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Identifying a Blocked Drain

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Every homeowner has experienced the inconvenience of having a blocked drain.  There’s no doubt about it, blocked drains are downright disgusting!  Swimming with bacteria, if left unrepaired, a blocked drain can lead to health issues not to mention an awful smell!   It’s usually easy to tell when we have a blocked drain but not so easy to tell what is causing the problem. All too often we ignore the situation and the problem that was once minor becomes something much larger.

Reasons for a Blocked Drain

There are many reasons why your household could be experiencing a blocked drain such as:

  • Foreign objects that have been accidentally dropped down the drain
  • A heavy build-up of hair, grease or oil
  • Old, damaged and broken pipes
  • An infiltration of/or damage caused by tree roots. Tree roots thrive in the damp environment that your pipes provide and just the tiniest crack is all a tree needs to find its way in, spread out, and cause all kinds of damage


Tell-Tale Signs of a Blocked Drain

Blocked drains leave a number of tell-tale signs such as:

  • Water in your sinks, bath, toilet or shower that is slow to recede
  • A lower than normal water level in your toilet, or a toilet that seems to struggle when flushing
  • Strange gurgling or negative odours coming from drains
  • Overflowing drains either inside or outside the home


Whatever the cause it is important to diagnose and treat the problem in a timely and efficient manner to ensure limited damage to pipes and surrounding areas. The first step you should take is to try plunging the drain.  A plunger works by creating an air-tight seal over the drain and forcing the air that was in the plunger cap into the pipe.  When the plunger is pulled back, it sucks the air and water up with it, causing a vacuum that helps to loosen any blockage that might exist in the pipe.  It may take several tries to loosen the blockage.

If using a plunger does not unblock your drain, then it’s time to call the experts.  Using state of the art CCTV cameras that are able to be inserted into the pipes, a plumber will locate the blockage in your drain.  Then, using a high-pressure water jet, they are able to blast away even the most stubborn blockage.  And, if all else should fail,  a plumber is able to repair or replace damaged and broken pipes.

Once the drain is repaired there are a few things you can do to ensure that a blockage does not occur again. These include:

  • Never flush anything except for toilet paper down the toilet
  • Ensure that all food scraps are placed in the bin and not washed down the sink
  • Never pour oils and /or fats down the sink
  • If you have long hair, brush it before showering to prevent hairs from going down the drain
  • Use mesh drain stoppers in your shower and kitchen sinks
  • Every few weeks pour hot water down the drains to assist in clearing any build up that may have occurred. Bicarbonate soda and vinegar are also great natural ways to assist in keeping your drains clean and healthy.


Remember, responding to a blocked drain immediately will prevent further damage and save you money.  AK Gas and Plumbing pride themselves in responding to Greater Brisbane plumbing emergencies in the timeliest manner.  Moreover, our fixed pricing and upfront estimates mean that there are no hidden costs – just a professional, reliable plumbing service that you can depend on.  Best of all, AK Gas and Plumbing are available 24 hours, seven days a week.


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