Everything you need to know about fixing a blocked drain

The costs, causes and common fixes for a blocked drain

Unless there is a serious, unpleasant sewer clog, most people in Sydney do not think about their sewer lines. In the worst-case scenario, a blocked sewer drain can cause raw sewage to accumulate backward and come out of drains, cause serious damages to your home or business, and result in expensive repairs and replacements that can put a major dent in your wallet or bank account.

To avert the need for impromptu and costly plumbing, Absolute Plumbing Solutions recommends that you employ strategies that will proactively help you unclog your blocked drains. If you think you might have a blocked drain then this article will help you find out the symptoms and causes and tell you the best way to solve the problem. Stick with us to learn more.

An example of a blocked drain before and after being cleared.

Who is responsible for fixing blocked drains?

For any blocked drains, runoff or stormwater drainage that occurs on your land or property, it is your responsibility to fix it, including maintenance of the drainage pipes until they connect with the water main. After the stormwater has properly left your property following the laid down guidelines and regulations, then Sydney Water and local councils take over the responsibility for stormwater drainage on the streets. 

What are common signs of a blocked drain?

Knowing the common signs of blocked pipes and sewer drains can help you prevent the worst-case scenario from happening through early detection. You will be able to tell whether you have a clogged pipe or a blocked main sewer line and take action quickly. They include:

1. Low toilet water levels

A clogged toilet drain can lead to overflow of raw sewerage in the event where the main sewer line is blocked. Common signs for a clogged toilet drain are a slow draining toilet and low toilet water levels.

2. Slow draining on sinks

Sink blockages can be detected if water pools and drains slowly. This can be caused by a clogged shower drain or a blocked bath pipe. The problem can escalate and result in flooding as hair or soap scums further clog the drain.

3. Gurgling noise

If there is an obstruction in the pipes, water may produce a gurgling noise as it flows away from it. Any annoying noise from the pipes is a sign of a blocked drain.

4. A foul smell in your drain

If you detect any foul smell around toilets, bathtubs, and sinks, then this is a clear tell-tale sign that you have a blocked drain.

What are the common causes of blocked drains?

Our team of experts at Absolute Plumbing Solutions has seen it all when it comes to Sydney’s blocked drains. Some of the common causes of blocked drains are:

1. Food and oil blockages

The build-up of food in kitchen sinks is a common cause of clogged drains. Solidified grease and oils in pipes can also cause bad clogs in kitchen sinks. 

2. Hair clogs

Hair is a common cause of drain blockages. From our experience, clogs that are difficult to remove can be formed when hair binds with grease and soap.

3. Soap scum clogs

Soap is a leading cause of drain blockages, especially in shower and bath pipes. Grease and fat in soaps combine with water to form soap scums that can block pipes.

4. Tree roots

Roots from nearby trees can invade drains and cause significant underground pipe damage. They usually intrude into the drain through small cracks that cause underground leakages. Once inside the pipe, these roots grow quickly, obstruct the flow of water, and cause considerable pipe damage.

What do our plumbers use to unclog blocked drains?

Our plumbing specialists at Absolute Plumbing Solutions combine the right tools with technology to fix any blocked drains in Sydney. Here is what we use to get the job done:

Closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera inspection

We use a CCTV probe system to get to the root cause of what is blocking your drainage system, by seeing exactly what happens as water flows through your pipes. We then get a clear picture of how to fix the problem for good.

Rootx treatment

When roots from nearby trees have invaded your pipes and created blockages in your drains, we use Rootx herbicide, which is completely effective in stopping this once and for all. Rootx kills the existing roots without damaging pipes, and a thin layer remains to prevent any future root intrusion.

Jetting equipment

Our specialists from Absolute Plumbing Solutions use a high-pressure power washer, called a jet, to instantly flush out any stubborn substances or items which may be blocking your drain. These include:

  • Mineral deposits
  • Grease
  • Food blockages
  • Hair
  • Soap scums
  • Tree roots

Electrical eel

The electrical eel is a steel snake-like cable with a cutting tool on the end of it. It has stood the test of time when it comes to unclogging blockages in pipes. If our customers lack the access or conditions required for usage of a jetting system, our experts will use the electrical eel to unblock your drains.

Pipe relining

Once your pipes have been damaged by tree roots, clearing them can still leave them open to future root blockages. Pipe relining is a more permanent solution to fix these cracks in your pipes and avoid tree roots from blocking them again. 

It involves a qualified plumber pushing a special liner through your pipes to employ a relining process. This is a solution that doesn’t require digging or interfering with your landscaping.

Should you clear a blocked drain yourself?

Here are some tips you can follow to clear some clogged drains without the need to engage the services of a professional plumber or reaching for drain cleaners. However if these do not work or you feel more comfortable using the services of experts such as Absolute Plumbing Solutions then we are always a phone call away. Some of the DIY quick fixes that you can try to unclog easy drain blockages are:

  • Use a plunger to unblock your drain. The plunger is excellent for dislodging food particles stuck beneath your sink in the t-trap pipe. You can also use it to fix minor pipes or toilet blockages.
  • Use a bent coat hanger to unblock pipes. This works well to remove small objects or hair stuck in your bathroom drains. This piece of bent hooked wire enables you to loosen and unclog reachable pipe blockages.
  • Use vinegar and baking soda. Using this self-made volcano-like mixture, you can unclog some pipe blockages. First, pour hot water down the blocked drain followed by half a cup of baking soda. After some minutes, pour a cup of vinegar followed by a cup of boiling water. Cover the drain for at least five minutes and flush with boiling hot water.

How much does it cost to clear a blocked drain?

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the cost of fixing a blocked drain in Sydney because every job is different. The cost will be made up of a callout fee, labour and parts depending on the complexity of the job.  

A ballpark figure for how much a blocked drain costs to fix in Sydney is between $100 – $500, with complicated jobs costing more. See below for a full breakdown:

  • Simple blocked drains generally cost between $50 – $250 
  • More complex blocked drains, including main sewer blockages, can cost up to $500.
  • There’s also a callout fee which generally costs $49

Call Absolute Plumbing Solutions directly and we can give you an accurate obligation-free quote.

Other frequently asked questions about blocked drains

Does Coke unclog a blocked drain?

This can be true, but the pressure may be too great for the pipe, hence damaging it completely. We advise getting a specialist plumber to check your blocked drain instead.

What’s the best chemical to unblock a drain?

The best tool to unblock a drain depends on the cause of the blockage. Baking soda added to vinegar is often claimed to be a good natural and readily available mixture that you can use to unblock your kitchen drains. As always, we recommend speaking to a qualified plumber before trying this out yourself.

Where we service

We are able to clear blocked drains in the majority of Sydney suburbs, with the quickest response times being in the Northern Districts and Inner West suburbs including:

  • West Ryde
  • North Ryde
  • Top Ryde
  • East Ryde
  • Macquarie Park
  • Eastwood
  • Epping
  • Marsfield
  • Putney
  • Gladesville
  • Hunters Hill
  • Denistone
  • Ermington
  • Drummoyne
  • Abbotsford
  • Concord
  • Concord West
  • Five Dock

Don’t wait until your blocked drains wreak havoc in your home and cause serious damages that will be costly to repair. Give Absolute Plumbing Solutions a call or get in touch via email to get a direct quote.

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