Whether you live in a house or an apartment, you’ve probably had to deal with a clogged drain before. It’s one of the most common plumbing issues, and it can happen to anyone. But, precisely because they’re so common, blocked drains are often underestimated and left alone until they turn from minor nuisances to major problems. Most people wait until the water no longer drains to call a professional, but did you know that you can keep your plumbing system in better condition and avoid more complicated problems if you clean your drains regularly?
Here are five reasons why you shouldn’t wait to schedule a drain clean:
Your drains keep clogging
Having a clogged drain every once in a while is normal, but if your drains keep clogging every month, you might have a blockage in your pipes that basic liquid can’t dissolve. If enough gunk builds up inside your pipes over time, it becomes hard and sticks to the inside of the pipes, catching hair, soap residue. When you attempt to remove the clog with a regular plunger or drain liquid, you only get rid of this residue, not the original blockage. A professional plumber uses special tools to detect and remove that original, hardened residue that clogs the drains, so you don’t have to worry about this for a long time.
Water takes a few minutes to drain
When your drains aren’t working effectively, water doesn’t go down immediately and instead it “stands” there, forming a puddle. If, after washing the dishes, the kitchen sink needs a couple of minutes to empty, you’re most likely dealing with a clogged drain. This can also happen with toilets, but in that case, the clog may lead to backflow, which is even more unpleasant. By cleaning your drains regularly, you avoid backflow and standing water and ensure that your drains are faster and more efficient.
When gunk builds up inside the drains, it causes bacteria and mould build-up. In time, that leads to foul odours in the bathroom and kitchen. And no amount of disinfectant will make those go away. If you’re doing everything you can to clean these rooms thoroughly, but your kitchen or bathroom smells funky hours after cleaning, then the problem isn’t at the surface. You need a pro that can remove the gunk that has built up inside the drain, and use special solutions to sanitise it.
A cleaner (and safer!) home environment
Bad odours alone are enough to give your trusted plumber a call, but did you know that living with clogged drains can also be dangerous for your home’s health and safety? Both sewer backflow and standing water cause humidity, and your kitchen and bathroom can become breeding grounds for bacteria. They also lead to the development of mould and mildew, which lower indoor air quality. In time, inhaling mould particles can increase the risk of respiratory conditions and create a lot of discomfort to children and people with asthma and allergies. It’s also worth noting that all the bacteria coming from clogged pipes will settle on the objects in the room: sponges, toothbrushes, towels, and the counter where you prepare food. This is the last place where you want gross bacteria to be, so, the faster your pipes are cleaned, the better.
You might be dealing with hidden plumbing damage
Even in the most complicated cases, drain cleaning is still a pretty straightforward job if you have the right tools for it. However, did you know that during your average drain clean, your plumber does more than just remove months of build-up debris? Professional plumbers use special equipment to inspect the inside of your drains and scan for hidden issues that can wreak havoc on your plumbing system in the long run, such as rust, corrosion, and wear and tear.
5 Tips on How to Unblock a Drain Yourself
A clogged drain can be a real nuisance, and yet it’s one of the most common plumbing issues people experience. Most of us are all too familiar with the tell-tale signs: the water in the sink, shower, or tub that takes longer to drain, the gurgling noise coming from the drain, the raised water in the toilet, or the unpleasant odors in the kitchen and bathroom. They all point in the same direction – you’re dealing with a blocked drain.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be a highly-experienced plumber to fix this kind of problem. You can roll up your sleeves and save the day yourself. So, if you’re ready to take matters into your own hands, here are some simple tips that can help you unblock a drain in no time.
When faced with a blocked drain, one of the handiest and most hassle-free solutions is to use a drain cleaner. It makes sense as you probably have one around the house anyway, and all you have to do is pour some down the drain and wait for it to work its magic. Most people reach for chemical cleaners because they’re more effective, but we have a word of caution here: chemical drain cleaners fall in the category of heavy-duty cleaning products that, if used incorrectly, can cause further damage or even pose a threat to your safety. So, you must follow the instructions written on the product label to a T.
Another item that can be of help in this situation and most people already own is the good old plunger. This old-fashioned method is as effective as ever and can get you out of trouble faster than you can say clog. However, it does require a bit of strength to use the plunger. You must place the cup of the plunger over the drain, making sure it creates a tight seal, and then push and pull the plunger repeatedly with quick thrusts. If you hear any noises, remove the plunger and check if the clog has been removed. You might not be successful the first time you give this a try, but don’t lose hope. Repeat the procedure two or three times before calling a plumber to bring more heavy-duty equipment.
Wire coat hanger
Since you’re no plumbing specialist and you don’t have professional equipment at your disposal, some improvising wouldn’t hurt. So, let’s get back to one of the oldest tricks in the book: the wire coat hanger. Using it won’t be pretty, but as long as it can help you clear the clog, there’s really no reason to complain. Straighten out the wire coat hanger and then create a hook at the end of it. Then push it past the drain cover until you find the blockage. Try to pull out the debris and the residue that was blocking the drain carefully, so you don’t cause any damage to the pipes or push it further down the pipes.
Baking soda and vinegar
Baking soda and vinegar are a match made in heaven for unblocking drains. The recipe is simple: mix 1/3rd of a cup of baking soda with 1/3rd of a cup of vinegar and you have the perfect solution for clearing your drains. Pour the solution down the drain as soon as it starts to fizz, and let it work for an hour or overnight. Then run some hot water and you’re done.
If the DIY approach does not work, call a licensed plumber with the right equipment
If you’ve tried all of the methods above and still haven’t managed to unclog your drain, it might be time to throw in the towel and call in a professional plumber to get the job done. The blockage you’re dealing with might be too stubborn to handle it yourself, so it’s best to contact an expert to fix it.
How to Get Rid of Smelly Drains in the Bathroom?
Smelly drains are probably one of the most common plumbing issues out there. If every time you enter your bathroom, you’re greeted by a hard to define and very unpleasant odour, it’s almost certain you’re dealing with a smelly drain. The gunk and dirt that get clogged inside the pipes and the odour-causing bacteria are the main culprits for this problem.
While a foul-smelling drain is not a reason to panic and call an emergency plumber, it’s definitely an annoying issue that you need to address sooner rather than later, as smelly drains are not only unpleasant, but they’re also unsanitary and can lead to more serious problems down the line. Luckily, getting rid of smelly drains is not exactly rocket science and there are different methods to solve the situation that don’t require professional intervention. Here’s what you can do to freshen up your drains and eliminate the bad odours in your bathroom.
Pour hot water
Let’s start with the easiest method of them all: pouring hot water. Yes, it can be as simple as that. It might not work in every case, but unless you’re dealing with a more serious plumbing issue, hot water can do the trick. All you have to do is boil water in a pot and pour it down the drain. Do it in small steps, pouring just a small quantity of water and then waiting for it to work. You can also add some vinegar in the water for better results. Wait a few minutes and then rinse with cold water. Repeat the whole process until the smell is gone.
Mix vinegar and baking soda
The baking soda and vinegar method is already famous when dealing with a smelly drain as it has saved many homeowners the trouble of calling a plumber. The formula is simple: you pour a generous quantity of dry baking soda into the drain and let it rest for a few minutes. Then you add vinegar little by little. As the vinegar comes in contact with the baking soda, it will cause a chemical reaction (there will be some sizzling and bubbling involved) that will break down the debris accumulated in the pipes. Let it work for about 15 minutes and then when the sizzling has stopped run hot water down the drain.
Use an electric eel
An electric eel is a tool that can prove very useful when your drains get clogged. Using an electric eel might put your handyman abilities to the test, but it’s not something a homeowner with no plumbing experience can’t handle. However, if you don’t want to invest in such a tool, using a wire coat hanger is the next best thing. Simply straighten the hanger and use the hook at the end to remove the waste that is blocking your drain.
Save the day with some bleach
Pouring bleach down the drain is another effective way to keep drain odours at bay. Since bleach is a disinfectant that kills odour-causing bacteria, it can help you clean your drains effectively. Pour it down the drain undiluted or mix it with water, give it time to work for a few minutes and then flush the drain with hot water.
Put drain cleaners to the test
Drain cleaners can also be helpful as they were specifically designed for these types of problems. It’s not the most environmentally friendly method, so you might want to leave it as a last resort. Also, make sure you read the product label carefully before you get to work.
If all else fails call a qualified plumber
If all these methods fail and your bathroom drains still smell like sewage, you might have a bigger than you imagined problem on your hands. In this case, calling a professional plumber is your safest bet. Plumbers have the right tools and the know-how to get to the root cause of the problem and fix it, so you can once again enjoy clean and fresh drains.
Common Causes of No Hot Water Pressure
No hot water pressure? Before going to buy a new hot water system, make sure you call a plumber to diagnose the issue and use the right procedure for fixing the problem. Most homeowners don’t pay too much attention when it comes to plumbing fixtures until an issue arrives. Usually, water pressure is something most people complain about, and in time, it can get worse, if it’s not addressed. This ongoing problem gives most families a hard time, so if you are experiencing the same issue, it’s time to investigate and find solutions. Low water pressure can indicate serious plumbing issues that need immediate fixing.
Also, you might want to ensure that you’re fixing the right problem. In this article, you’ll learn how to identify the unexpected loss of hot water pressure or no water. No one ever wants to experience such a situation, but it happens all the time. During the cold season, all you want to do when arriving home is to take a hot shower and finally rest. Unfortunately, the hot water decided that now is the perfect time to have the lowest pressure, or not at all. Now here comes the hard part: what could have caused this problem? Did your hot water system suffer extensive damage and needs repairing, or is it just a small issue.
A blocked plumbing system
Forget about your DIY projects and call a hot water system plumber that offers immediate solutions for plumbing issues, low hot water pressure, water leaks, etc. They’ll carefully check the pipes and determine the right solution. Plumbing repairs are challenging and can have a lot of consequences, so it’s probably best to leave this job in the experts’ hands.
Usually, weak water pressure can come from clogged plumbing fixtures. Showerheads and taps can be the reason why you have low water pressure. Check out the affected areas and make sure that they get cleaned of any clogs, or replace them.
Pressure dropping under 1.5 bars
Even the high-end hot water units can stop working if the pressure gets low. However, don’t panic, because there’s something to do about household fixtures. Sometimes, minor leaks can slowly lower the pressure, so from time to time, make sure to check your hot water system to adjust its valves until the pressure reaches the recommended pressure (1.5 bars). So, every couple of months, check the pressure indicator and adjust the pressure as needed. However, if the pressure still drops too often, call a qualified technician to inspect the system because sometimes, it may be dealing with a hidden leak.
Frozen pipes (for the ones in the Snowy Mountains)
Another cause of no hot water pressure could be frozen pipes in the cold season. Water can’t pass through pipes if there’s ice in them and can also cause flooding in your home. An excellent remedy is to pour hot (not boiling) water over the pipes until they unfreeze. Although it’s not recommended to do DIY projects at home, this is a simple fix that shouldn’t cause any damage. Otherwise, if this doesn’t work, make sure you call a plumbing professional.
Check for leaks
Did you know that leaks that occur in your hot water system can cause extreme pressure loss and result in a lack of hot water? Regardless of their size, leaks can cause multiple issues, including the growth of mold and moisture. Undetected leaks are a significant cause of condensation that appears behind the walls, floor, ceiling, etc. In time, without a proper fix, it can damage your home. Some pipes are hidden behind the walls, so homeowners must pay attention to any signs of mold and leaks. To make sure that you can identify the possible occurrence of leaks, here are some common signs that your home may not have hot water pressure:
- Dripping water
- The moldy smell of the walls or the floor
- Wet carpet
- Wrinkled paint on the interior walls
These are the most common causes of no hot water pressure, but keep in mind that hot water systems are complex appliances. If you checked for all the issues above but still don’t know what’s wrong, call a professional plumber to have a look at your pipes.
Need some assistance with your Sydney plumbing issues? Call Off Tap Plumbing Pty Ltd Today on (02) 9053 8797