The most common reason for a resident to call a plumber is to unblock drains or toilets that have been backed up from the wrong waste being flushed down the pipe. The drainage pipe connecting a Sydney home to the main sewer is usually 100mm in diameter. This diameter can allow solids (poo), liquids (wees , number threes, vomit) and toilet paper to travel easily down the pipe gradient, which gets flushed through the main sewer to the sewerage treatment plant.
There are any number of reasons for a drain to block up. But generally, a blocked drain can occur when the wrong waste is flushed down the sewer system. Anything that is not body waste or toilet paper shouldn’t be put down the drain. A blocked drain is not a fun issue to deal with at home, so many residents will try to unblock the drain themselves with some DIY methods. It is true, there are things you can do before you call your plumber, but some of the homemade recommendations can do little to dislodge a blockage.
If you ever find yourself with a blocked drain, here are some steps to take, before calling your plumber.
1. Identify the location of the blockage
If you notice a blocked fixture in your home, it’s important to determine if it is the only fixture that takes a long time to drain. If it’s only an isolated fixture, the blockage will be on that fixture’s waste pipe. But if all the fixtures in the home back up or take time for the water to drain away, the blockage is on the main line of the sewer.
Once you’ve identified the location, any blockages on the main sewer line will need a plumber to come out and blast the blockage with a jet rodder machine. Most often, the blockage is caused by tree roots, which requires specialist tools to remove.
Try Natural Products
The only time to try natural products is if fat has congealed down the kitchen sink. The kitchen sink can often back up if food or oils have been poured down there. To break up the fat, shake bicarb soda over the sink drain and then pour in white vinegar. Let this mixture sit in the waste for half an hour. Then flush using water from the sink mixer. If the sink still remains blocked after this DIY remedy, it’s time to try a plunger.
Plunge the Blockage
Every home owner in Sydney should own a plunger. This plumbing tool can unblock many a drain by using pressure to push the blockage away through the pipe. Ensure the mouth of the rubber end of the plunger covers the drain hole. Use an up and down forceful motion with the plunger to use pressure to unblock the drain. If this doesn’t work, it’s time to call a plumber with something more powerful to blast the blockage away.
Commercial Drain Cleaners
Commercial drain cleaners are usually the last resort when trying to unblock a drain. Many plumbers will try different avenues before using a commercial drain cleaner, to avoid chemicals going down the sewer system. If you have tried everything to unblock the drain at your home, it’s time to call a plumber to fix the blockage for you.