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Should I keep using Vaporooter? We have been blockage free for a year!

That is a great question!

This 1.4 min video simply explains cost saving reasons to keep using Vaporooter!

 

It just makes sense. No matter where you are in Australia, if you have doubts about continuing your drain and pipe maintenance using Vaporooter, just ask us.

Freecall 1800 637 600

 

 

 

Symptoms of a blocked drain

As our summer rolls on and the Easter break approaches and we get together with our family and friends, keep an eye out for some of those vital symptoms that indicate you have a slow or blocked drain.

Make it a holiday break  to remember for the right reasons,  rather than needing to call an emergency plumber to rescue you and your family from a sewer blockage.

Keep an eye out for:

  • The excessive rise or fall of the water level in your toilet. We call it syphoning, and it comes with a Glug Glug Glug sound.
  • Slow draining water or ankle deep water in the shower or bath.
  • Swarms of small flies  or sewer flies around smelly drains.
  • Your kitchen sink, waste disposal unit or dishwasher are slow to drain.
  • Toilet paper or dirty water around your sewer surcharge gully in the garden or yard.
  • Dirty water leaking from a retaining wall or garden bed that conceals sewer pipes.

These are signs of a blockage, and your pipes are trying to tell you that all isn’t well.

When the extra guests arrive you will know because the additional load on your sewer pipes will bring any blockage to a head.

So have a look around you home for the symptoms of a blocked drain and please don’t ignore them.

If you are unsure, contact your friendly plumber for help and some drain maintenance advice.

 

Will this blocked drain go away?

If you have a blocked drain it is highly unlikely that the blockage will simply go away.

Blockages caused by tree roots act like a strainer within your sewer pipes. Water and liquids will pass through the strainer but the poo and toilet paper and any other foreign material you flush down your sewer will get caught in the strainer.

Most busy family homes tend to have a blockage during morning or evening peak hour, or during the weekend or holidays when there are extra visitors in the house. That’s when there are multiple individuals using the shower, bath and toilet, the dishwasher and washing machine. It’s at this time that all that waste water can’t get through the “strainer” and the blockage occurs.

Some home owners will see the blockage and promise to call an emergency plumber “in the morning”.

But, when morning comes and they use their toilet and it flushes normally, many people believe that the blockage has miraculously fixed itself and they either ring their emergency plumber to call him off visiting or they just don’t ring a plumber at all.

What has happened is this; during the night, whilst everyone is sleeping, the dirty waste water has seeped through the tree root “strainer” in the blocked sewer pipes giving the appearance that the blocked drain has fixed itself. The new morning peak hour will cause the drain to be blocked again; only this time it will be even uglier.

So, get on the phone and contact your emergency plumber to clear your blockage promptly. Ask your plumber to do a drainoscopy on your sewer pipes. Its actually quite an interesting process and if its during the holidays all the family can see what is really going on in your blocked drains.

If the drainoscopy shows tree roots in pipes, ask your plumber about a drain maintenance program at the same time.

Remember, if you have a blocked drain caused by tree roots, The tide will go out overnight……but it will come back in the morning!

Peak hour!

What are the main causes of blocked drains?

Today’s post is a simple one.

Amazingly, 83% of all blocked drains in Australia are caused by tree roots!

Cooking fats, oils and grease, human and pet hair, sanitary products, facial tissues and napkins used instead of toilet paper, dental floss and broken or collapsed pipes make up the other 17% of blocked drains.

If you have persistent problems with your sewer pipes caused by tree roots then this simple instruction found in the “head” or toilet of an ocean racing yacht, makes a lot of sense to me. I’m sure the yacht owners won’t mind if you put a similar sign in your troubled bathroom.

Why we need a plan of our sewer pipes

Generally, when sewer pipes and drains are installed by a licensed plumber, they are inspected by an authorised person who draws a plan of the drainage installation showing where the drains run, what plumbing fixtures are connected and what, if any, other properties are connected.

Currently, we have a self inspection system where the plumber draws the drainage installation and submits the drawing to the local water authority or council for their records.

Owners can get a copy of this diagram from their local water authority or council. If your property has a history of blocked drains or is surrounded by trees, I strongly suggest you have a copy of this drainage diagram and keep it in a safe and easily accessible place.

Your local plumber can assist with getting a copy of this drainage diagram.

In NSW Australia, a drainage diagram is a standard inclusion in a Contract of Sale for any property. I suggest you look there first!

Who is responsible for these drains?

Problems with drains, including blockages, occur no matter what type of building you live in.

Most single or multiple level houses have their own drainage systems taking the discharge from all the plumbing fixtures within the property. The owner of the  property is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of their pipes up to the point where his pipes join the council main.

Rows of terrace houses in inner city suburbs and semi-detached homes often drain into a “common sewer line”. These terrace rows can have up to 20 homes or more, draining into one common line. Depending on the fall of the land, this common sewer line may pass across the front or rear of the row and then  spill into a Boundary trap, before discharging into the Water authority’s main sewer line.

Generally, the common sewer line should be maintained by the owners of the properties connected to the sewer line, and costs associated with works or repairs on this  common sewer line should be borne by all parties on that common sewer line.

If blockages, repairs or pipe renewals are confined to the pipes and drains that take the discharge from any one particular house on the common sewer line, then those costs should be borne by that individual.

Any property owners connected to a common sewer line should be aware that should a blockage occur in the common line, downstream of where he/she connects to the line, the sewer may surcharge or overflow in his/her yard or garden if it is the lowest open drain in the line.

This can be quite unpleasant if someone else’s sewer is coming up in your yard or even worse, your home!

When blockages occur, we recommend that all owners connected to a common sewer line communicate and co-operate with all other parties on this line .

Strata home unit blocks and Townhouses will have their own drainage lines that generally drain to a Boundary trap and then on to the Water Authority or Council sewer mains.

The responsibility for the maintenance and repairs of these drains is generally directed by a Strata Title Manager  and sometimes a Real Estate Property Manager.

Commercial properties, Industrial Estates and Schools generally all have their own  drainage lines that generally drain to a Boundary trap and then on to the Water Authority or Council sewer mains.