While it may not seem like a big deal to flush the occasional wipes down the drain or put food scraps or coffee grounds down the sink, they can cause huge issues for your plumbing system. Choosing to dispose of them this way runs the risk of them attaching on something in the drain pipe, which will cause a significant build up if it’s not eliminated effectively.
So what exactly can go wrong if you don’t attend to blockages before it’s too late?
The domino effect
If your main drain is blocked, it will eventually cause other plumbing fixtures in the home to back-up as well. As the drains are set up like a ‘tree’, there are multiple drain lines from all the different water appliances on your property which all lead to the main line. If this gets clogged, it will mean there is nowhere for the water to go, except backward.
How can you tell if you have a backed up drain? The main indication is if you hear a gurgling noise in any of the following areas:
If so, there’s a blockage in your line somewhere, so it’s critical to have stormwater drain repairs conducted as quickly as possible. The more water you use, the more noticeable the sound will be. As the blocked drains get worse, you’ll start to experience a nasty sewerage smell throughout your property.
If the main drain is blocked, and the water continues to back up, eventually it will start to overflow into different fixtures around the house. As the water tries to drain, it has nowhere to go, so the main blocked drain forces it to go through smaller ones.
Overflowing water will always happen at the lowest point, which is why fixtures on the lower floors are usually where the overflowing first occurs.
How to know if your water is overflowing?
The best ways to test if you have an overflow issue is to conduct the following:
- Turn on the bathroom sink: check if the toilet water bubbles up or rises;
- Use the washing machine: check for an overflow in the toilet or shower drain;
- Flush the toilet: check if the water comes up through the shower drain or tub, or start to gurgle;
Hacks to eliminate a blockage
If you are experiencing a blockage, it’s important to have stormwater drain repairs carried out. However, in the meantime, you can try pouring any of the following into the drain itself:
- Baking soda and vinegar;
- Caustic soda;
- Boiling water;
- Dish detergent.
Blocked stormwater drains
Stormwater drains are responsible for the excess runoff of water from your roof, gutters and downpipes. It’s easy for these to become blocked; they are susceptible build-ups from dirt, mud, tree roots and leaves, no matter the time of year.
To check if you have a blockage in this area, examine the following to see if you can identify:
- flooding from downpipes and the gutters
- Surface flooding in your driveway, yard, stumps, etc.
If they are backed up, you’ll need stormwater drain repairs immediately. When avoided, you leave room for significant water damage to both your home and the contents, with flooding likely to happen if a heavy storm or rush of rain hits.