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How to Deal with Common Drainage Problems

Anyone who manages a home has had to deal with troublesome drainage problems. Some drainage problems like toilets not working or overflowing storage tanks are easy to fix. However, problems like sewage smells or broken pipes may require extensive efforts to fix.

Here are the four most common drainage problems and fixes:

  1. Blocked drains

    Clogged toilets and sinks are one of the most common drainage problems. Thankfully, you can easily resolve this using warm water, or a plunger to clear the clog. However, if the blockage is extensive, you need to call a plumber, who will clear the piping using rods and other equipment. If you face recurring blocked drains in your house, the reason could vary from a damaged underground pipe, blocked sewer, or deterioration of the plumbing system of your property. For more information on how to handle these drainage problems, read ‘Common Reasons for Blocked Drains and Sewers’.

  2. Leaking taps

    The continuous sound of water leaking from a tap can be very annoying. If you have some knowledge of plumbing repairs, you can fix the problem by either replacing the washer, or tightening the connection.

  3. Noisy pipes

    If the pipes make an unusual noise when in use, it is most likely due to a faulty ball valve. Left unrepaired, this can cause further damage to the adjoining piping. Your plumber will most probably add cushioning air breaks into the pipes to solve the problem.

  4. Smelly drainage

    If you have a smelly drain, clear the drain of any blockages. Use a drain- cleaning chemical to remove any remaining debris. Alternatively, pour half a cup of baking soda and a cup of white vinegar, into the drain. Run hot water for a few minutes to clean the drain thoroughly. If the smell persists, call a professional to fix the issue.

While regular repair and maintenance of the drains in your home is essential, it is equally important that you take adequate care to prevent the damage/ blockage. Ensure the following:

  • Proper waste disposal: Throw waste food and other disposables (like nappies and wipes, cotton buds, razor blades and bandages) in the bin.
  • Precautions during building work: When doing any major repairs and maintenance in your property ensure that there is a working zone away from pipes and manholes, and that any construction debris is safely disposed of.
  • Do not have vegetation near drains: Maintain a gap of at least 2-3 metres between your drains /sewers and the surrounding trees.
  • Drains will deteriorate over the years, but will last you a long time if they are of good quality. Burst pipes can cause considerable damage to your property and be expensive to replace. As a homeowner, always install good quality pipes and hire a seasoned plumber to do the job. In addition, ensure that your home insurance cover includes major drainage repairs.