Dealing with blocked drains
24 September 2018
Are your stormwater or sewer drains not doing their job?
A flooded backyard can be due to a blocked stormwater drain or a clogged soak hole—leaving the rain nowhere to go.
Overflowing gully traps generally mean your sewer drain is blocked. The gully trap is where waste pipes from plumbing fixtures inside your house join the drain on the outside of the house.
What causes blockages?
Leaves are a common cause of blockages, as is rubbish getting into the drain or being flushed down the toilet. Or it could be that your drain is blocked by a build-up of silt and dirt.
Tree roots can also grow into older drain pipes, causing damage and blocking the flow. This is more serious and will call for a drain repair.
Can I DIY it?
Drain clearing plungers, augers or ‘snakes’ are available from most hardware stores, as are chemical drain unblocking products. You can use these to have a go at clearing blockages—but beware.
The situation can be made worse by damage to waste pipes, traps or drains. A blocked drain full of caustic chemical cleaner can be a major health and safety risk, resulting in a more expensive repair by a professional plumber or drainlayer.
Drain repair and replacement is not a DIY job. Only licensed plumbers can repair or replace waste pipes inside your home, and only licensed drainlayers can repair or replace drains underground or outside your home.
Steps to take
If your drain or waste pipe is blocked, we recommend a quick check of plug and waste outlets or drain grates to ensure they are clean and clear of leaves, hair or other build-up.
Have a quick go with a plunger and, if the problem remains, call your local Master Plumber for blocked waste pipes inside the home or your Master Drainlayer if it’s a blockage outside.
For blocked external drains, a Master Drainlayer will first attempt to identify the blockage so they can select the right drain clearing method. This is normally either a drain rod inserted into the drain through an access point or hydro jetting using high pressure water.
If the blockage is just rubbish or debris, the job is usually quick and easy. Once the drain is cleared, it is often recommended to have a special drainage camera inserted down the drain to check for broken or misaligned pipes that could cause it to block again.
Find a Master Plumber or Drainlayer near you using our online search tool.