smell – for, and key preventative measures to bring onboard too.

So, when to start playing detective? If you have a blocked drain you might:

• Gurgling arising from the kitchen sink, toilets or basins as water struggles to drain away.
• Foul whiffs and odours oozing out of toilets, sinks and basins as a result of trapped waste decomposing behind blockages and water becoming stagnant.
• Water slowing draining down sinks and toilets because of a blockage down the line.
• If you have a septic tank, you might spot slumped areas in your lawn.
Why act quickly? If foul smells and slow water isn’t enough to convince you to pick up the phone and call a professional, potential raw sewage and unsanitary water overflowing into your backyard should be. Not to mention costly bills that can climb steeper and steeper as drain issues become more and more serious – and long-term.

More often than not, catching a blocked drain in the bud isn’t overly time consuming or money hungry. As plumbing professionals, we remedy blocked drains across the board – residential and commercial – using specific tools designed to rectify specific problems.

How do we treat the cause?

• For blockages in sinks, toilets, tubs and showers we can use hand tools and plungers to remove/unhinge the blockage.
• For stubborn blockages – i.e. those that have moved into pipes running under the floor – we can pressurise waste pipes.
• For blockages in outside drain pipes, we use a specialist drain machine which propels a steel rod through the drain. The rod comes affixed with certain attachments which work to clear the drain of specific blockages. For example, if your drain is blocked with tree roots, we can apply the cutter attachment to clear the line.
• For sewer drain blockages – which can be more difficult to deal with – we work with clients to discuss the best options for access and accuracy, to minimise time, money spent and stress on those effected.
Whilst blocked drains aren’t ideal, most people will experience an ‘icky’ drain situation at some point in life. But you can take measures to minimise the effects and extensiveness if a drain blockage happens to you.

Here are a few daily tips to keep up your sleeve – not throw down the drain:

• Instead of emptying your coffee grinds into the sink – these can build up like concrete – tip them into the compost instead.
• When tree planting outside, reference your property site map first to see where your drains lie – then avoid planting on or too close to them.
• If you have shower waste you can pull up and remove with ease, try cleaning it weekly to rid it of hair – lumps can form a plug over time.
• Try not to flush any type of sanitary product down the toilet – nappies, pads, tampons and wet wipes – these are all leading causes of blocked drains.