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Avoiding and Clearing Blocked or Clogged Drains

"Tree roots are attracted to the condensation that forms on the outside of pipes, and over time can break through into drains and cause a blockages."

Blocked Drains - Detection and Prevention

Authors Website: Sydney Plumber

Blocked drains can be expensive. In reoccurring cases a plumber may need to completely excavate your sewer. By detecting a blockage early on though, you may be able reduce the cost involved. By following the below tips you may be able to prevent your drain from becoming blocked and avoid needing a plumber.

First and foremost take care with what goes down your drains. No large objects should be allowed to go down drains. Though this sounds obvious, plumbers are frequently called to clear blocked drains caused this way. In the kitchen, fats and greases will stick to the outside of drains and should not be washed down the sink. In the bathroom, shower and vanity basin drains are often clogged by large amounts of hair. Cement, concrete and other materials left over after DIY repairs are also no good for drains and in extreme cases will necessitate a complete sewer excavation.

Another leading cause of blocked drains - especially reoccurring blocked drains - is tree roots. Tree roots are attracted to the condensation that forms on the outside of pipes, and over time can break through into drains and cause a blockages. A plumber would then be required to clear the blocked drain, normally using a high pressure water jetter or electric eel. Tree roots are particularly bad for drains though, because they damage the pipe and create a 'lip' at the spot where they break into the pipe. Even after the blocked drain has been cleared this lip will often catch waste that is sent down the line and cause future blockages. The only way to permanently stop a drain from re-blocking in such situations is to dig up the sewer and replace the damaged section of pipe, but this is not a cheap exercise.

When planting new trees it is worth considering the location of drains in relation to planned tree locations. If you are not sure where your drain lines run, your plumber should be able to find this out for you. In the case of a reoccurring blocked drain caused by tree roots, your plumber should also be able to tell you which trees are likely to be causing the problem. Finally, some trees are known to cause problems for drains, so it is a good idea to do a little research into the tree species you have in mind.

Typical signs of a partially blocked drain include a slight methane smell coming up from your drains, or water overflowing from drains outside the house after water has been in use. Early detection of blocked drain will often reduce the amount of work involved in clearing it, so if you suspect you have a drain that is becoming blocked it is worth contacting your plumber.

Jonathan Wakefield
PAV Plumbing Pty Ltd
PO Box 200
Surry Hills NSW 2010
Toll Free: 1.800.625.604

Note: This article was submitted by a second party and the contents are subject to our disclaimer.

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