A blocked drain can turn even a dream home into a nightmare, so it is helpful for property owners to be aware of the leading indicators of a clogged drain.
Some issues are a dead giveaway, allowing homeowners to act quickly, but other problems might not become apparent until there is a noticeable issue.
This post aims to help you see the obvious indicators of a blocked drain and help you know what you can do to avoid or minimise these problems.
Knowing the early signs of a blocked drain allows you to proactively avoid significant issues or resolve problems before they become too serious. The most completely apparent early warning signs are worth considering:
Being aware of the most obvious hints associated with blocked drainage systems will help you stay one step ahead of the problem.
Slow draining water is an obvious sign of a blockage in a drain pipe; this is the case for a toilet, a bath, shower or sink.
There are many reasons water will drain slowly, but if you notice slow drainage quite often, it is one of the first signs that something isn't right.
When your pipes or fixtures sound different from how they normally do, you might have an issue. A gurgling noise is amongst the most apparent signs of trapped air, which means a gurgling sound is an ominous sound for home owners.
While some gurgling sounds are natural, it is worth checking out if they are persistent or extremely loud. When these sounds finally disappear, don't wait for them to return to check out a pipe, be proactive in reviewing your drainage system.
These sounds might be apparent with sinks or showers but they are also applicable with water based appliances. Listen out for these gurgling sounds that night suggest a blockage with your washing machine.
When your toilet flushes, look at the level of water when it returns to normal. If the water rises to a higher level than normal, there might be an issue for you to contend with.
Food lingering at your plug holes and sink is a telltale sign your drain is blocked or a pipe isn't carrying items away as well as they should.
A bad smell or a foul smell, often relating to food not carrying away to a sewer drain or external drains, is a sign to examine your drain, and perhaps take steps to clear out the system.
Whether you first notice unpleasant odours or visual symptoms emerge, you must act swiftly to prevent significant blockages.
Running taps will indicate how well water moves through your system, helping you make a swift decision. In all these instances, you should act quickly, and it makes sense to call on an expert for help.
A lack of high-pressure water in your shower is usually an indicator that something is not right at your property. Clogged water pipes can reduce the effectiveness of your showers, and rusting might cause further issues.
Knowing the first indicators of a blocked drain is one thing, but knowing how to prevent these issues is a more helpful outcome.
You can't hope to push through a blockage with more force, this will often make a problem worse.
Following these tips around your toilet and sinks will help keep your property in better condition:
Be observant - one of the most effective ways to prevent blocked drains comes through looking out for the most obvious signs above.
Be proactive in waste disposal - Disposing of food waste and sanitary items properly, as opposed to flushing down a sink or toilet, will better maintain your drainage system.
The use of baking soda and white vinegar can help keep drains clear, ensuring there is a suitable flow of water throughout your system.
Review your plug holes to ensure there is no food or other indicators of a blocked pipe.
There might be external issues impacting your pipes. Tree roots are a common cause of blockage in household pipes, and there might be issues with external sewage pipes or lateral drains.
In these cases, responsibility for repair and maintenance lies with external parties, not property owners. If you have blockage issues with raw sewage, you don't want to be hands on in resolving the blockage, it is a task best left to an expert.
If more than one drain in your home, indicate a blockage, there might be an issue with your outside drain.
This task is best left to the professionals, but some people with experience and confidence in the matter might like to examine the matter.
This involves removing a drain cover and looking into the chamber. If the chamber is full, it indicates the blockage occurs further down the line.
If the drain chamber is empty, the blockage has already happened in the pipeline.
You don't want to deal with manhole covers yourself, so call on an expert with all the fixtures and tools required to handle this task.
Once you find the blockage, it might be possible to break it up using drain rods. When doing so, you should wear protective clothing, which is a task best left to the experts.
If you are in any doubt about working with a drain or pipes, contact a professional or local authority and inform them of the suspected problem.
We know a blocked drain or a drain blockage can make your life a misery, but it doesn't have to be this way.
Seeing the warning signs, such as water draining slowly or rising in your toilet, gives you a better chance of spotting and then resolving these issues without too much damage.