If you start to smell an odd odor coming from outside your home and your toilet or sink won’t drain, then you may be facing a blocked drain. Blocked drains are actually a common occurrence and many times, you may find that you are able to deal with the problem yourself.
However, let’s take a closer look at the courses of action you are advised to take if you do come across a blocked drain at your property, and when you should call in the experts.
Is the drain your responsibility?
Before you start to open covers and peer down drains, you should think about where the drain is, and who should deal with it. Drains and inspection covers that are located within the boundary of your property will be your responsibility. This means it will be up to you to clear the blockage or contact blocked drain experts in Dartford or wherever you live and ask them to clear it for you.
If the drain is located outside of your property such as on a street, then it will typically be the responsibility of the local water company to come out and fix it. It will likely be affecting more people than just you, so someone may have already called the water company.
What causes a blocked drain inside?
If you are having a problem with the water draining in your sink, or the toilet won’t flush properly, you will likely have a blockage in the drain inside your property. If you live in flats, the blockage might not be in your home, but further down the line.
It can be hard to locate the source of a blockage, but there are things that you can do to help minimise the likelihood of your own property being the cause of any such problems. One of the major causes of blocked drains is fat and oil. This is often poured down the sink after a roast dinner or when frying food. However, when this reaches the drain, it can congeal and start to block the pipe.
The best way to dispose of fat is by putting it in the food bin or general waste. Coffee grounds are another popular thing that can block drains. If you have a garden, then the used grounds can be used on the soil. Alternatively, let them drain in the filter and tip into the bin or food recycling.
What causes a blocked drain outside?
Many of the same factors can block outside drains as well, but there are also other things, such as sanitary products and wet wipes, that can be common causes. These can easily block a drain and need to be removed. Another reason for a blocked drain outside can be leaves, especially in the autumn. These are often cleared from public drains by the local authorities.
The actions to take if you discover a drain blockage
Inside your home
If the drain in your property is blocked, there are a couple of options you can try before calling someone to help you.
There are sink unblocking products on the market and home remedies that can be poured down the drain and need to be left to work for a little while. They are designed to dissolve the blockage and clear the pipe. If this doesn’t work, then you can try a plunger to try and force the blockage away. Plungers can be used in the sink and toilet, but there is a chance that it may simply shift the blockage further down the drain.
Outside your home
If you have a blockage outside and within your property boundary, then you will need to lift the inspection cover and take a look. If you are unsure about what to do, it is best to call a professional to unblock it for you.
If you can see a blockage when you open the cover, then you may be able to remove it and throw it away in your general household waste. Alternatively, you may need to get specialised rods to run down the drain to clear the blockage.
When should you call in the professionals?
There may be times when you need to call a skilled and experienced professional who can unblock the drain for you. They will have specialised equipment that can reach areas you might not be able to see. If you have tried to unblock the drain yourself and it hasn’t worked, then this may be the time to call in a reputable company. This is provided that the blockage is within your property boundary.
No-one likes to deal with a blocked drain, but there are steps that you can take to minimise the likelihood of it happening in the first place, as well as to help clear the blockage should it occur.
If you are at all unsure what to do in the face of a blocked drain, bear in mind that it’s quick and easy to contact the First Call Drainage UK team via phone or email.