If you have ever had a blocked drain in your home, then you know how unpleasant it can be. The sight and smell of overflowing waste water and sewage can make your home quite impossible to live in, not to mention the numerous complaints you get from your neighbours.
While they may appear like sudden occurrences, blockages in the plumbing are the result of weeks and months of build-up. The drainage issues simply pile up over time and before you know it, you have a blockage on your hands. The good thing about that is that you can catch the blockages while they are still forming and call in the plumber to fox it before it gets out of hand.
You know you drains are getting blocked when…
- There is slow water drainage
If you notice the water in the sink or bathtub draining away rather slowly, you may have a blockage in your drains. You can try removing any barriers on the surface of the drain (e.g. hair, and other kinds of debris), then use a plunger to clear the piping underneath that drain. If the water drainage is still slow, call the plumber because the problem may be further down the plumbing than you should handle.
- The water levels in the toilet begin to change
After flushing, there is a certain level of water that should remain in the toilet bowl. If you notice the water level rising, it means that you have a blockage in that drain. Alternatively, if the main sewer drain is blocked, the water could flow into the shower or bathtub when you flush the toilet, causing the water levels in the bowl to be lower.
You can also check for a blockage by letting a tap run in the bathroom for a few minutes then examine your toilet bowl water to see if the water level is rising or there are bubbles forming. These signs could indicate a blockage and you should call a plumber immediately.
- You hear a gurgling sound after flushing the toilet
The sound could come from the toilet, bathtub, shower drain or sink. It is caused by the water displacing air that is trapped in the drainage system. The air comes from a clog in the drainage system that has not yet caused a backflow of water. Alternatively, the gurgling sound could be caused by sewer gases being forced through the water within the drainage pipes. These gases accumulate when drain vents that are supposed to release the gases into the air are blocked by animal nests or any other kind of debris. Both situations should be handled by a plumber.
- There is a terrible smell coming from a drain
This is the easiest indicator of trouble. The smell comes from stagnant waste water and decomposing matter inside your tubes, and it makes its way through the pipes and out through your sinks, toilets and bathroom drains.
Cleaning your garbage disposal plastic guard thoroughly should help with the kitchen sink, while using strainers in the bathroom drains can prevent hair from building up in the drains and causing the awful smell. You can pour baking soda, white vinegar or scented soaps down the drains to get rid of the smell but if it persists, call a plumber. If an issue comes up without much warning, make sure to call a plumber that offers emergency blocked drain services.