Have you noticed that the water takes longer to flow out of your sink than it used to? Alternatively, have you heard some strange gurgling sounds when trying to empty the bath? If so, this may indicate potential issues with your drainage system and there may well be a blockage down the pipe. What could be causing this, and what should you do next?
Looking for a Cause
If you find that there is an issue in more than one location within your property, then it's likely that the source of the problem is remote. In other words, it's not likely to be tied to a buildup of hair or other "gunge" just below the drain. It could be caused by a break in the underground pipe connecting your property with the local government sewer. Generally, you are responsible for the part of the drainage system that runs beneath your land, and in order to fix this type of blockage, you have to work out what's going wrong.
Pinpointing the Problem
Many different factors could cause your drainage pipe to break. If your region has been particularly dry recently, then the soils could shift as the water table recedes. This can cause an underground pipe to move and, under some tension, lead to a break. When this happens, the water will simply flow out of the pipe and encounter the surrounding soil. It will eventually seep into the soil but will inevitably back up into your property.
Foraging roots could be to blame if you have some trees in the area. These trees are always searching for a water source and may eventually come across those pipes as the roots grow. Often, the exterior of the pipe has condensation and even more so where two pipes connect. As these roots continue to grow, they will exert even more pressure at this location which could eventually lead to breakage.
Fixing the Issue
Of course, all of this is guesswork until you bring in the professionals to find out exactly what is going wrong. An experienced plumber will have the tools and can quickly find out for you. For example, they will feed a miniature camera into the pipe from your kitchen. This is on the end of a flexible cable and is also equipped with a powerful light. As soon as they find the source of the blockage, they can then pinpoint this with great accuracy, so they will only need to do the minimum amount of excavation to reach the problem area.
Thankfully, technology can quickly come to your rescue if you have a blocked drain somewhere on your property. Get in touch with an experienced plumber to start the ball rolling. For more information on blocked drains, contact a professional near you.