In the best-case scenario, a blocked toilet, sink and any other blocked plumbing fixture are fixed by using a plunger. But, Sometimes the main sewer line from the house to the municipality main sewer system can become blocked. Most homeowners at some time or other have experienced the unpleasant and stressful situation of a drain backing up and overflowing sewerage all over the garden or worst-case scenario, inside the home.
How to make it easy to unblock a drain:
The main sewer line from the house is usually a 100mm diameter pipe that transfers the waste from every sink, toilet, and bathroom fixtures in your home. When it becomes blocked, every plumbing fixture in your home is affected. When calling a plumber or blocked drain specialist, an essential piece of information he will need to know is if you have an inspection opening, commonly known as an"IO", into the drain for acces. The cost of the service call can greatly vary if the plumber has trouble finding a way into the pipe. Augering and jetting a sewer line is a lot easier if there is an available inspection opening; it's much harder (and more expensive) if the plumber has to dig up the drain and cut an access hole.
The inspection opening most typically is a 150mm, or 100mm PVC diameter screw cap that can unscrew or a round disk, brass or PVC, screwed into the top of a riser. Sometimes in older cast iron pipes, the "IO" can be a bolted in plug. Sometimes the "IO" is situated under the floor near the toilet or bathroom, while other times it may be in a subfloor area or at the base of a second-floor stack. Majority of homes also have an inspection opening outside where the drain exits the building and also at the boundary where the pipe joins the municipality sewer system.
What Causes the Main Sewer Line to Become Blocked:
Given the size of the main sewer lines, they tend not to get blocked all that often. Blockages in the smaller branch lines are much more common. The common causes of branch drain blockages are when a buildup of sludge and debris settle into the bottom of old waste pipes. When the diameter of the pipe gradually starts to narrow over time, the pipe will become blocked. A blocked branch drain is often rectified by augering, plunging or hydro jetting.
Main drain blockages usually occur when tree roots in the yard infiltrate into the pipes through cracks or the joints between pipes and block the sewer drain. In this case, a blocked drain professionals like King Plumbing clears the blockage with a high-pressure water a drain cleaning machine called a Hydro Jetter. Property owners who have had tree root problems before should have their sewer lines hydro jetted every couple of years as a preventive measure. Likewise, a blockage can also occur when an old sewer line collapses, an issue that happens more commonly with old clay pipes or PVC pipes when the ground underneath supporting the drain has washed away. A collapsed drain is the worst-case scenario and not easy to fix, as it involves digging up the section of the pipe and replacing.
However, luckily the majority of drain cleaning blockage jobs begin and end at the main inspection opening.
Opening the Inspection Opening:
In the majority of cases, to open the "IO", you will need a strap wrench to grip the cap and twist it anticlockwise to unscrew. Undoing should be easy if the clean-out is PVC (even a steady hand may do the trick), or it won't be straightforward if the pipe fittings are old rusted cast-iron that has not opened in a long time. Hard to open cast iron plugs can sometimes loosen if you apply heat around the joint, which will expand the metal pipe and loosens the plug.
Whatever the situation you find yourself in with a drain blockage, do not hesitate to contact a drain clean professional.
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