If you’re lucky, the best-case scenario when it comes to a blocked toilet, sink and any other blocked plumbing fixture is that it can simply be fixed by using a plunger. However, sometimes it’s not your fixture but the main sewer line from the house to the municipality main sewer system can become blocked. That’s when you need professional help!
Most people, at some time or other, have found themselves in the unpleasant and stressful position of facing a clogged drain. It starts with the shower, sink or toilet taking longer to empty, but then it starts backing up and eventually there’s overflowing sewerage all over the garden, or worse, inside the home.
How To Make It Easier For Us To Unblock Your Drain
The main sewer line from the house is usually a 100mm diameter pipe that transfers the waste from every sink, toilet, and bathroom fixtures in your home. When it becomes blocked, every plumbing fixture in your home is affected.
When calling a plumber or blocked drain specialist, an essential piece of information he will need to know is if you have an inspection opening, commonly known as an”IO”, into the drain for access. The cost of the service call can greatly vary if the plumber has trouble finding a way into the pipe. Augering and jetting a sewer line is a lot easier if there is an available inspection opening; it’s much harder (and more expensive) if the plumber has to dig up the drain and cut an access hole.
The inspection opening most typically is a 150mm, or 100mm PVC diameter screw cap that can unscrew or a round disk, brass or PVC, screwed into the top of a riser. Sometimes in older cast iron pipes, the “IO” can be a bolted in plug. Sometimes the “IO” is situated under the floor near the toilet or bathroom, while other times it may be in a subfloor area or at the base of a second-floor stack. Majority of homes also have an inspection opening outside where the drain exits the building and also at the boundary where the pipe joins the municipality sewer system.
What Causes The Main Sewer Line To Become Blocked?
Given the size of the main sewer lines, they tend not to get blocked all that often. Blockages in the smaller branch lines are much more common. The common causes of branch drain blockages are when a buildup of sludge and debris settle into the bottom of old waste pipes. When the diameter of the pipe gradually starts to narrow over time, the pipe will become blocked. A blocked branch drain is often rectified by augering, plunging or hydro jetting.
Main drain blockages usually occur when tree roots in the yard infiltrate into the pipes through cracks or the joints between pipes and block the sewer drain. In this case, a blocked drain professional like The Brisbane Plumbers, clears the blockage with a high-pressure water a drain cleaning machine called a Hydro Jetter. Property owners who have had tree root problems before should have their sewer lines hydro jetted every couple of years as a preventive measure. Likewise, a blockage can also occur when an old sewer line collapses, an issue that happens more commonly with old clay pipes or PVC pipes when the ground underneath supporting the drain has washed away. A collapsed drain is the worst-case scenario and not easy to fix, as it involves digging up the section of the pipe and replacing.
The majority of drain cleaning blockage jobs, however, begin and end at the main inspection opening.
Opening The Inspection Opening:
In the majority of cases, to open the “IO”, you will need a strap wrench to grip the cap, then unscrew it by twisting it anticlockwise. Undoing should be easy if the clean-out is PVC (even a steady hand may do the trick); it may be more difficult if the pipe fittings are old rusted cast-iron that haven’t been opened in a long time. Hard to open cast iron plugs can sometimes loosen if you apply heat around the joint, which will expand the metal pipe and loosens the plug.
Whatever the situation you find yourself in with a drain blockage, do not hesitate to contact The Brisbane Plumbers, Brisbane’s blocked drain specialists.