How to Fix Common Drain Problems

A well-maintained plumbing system is critical for your home. Clogged drains can lead to unpleasant odors and potential flooding and water damage. 

Bathtub and shower drains are prone to clogs from hair that can be difficult to remove without the use of chemical products. Other drains may become clogged with food waste or other debris that becomes trapped and decomposes over time. For help with a blocked drain in Canberra, reach out to the nearest plumber to help you. 

Mineral buildup 

If you have a white “gunk” that builds up in your drain, it’s likely caused by calcium build-up from hard water. While it doesn’t pose any threat to your health, this is one of the main causes of clogged drains and can cause serious damage to pipes and fixtures. 

All tap water contains a variety of minerals, but they’re not all equal. Your home’s water may be considered “hard” if it contains an abundance of calcium, magnesium, or potassium, which are absorbed from groundwater as it travels through rocks and soil. Although hard water is not dangerous to drink, it can affect the pipes and fixtures in your house, causing them to disintegrate over time. This can create a number of issues, including narrowing drains, sluggish drainage, and reduce the lifespan of your appliances. It also corrodes copper and other metals that are commonly used in plumbing, especially in older homes. 

Small objects 

A clogged drain is not only dangerous for you and your family, but it can also damage the structure of your home. Dirty water in the pipes can soak into walls, warp floorboards and rot foundations. The resulting musty smell can also irritate your family and guests. 

Kitchen sinks often clog because people put food waste in them. Paper towels, coffee grounds, produce stickers and egg shells are other common culprits. If you hear a gurgling noise in your drain, it’s usually a sign that a clog is developing. 

Some homeowners try to solve a blocked drain on their own by poking at it with a stick or other object. However, this can actually make the problem worse. Instead, try to dislodge the blockage with chemicals or a plunger. Do not poke at the clog with a stick because it could push the matter further down the pipe and cause a bigger issue later on. 

Tree roots 

Tree roots are attracted to water and nutrients, which is why they can penetrate even the smallest cracks in your sewer line pipes. When they get inside, they block sewage flow and cause a backup of your toilets. This can cause a terrible odor, so you’ll want to call your plumber right away. 

A professional can use a special foaming root treatment to kill the roots and prevent them from growing back. This works best when used after drain cleaning or hydro

jetting. You can also try copper sulfate, which is available at home improvement and hardware stores, but be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid poisoning your family and pets. 

Newer plumbing lines are usually made from PVC, which isn’t as vulnerable to tree roots as older clay pipes. However, you should still check on the condition of your pipes regularly, especially if they’re near a large tree. If you notice that the ground is sinking in an area where the sewer line is, that’s a sign that it needs to be repaired. 

Soap scum 

Soap scum is a common culprit of blocked drains, especially in bathtubs or showers. It can build up over time into a sizable blockage that stops water from flowing. This can also lead to mildew and mold that can cause health problems for your family. 

This problem is made worse by hard water, as the minerals in it encourage the formation of soap scum. Soap scum can then cling to the walls of your pipes, creating an impenetrable barrier that slows drains and interferes with garbage disposals and toilets. 

It is best to regularly clean your bathroom drains with a granular or gel-based product that is designed to dissolve soap scum. However, it is important to use this product with caution as many of these products are caustic and can damage your plumbing pipes. It is also a good idea to run boiling hot water through your drains once a week, as this will help to keep them clear of soap scum and other debris.