How to Recognise Blocked Drains and What to Do about It
Without modern plumbing, life as we know it would not exist. In addition to the convenience of running water at the turn of a tap, it also enables much-improved sanitation and thus healthier living conditions. To maintain this level of sanitation, the drainage of used water is just as important as the supply of clean water. However, this is something we hardly think about, until that fateful morning when you are standing in the shower and your ankles are covered in water. Or the unimaginable happens – the toilet does not want to flush. All because of blocked drains. So, what to do when you find yourself in this situation? Or better yet, how do you avoid this situation?
Early Detection Can Save You Effort and Money
There are certain signs that an astute homeowner can look out for, giving them a warning that there is a drainage issue. By acting on these early enough, the potential damage that can be caused by blocked drains can be minimised. In addition, dealing with blocked drains early is much simpler and faster than cleaning out pipes where the blockage has been allowed to build up and settle. Here are four potential signs that you may have blocked drains:
- Your sink, shower or bathtub is draining very slowly. Most of us will immediately notice if our sink or shower is draining slower than usual. This is usually an indication that there is an obstruction somewhere in the drainage pipe, which could lead to blocked drains if not treated. If it’s your kitchen sink, try pouring some boiling water down the drain. Kitchen sink blockages are often caused by a build-up of fatty substances. Bathroom sinks are more often caused by hair and other accidentally flushed items, so you might need something stronger, like a store-bought drain cleaner. If this does not work, better call the professionals.
- The water in your toilet backs up instead of flushing down. The same goes for your toilet. A blocked toilet can be a nightmare. Most often, it is caused by excessive toilet paper or other items that have been flushed. Try using a plunger to dislodge whatever is blocking the pipe. If this does not solve the problem, consider calling in a plumber.
- You notice strange smells coming from your drains. When a drain is blocked, chances are that random items will get stuck in the obstruction. In kitchens, these are often bits of food scraps that can start smelling over time. Alternatively, it could also be something like a small rodent that got into the pipe and died, obstructing the water flow. If you notice a bad smell, it might be a sign of an impending problem.
- You hear a gurgling sound when letting out water. When air gets trapped in the pipes, it will make a gurgling sound. This is often an indication that there is some sort of build-up forming in the pipes. If a drain cleaner does not do the trick, you might need the tools of a professional plumber to clean the blockage.