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How To Deal With A Blocked Drain Or Sewer

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One of the common problems homeowners face is a clogged drain or sewer.

There’s nothing worse than waking up to find the pipe jammed, which ends up disrupting your daily life. Most people wait patiently until some angry neighbour picks up the phone to inform the local authorities. But we’re here to tell you an easy way to deal with drain blockage.

Rather than panicking and creating a stir - it would be best if you understood what you needed to do. Inform the rest of the neighbours and ask for their cooperation. Also, remember that freeing the blockage is relatively expensive, so you’ll have to loosen the purse strings.

That’s why we’ve also highlighted how to keep the sewer clog-free in the first place. It’s not very difficult, and we suggest you check the pipeline every once in a while.

Unblocking Private Drain

The first thing to do when you find the drain or sewer blocked is to assess the situation. This will help pinpoint the source of the problem, whether it’s in the private drain or public sewer. Now, let’s start by discussing what you should do if the problem lies within the private drain.

What Is A Private Drain?

It’s the pipe that leads to the central drainage system from your home and is solely your responsibility. The best thing to do would be to inform your contractor and ask them to clear the blockage.

It might be that although you know there is a blockage in the private drain, it is difficult to find the actual location of the problem. In some cases, the drain condition may not be up to standard, meaning it will then require a CCTV survey. This will help find the issue and diagnose the problem.

Another suggestion would be to talk with your neighbours and ask them if they face similar problems. If the answer is yes, then the disruption might be present in the public sewer and not the private drain as initially thought.

So far, we’ve talked about what you can do as a community. But what can you do individually? To conduct a preliminary check, we suggest lifting the inspection chamber to identify if there’s any backed-up sewage. Then you may ask the contractor for help or clean it yourself, depending on the severity of the problem.

What To Do If The Public Sewer Is Blocked?

Since the public sewer runs from your home and connects with your neighbours’ pipeline, any blockage falls under the ambit of the local water supplier. And as mentioned, you should also inform the contractor.

Your neighbour should ask to share the bill in an ideal scenario because it’s a common problem. However, don’t expect to receive any favours; you might end up in an argument.

You can contact your environmental health officer to reach an amicable resolution. The officer may show up in person or advise you over the phone to smoothen things. You might be wondering how to get in touch with the environment office? Well, it’s your local councillor or government who will help you make the connection.

Once they come over, the officer will look at everything objectively and decide whether your neighbours need to solve the problem. If the answer is no, it’s ultimately your responsibility to clear the blockage as soon as possible.

How Much Does It Cost?

A common concern among homeowners is the cost of clearing the blockage. Once the environmental health officer has assessed the situation, they have a decision to make. In some cases, the officer might issue a notice to everyone affected by the blockage, which proves costly.

On top of that, your local council will charge an administration fee, thereby making the entire procedure a burden on your savings. Additionally, the officer has the authority to arrange a contractor to clear the blockage and send the bill to everyone involved.

You can consider various cost-effective options and find a suitable contractor to clear the sewer if it’s solely your responsibility.

How To Prevent A Blockage?

Preventing a blockage is no rocket science; all you can do is conduct regular maintenance. However, it’s not a full-proof solution but rather a preventive measure because blockages may still occur.

If the source of the problem is outside your home, then you can get a drain guard to prevent leaves and other debris from falling in. This is a common issue if you live in an area with many trees. You should also sweep the area in and around the drain while removing the debris from the top of the guard.

You can refrain from putting leftover food in the sink inside your home. The best way is to scrape food off the plates and dump them into the dustbin before washing the dishes.

We would also suggest not pouring cooking oil or grease into the sink. Instead, pour it into a cup, let it solidify and then dump it into the bin. It would be best if you remember to be careful with small items like jewellery, cotton wool or hair clips that might clog the openings.

Meanwhile, if you have kids at home, it would help to have separate containers to dispose of nappies, face wipes, tampons and sanitary napkins. It’s not only healthier but also keeps the toilet clog-free. In that regard, avoid dumping too much toilet paper down the toilet.

Clearing Your Blocked Drains

We hope you’ve gathered sufficient knowledge and feel confident about dealing with a drain blockage.

The best thing would be to consider all options and remain prepared for any situation. Also, have the contact number of the councillor and environmental health officer noted down for future reference.

You can also speak to our blocked drain experts if you live in Sydney. We are available 24/7 for all plumbing emergencies.

Good day, and take care. See you!

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