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Is a Blocked Drain an Emergency?

Is a Blocked Drain an Emergency?

Most plumbing problems don’t require a plumber until they escalate into a serious issue. This includes blocked drains. 

Foul odors that can be smelled throughout your home are a clear sign of a clogged pipe. It is important to call your plumber immediately. 

Blocked drains are more than just a nuisance, they can pose a health risk. Here are some of the signs that you should look out for. 

1. Damaged pipes 

Pipes that have been broken or damaged can cause flooding, sewage backup and serious health risks for your family. It’s important to have all damaged pipes repaired by a qualified plumber in Adelaide as soon as possible to minimize damage and avoid costly repairs in the future. 

It is also important to be proactive and take steps to prevent drains from becoming blocked in the first place. This means taking care with what you wash down your drains (never pour cooking oil down the sink!), ensuring that you bin all food scraps and keeping toilet paper, wet wipes and sanitary items out of the drains. 

Regular inspections of your drainage system are also a good idea. This can help detect any cracks or breaks before they become a major problem. Pay attention to water stains on your ceiling, persistently dripping taps or smelly drains as these are all common indicators of a broken pipe that needs urgent repair. 

2. Flooding 

One of the most obvious signs that a drain is blocked is when the water from your sink, shower or bathtub isn’t flowing through as easily as it should be. This means there’s a blockage somewhere in your pipes that’s restricting the flow of water and creating a build-up of pressure. 

Hair, grease and other fatty substances that are washed down the kitchen sink can build up inside your pipes over time, creating a clog that can prevent your sink from draining properly. While you can use devices like drain snakes or baking soda to remove some of the accumulated hair and other gunk, it’s often best to call an emergency plumber right away. 

While it can be difficult to figure out who’s responsible for the cost of a blocked drain, keeping open communication with your landlord and understanding some of the common causes of blockages can help you avoid costly problems in the future. 

3. Overflowing toilets 

If your toilet is overflowing, it means the waste in the tank has nowhere else to go. This can be caused by a blocked drain or by a clogged vent pipe. 

A blocked drain can be remedied with a plunger, baking soda, or a DIY drain snake. If these treatments fail, it’s time to call a plumber.

It is important to teach your children the proper way to dispose of toilet paper and other materials that don’t drain easily. Many plumbers advise that parents keep a trash bin near the toilet and use it to get rid of baby wipes, sanitary products, and other items that can easily cause a clog. 

If the clog is caused by a broken valve, you may be able to fix it by turning off the water supply. Check near the toilet for a valve that can be turned clockwise to stop the flow of water. Turning off the water supply may help to contain any overflow until you can call a plumber to come and take a look. 

4. Sewer backup 

If your sewer line is backed up, it’s time to call in a professional. This is a major emergency that must be dealt with quickly to prevent serious damage to your home. Raw sewage can contain harmful bacteria and viruses that can make you very sick. It’s also a safety hazard for children and pets. 

The causes of a blocked sewer vary from home to home, but most are avoidable. One of the biggest culprits is hair in the drains. You can avoid this by regularly removing excess hair from drains with gloves or using a special device. Grease waste and fatty substances can also build up in kitchen sinks and cause blockages. 

Sewer problems can also be caused by tree roots that invade the pipes. Be sure to trim any trees near your home’s drainage lines. Also watch out for sinkholes and lush spots in your yard – these could indicate extensive damage to the sewer system.


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