Dealing with Blocked Drains and Downpipes

Blocked drains are a problem that most homeowners will encounter at one point or another. Unfortunately, because it’s such a common issue, a lot of people underestimate its potential to cause damage. Whether it’s a drain, downpipe or sewerage pipe, blockages can be detrimental to your property if left untreated. Blocked sewerage pipes can cause water damage, spread unpleasant odours, and create a slew of health hazards for you and your family.

Because of this, it’s important to act as quickly as possible when you encounter this problem. In this article, we’re going to discuss everything you need to know about blocked drains and downpipes.

How Do Drains Get Blocked?

In order to deal with blocked drains properly, we need to first understand what causes them.

One common cause of drain blockage are tree roots. This type of blockage occurs when there’s a crack or a small gap along your underground pipes. Thin, fibrous roots tend to enter through these small openings, taking in all the water and nutrients inside of the pipe. The roots will then continue to grow, eventually causing a blockage.

Soft blockages usually occur when too much toilet paper is flushed and gets stuck in your drainage pipe. Soft blockages can also occur when you flush foreign objects such as wet wipes, paper towels, Q-tips, dental floss and various bathroom products.

Lastly, your downpipe can get clogged by leaves, dirt, sticks, pine needles and general rubbish. If your gutters are overflowing, there’s a good chance that your downpipe is blocked. This problem can be very dangerous as it can cause significant water damage to your foundation, your wall cladding and your roof.

Identify blocked drains and downpipes

Identifying Blockages

In order to make sure that you get the best results possible, it’s important to correctly identify the blockage. If you don’t know what’s causing the problem, you won’t be able to come up with the correct solution.

In fact, applying the incorrect solution might cause more problems later down the line. For example, if you believe that the blockage is caused by organic matter (e.g. hair and food), you might be tempted to use a manual auger through your pipes. However, if the problem is actually caused by a collapsed pipe, using an auger can cause even more damage to your plumbing system.

blocked drains inspection using CCTV

This is why it’s essential that you contact your local plumber when faced with drainage problems.

At Richmond Plumbing, we have over five decades of experience dealing with all sorts of blocked drains throughout Melbourne. We have the knowledge, the skills and the equipment necessary to solve any plumbing issue that you might be having.

When we first get to your property, we will immediately conduct a thorough inspection of your piping system with our CCTV drain camera. A drain camera is simply a long flexible cable with a small camera attached at the end.

During inspection, we feed this thin cable through the pipes, allowing us to see the cause and the exact location of the blockage.

A CCTV inspection speeds up the repair process and is a non-invasive alternative to excavation.

Tools and Equipment

We use a range of of industry-specific tools to deal with blocked drains.

High-pressure jet cleaners are composed of a long flexible hose with a water nozzle at the end. The nozzle ejects pressurised water through the pipes, clearing all sorts of obstructions like congealed oil, roots, toiletries and dirt.

Sewer machines have a long spiral cable that spins as it makes its way through the pipes. This spinning action can cut through rubbish, hair, silt, dirt and tree roots.

Though these tools and processes might seem simple enough, one wrong misstep can cause a lot of damage to your plumbing system. As such, when it comes to using drainage tools, it’s best to leave it in the hands of professionals.

Contact Us

Besides repair services, Richmond Plumbing also offers upgrades and replacement services for properties with older piping systems. By enhancing your plumbing system, your pipes will be able to remain functional for many, many years to come.

If you’re experiencing slow drainage, leaks or overflowing gutters, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on 0418 397 667 or through our online contact form.