May 30 2016 0Comment
Kitchen sink plughole

Blocked Drains and Pipes: Common Causes

(Last Updated On: November 9, 2017)

Every homeowner has trouble with their drains or pipes at one time or another. As with all plumbing problems, prevention is better than a cure! Blocked drains and pipes often cause a real issue in your house. So it’s worth looking at some common causes and identifying how you can prevent them from becoming very real plumbing problems.

Tree Roots
The most common cause of blocked pipes are tree roots. Broken or cracked pipes leak water into the surrounding ground. Trees roots sense this moisture (especially in dry periods) and head to moisture inside the drain. Once the tree roots are in drain, they are there till the pipe is replaced. Clearing the drain will only cut back tree roots. You are better off replacing the whole section, otherwise it will develop into an ongoing and costly maintenance issue.

Leaves and garden waste
Leaves are a particular problem in the autumn months as garden waste can easily fall into drains. Old tree roots and garden debris are one of the most common causes of blocked gutters and downpipes. Ensure that your gutters are maintained regularly and given a good clean out.

Grease and fat
If you flush fat or greasy substances down your sink, after time you will find that the drain becomes blocked. Grease stick to the inside of pipes and builds up like excess cholesterol in arteries! The rule here is to be careful with what you pour down your sink. Bottle any fats or grease and bin them responsibly.

This can be quite difficult to stop: hair is so fine and gets into the tiniest holes. You should remove hair every time you shower, bath, or wash your hair.

Foreign Objects
Other things that can block drains and pipes are food scraps, soaps, toilet paper, and sanitary items. Make sure you have a waste bin in your bathroom to help resist the urge to flush them!

If you think you are experiencing a blocked drain, dont ignore it! This is what could happen if you leave that blockage to build up:

  • Storm water pipes could break or burst, meaning an expensive excavation and replacement job. It can cause flooding or water ingress issues.
  • U-bends and s-bends may have to be removed or replaced. You may find that the connecting pipe needs to be replaced altogether depending upon the damage done.
  • Severely blocked drains can cause sewage to discharge on your property, or even worse onto public property or that of your neighbour! This will leave you with the cost of damage repair or pipe replacement.

To avoid the problems caused by blocked drains, take the preventative measures we’ve discussed above. But if the worst does happen and you need professional help, call RTL Plumbing on 1300 000 RTL (785). With 68 years of proven customer satisfaction in the Greater Brisbane Region, you can be sure of great service, on time and on budget, every time.

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