We all dread the days when we pour liquids down the drain and they just don't go down the pipe and into the sewer system. Indeed, blocked drains are always a headache to deal with.
It is interesting to note that blocked drains are common in Australian homes. With the average Australian household using 900 liters of water per day, someone in the home is bound to drop a solid object into the pipes, use excessive toilet paper, or pour grease and fat down the kitchen sink.
Before you panic over a blocked drain, here are several steps you can take to rectify the situation. Of course, they should be accompanied with calling in a plumber to offer a long-term solution to the problem.
The classic plunger technique
With the increased occurrence of clogged drains, every Australian home should have a plunger handy in case they encounter clogged drains. For a plunger to be effective, it needs to have enough suction force to dislodge any materials that are clogging the pipes underneath.
An effective strategy is to place a damp cloth on top of the clogged drain first. Kitchen sinks, bathroom sinks and other drainage channels may have an overflow vent right underneath the surface. This is a likely location of the blocked drain. Use a plunger on top of the damp cloth to pump the drain and dislodge any material that is blocking the pipes.
The chemical drainer technique
If the plunger doesn't work, you may need to obtain some chemicals. There are many chemical drainers in the market, and they work by dissolving materials that may be clogging the pipes and leading to blocked drains.
Be careful with using excessive amounts because they can further coagulate materials and make the problem even worse.
The drain-and-trap auger technique
If chemical drainer doesn't work, use an auger to physically access the pipes and attempt to dislodge any blocking materials. The auger can penetrate the interior of the pipes and exert pressure on solid items blocking them. A wire coat hanger can also be used to penetrate deeper into the pipes from the surface.
The "Call a plumber ASAP" technique
When all else has failed, it is time to call a plumber. Plumbers specialize in clogged drains and they can clear them using several techniques. These include using specialty chemical cleaners, electrical power augers, and physically accessing the blocked pipes in order to either replace or unclog them more effectively.