The drainage system is a crucial part of any building. Lack of proper maintenance can result in a blocked drainage system – and disruption to your household or business.
Clogged drains are not only a huge inconvenience but a safety risk as well. If water is unable to flow out of your pipes, it can harbor harmful bacteria and emit a foul odour. Every homeowner and property manager has to deal with this nuisance at some point. It is important to fix drainage problems right away to prevent any health issues.
What causes drainage problems?
Obstruction to water flow along the pipes can be a result of the following:
- Warped or corroded pipes
- Grease build-up
- Paper clog
- Debris build-up
- Foreign objects stuck in the drain
If you know which drainage problems to watch out for, you can save hundreds of dollars in repair costs in the future.
Drain cleaners are usually effective in melting gunk and clearing your pipes. If traditional remedies do not work, check if your drainage problem is caused by any of the issues listed below.
1. Poor installation
In an effort to save time and money, many people may attempt to fix a leak and replaced the pipe themselves. While DIY solutions are now a common part of home renovation, sometimes poor installation can result in costly drain blockages. If you need to install new pipes, it is best to leave it to the pros.
2. Sediment build-up
If you notice that the flow of water from your tap changes from free flowing to trickling, it could be a sign of a sediment build-up in the pipeline. Hard water carries minerals and deposits them on the surfaces it passes over. Water lines eventually become clogged with sediment, which reduces the water pressure.
Make it a point to regularly clean shower heads, filters, and other removable parts of the water supply line. Soaking them in vinegar overnight will effectively remove mineral deposits.
3. Plant debris
Outdoor drainage systems are susceptible to plant debris build-up. After spring and autumn, leaves and small branches fall from trees and settle on the ground. When the rains come, these fragments flow with sludge and into your drains. Apart from leaves, tree roots can also be a problem as they grow underground and head straight to the water in your drainage system.
To prevent plant debris from blocking the drains, keep your lawn clear of dry leaves and trim your trees regularly. Avoid planting trees that are known to damage drains, including willow, oak, magnolia, and palm.
4. Heavy rainfall
Your drainage system is designed to carry a certain amount of water. Excessive rainwater during storms and other weather disturbances can flood your drains, gutters, and downpipes.
Before the wet season arrives, clean your gutters to make sure there are no dry leaves, dirt, and dead animals that could block the flow of water.
5. Broken pipes
Water pipes can burst due to growing tree roots, ice build-up during winter, and general wear-and-tear. Fractures can make your pipes more susceptible to blockage.
Check your pipes for visible leaks. Water stains on the ceiling can be a result of broken pipes. If there are no visible cracks but you suspect a fracture problem, ask a professional to take a look.
Hair build-up is one of the most common causes of a blocked drain. It is easy to overlook a few strands of hair falling on the shower floor. Before you know it, clumps of hair have already clogged your bathroom drain.
If you notice small amounts of hair gathering on the floor drain, put on a pair of gloves and pull all the hair out. Ask your local hardware store if they have any tool for grabbing hair that is visible in the drain. When hair builds up at the entry of the drain pipes, it can ruin your entire drainage system.
Build-up of grease, fat, and oil is common in kitchen sinks. These fatty substances can be quite difficult to remove when they stick to the interior lining of your pipes. If you keep pouring used oil down the sink, it will eventually clog the drain to the point where no liquid will be able to pass through.
Do not dispose of grease down the kitchen drain. When grease cools down, it will harden along the pipes. What you can do is put all the fatty stuff in a small container, let it solidify in the refrigerator, and then discard with your rubbish.
Sydney Water spent two years removing 1 million kilograms of wet wipes from sewers, costing the government close to $20 million. Most manufacturers promote hand and body wipes as ‘flushable’ but these synthetic materials actually take years to break down.
More people are also flushing nappies down the toilet. When immersed in water, these items expand as they absorb moisture – eventually blocking access to pipes and drains. People should just stop disposing of toiletries down the drain. Throw them in designated bins, or take them out with your garbage.
9. Foreign objects
Children are notorious for sticking foreign objects into any opening they see, including the toilet, sink, tub, and floor drains. These items can easily block your drainage system.
Dispose of food scraps and waste properly. When clearing dishes, be wary of anything that may accidently drop and cause a blockage.
If you are planning on purchasing a new home or building, hire a professional to inspect the entire property. Defects are often expensive to fix especially if they are not detected early.
Contact a licensed Newcastle plumber to conduct plumbing inspection
Green Planet Plumbing is a family owned local business that services the areas of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie. Whether you are just about to buy a building or a home, or need your current home’s plumbing system inspected, we are the company to call! Our licensed plumbers are ready to help any time of the day. Contact us!