Blocked drains can be an inconvenience at the least, and a devastating matter at worst. How can we minimise the risk of knock-on effects of poorly-addressed blockage, and how can we prevent it happening in the future?
How to identify a blocked drain
Identifying the fact you have a blocked drain is the first thing you need to get right. If the water is not clearing out of your bath properly and is taking a long time to drain down the plug hole, then you may have at least a partially-blocked drain. If the water won’t easily pass the toilet basin when you flush, then you may have found that there is a blockage building up somewhere in the pipework.
It is always tempting to introduce more water into the drain but this will usually only make the problem more severe.If you are feeling brave and would like to see if you could help alleviate the blockage then you should be prepared and protected from the potentially harmful bacteria you will be in contact with. The best thing to do once you have found that you have a blockage is to simply pour some bleach down the plug hole or toilet. This will hopefully address the issue if it is not too severe, loosening the build-up and returning the water to its usual flow.
If the water is not clearing enough to even poor bleach down the plug or toilet, then you will need your drains unblocking by a professional drainage team.
The methods commonly used when unblocking drains
When you talk to your local drainage professional you will discover that they will likely either perform drain jetting or manual rodding to remove the blockage. These techniques are very different but are commonly used to ensure that your problem is dealt with swiftly and you can return to your normal daily activities.
Drain jetting is a technique whereby a high-powered jet of water is forced into the length of the pipe. The water is released at such a force that it releases any build-up forming in the pipe, which may cause future blockages.
Manual rodding is more primitive in its nature, in that you insert a flexible rod down the drain to find the blockage and then twist until the blockage is released and the water returns to its normal flow.
Although most people won’t attempt to perform drain jetting themselves due to the equipment needed for this procedure, many people try to do manual rodding, often with a negative outcome. Manual rodding if not carried out properly, can lead to burst pipes and many more harsh consequences including property damage. If bleach isn’t loosening the blockage then you should contact a professional drainage company.
Tom Clark writes on a variety topics from home maintenance to Eco living and travel in the UK.
Image credit to Joe Pell