Blocked drains: Tips and Tricks

My kitchen sink has a blocked drain, how do I clear it?

The quickest, easiest and cheapest way to clear minor blocked drains is also one of the most effective; boiling water. If there is pooled water sitting in your sink that won’t drain away, you should get this out first. Use a cup to scoop the water into a bucket so that once the boiled water is poured in it can go at a higher speed through the drain to clear the blockage. Taking care not to burn yourself, simply pour a good amount (large saucepan) of boiling water down the sink and wait to see if things clear.

You may need to repeat this process a few times, bucketing the still water out each time, but this trick usually meets with success on general household sink blockages eventually, particularly if you use it in conjunction with a plunger.

If the blockage is stubborn, you can also pour about half a cup of salt into the drain and let it sit for a few minutes before adding the boiling water. 

Contact our Plumbers Direct team near you for a free quote or call us 1300 877 448.

There are a number of reasons why you have blocked plumbing. These are the top 5 reasons why you have a blockage in your plumbing.

1. Foreign Object blockage
Any item/s other than toilet paper can cause issues if flushed down the toilet. Sanitary items like pads and tampons are common culprits. Baby wipes and nappies have also caused many a plumber headaches.

2. Sink blockage
Do not wash the fat from a frying pan down your kitchen sink because it’s common for the fat to cool and solidify while still in your pipes. As the fat builds up over time, you can find yourself with a severe blockage that’s incredibly hard to budge without the proper equipment. If you suspect a fat blockage in your pipes get one of our plumbers involved. They’ll be able to dislodge the fat with the proper tools and get your pipes back in working order.

3. Grout or concrete blockage
Sometimes this is caused when you move into a newly built or renovated house only to get blocked drain after blocked drain. Some tilers don’t dispose of leftover grout from their work appropriately, instead they pour it down the drain. The grout or concrete will then settle at the bottom of the pipes and set, leaving the pipe partially blocked and prone to issues. This is definitely one for the professionals. Plumbers Direct will use either a jet rodder or a robotic cutter to remove the set concrete in the pipe. In severe cases, the pipe will need to be entirely dug up and replaced.

4.Tree roots
On a lot of occasions, tree roots are the cause of your blocked pipes. Roots can travel long distances in search of water, particularly in times of drought or low rainfall. Even very small breaks or cracks in your pipes can give roots access enough to block up your system. If you suspect tree roots are the cause of your blocked pipes then it’s time to call the professionals. Our licensed plumbers will have the tools necessary to properly clear the roots from your pipes.

5.Poor installation
Plumbing is a licensed trade for very good reason. Pipes laid incorrectly can cause any number of issues that can lead to blockages or even structural damage to your property.

A couple of common issues associated with bad installation include:

Pipe Backfall

This is an issue where the pipes are laid without the requisite minimum fall to keep water flowing fast enough through the pipe. Pipe backfall can cause paper and other sediments to settle to the bottom of the pipe, eventually creating blockages.

Crushed or Collapsed Pipes

Crushed or collapsed pipes commonly occur if the pipes aren’t laid deep enough underground. Failure to surround underground pipes with sufficient sand or gravel is another common cause.

Pipes laid incorrectly can easily break when heavy vehicles such as a car or truck travel over them. Even tiny cracks can invite tree roots to cause blockages, but a partially or fully crushed pipe can spell a major problem.

If you have any plumbing blockages call the experts at Plumbers Direct today!

When it comes to guttering or roof issues, most of us don’t think of plumbers. But in NSW, you need a plumbing license for performing any sort of plumbing or drainage work – roof plumbing comes under this.

Plumbers Direct offers roof plumbing services for our clients right across Sydney.

Do you know what a roof plumber does, and why you need one.

What is roof plumbing?

Roof plumbing, often referred to as storm water plumbing, refers to any work involving roof flashing or covering, any part of a drainage system that collects or disposes of storm water, or any connection of storm water pipes to rain water tanks. It also involves connection of storm water downpipes to your drainage disposal point.

Essentially, all plumbing work associated with roofs, gutters, and down pipes come under ‘roof plumbing’. However, the roof coverings themselves, made of concrete, non-metallic tiles, timber etc. are installed and repaired by roofers, and do not come under the term ‘roof plumbing’.

So when do you need one?

During the process of construction of a new house, you may need a roof plumber for a variety of jobs, including:

  • Design and installation of roof drainage systems.
  • Measurement, fabrication and installation of gutters, downpipes and storm water disposal systems.
  • Construction of roof flashing, ductwork joints, angled gutters and stop ends.
  • Installation of rain water tanks and other collection devices.
  • Termination of building storm water drains at street kerb or storm water drainage system.


Gutters and downpipes maintenance and repair

In addition to new construction work, roof plumbers are also needed for maintenance and repair work involving storm water and gutters. Gutters and down pipes are designed so that rain water from your roof is properly drained away from the building structure and immediate surroundings.

Any water finding its way down the building foundation could cause serious harm including:

  • Roof leaks,
  • Foundation and property erosion, and
  • Mould and mildew problems.

For this reason, proper gutter cleaning, repairing, fitting gutter guards and installing mesh coverings to prevent accumulation of leaves and other debris in gutters become very important. Fixing leaks or blockage in storm water down pipes is also the responsibility of plumbers.

Rainwater tank installation and maintenance

Installing a rain water tank is a sustainable plumbing practice that reduces wastage of our precious water resources. Depending on your requirements, harvested rain water can be used for watering garden plants, or be connected to your house plumbing and used for laundry and in toilets for flushing.

Designing a rain water harvesting system requires deciding upon a suitable tank size, fitting your gutters and down pipes with leaf guards, and adding tank screens and flap valves to keep out insects and provide sufficient vents. Most rain water collection systems also use first-flush diverters to prevent the initial ‘dirty’ water from entering your collection tank.

If you are connecting your rain water system to your mains, you might also need backflow prevention devices, as regulated by Sydney Water. Correct installation and use of rain water systems can reduce your water bills by as much as 70%, and also help to keep your garden or lawn alive even during water restriction periods.

Fixing roof leaks

Roof leaks can be very expensive if not caught in time. If your roof leak is caused due to gutter blocks or improper storm water drainage, your roof plumber is the person to call. Preventive maintenance is the best way to avoid roof leaks with seasonal roof and gutter cleaning an essential step.

During this time, you can also ask them to do minor repairs and maintenance and perform an inspection to detect any potential plumbing problems.

Roof flashing repairs

Roof flashing is used to prevent water from entering the roof structure by creating a weather barrier. These are used around chimneys, skylights or other roof penetrations to make it watertight. If flashing is not installed properly, it causes leaks and also might result in damage to your tiles. Repair of improper installation of flashing or flashing leaks also come under roof plumbing.

Don’t do it yourself

Undertaking roof plumbing jobs yourself is not only against NSW regulations, but is also incredibly dangerous. You need sufficient manual dexterity, very good balance, and strength to set up scaffolding or move ladders.

Engaging a licensed and qualified roof plumber to do your roofing jobs ensures that you get the results you want. In fact, we sometimes find that minor roof problems go unnoticed or ignored due to the difficulty in accessing the roofs. And often, this results in emergencies that require expensive repairs.

Correct installation, preventive inspections and timely maintenance helps prevent all roofing problems and help keep your house weatherproof.

Our team at Plumbers Direct is experienced with all sorts of roof plumbing jobs including gutter cleaning and repairs, rainwater tank installation and more. If you live in Sydney call us on 1300 877 448 and leave your roof plumbing to the experts at Plumbers Direct.

Plumbing problems can occur *out of the blue*, not only can plumbing issues be annoying but they can also disrupt your business. This could be down to a safety issue, or, it could mean a loss of productivity, either way, it’s essential your business runs without problems with your plumbing.

There are a few different types of plumbing issues that occur in commercial premises, they often happen suddenly, but if you are aware of what CAN happen it will help you try and avoid these problems popping up.

Leaks – Leaks is one of the most common reasons a plumber is called out. Underground cracked pipes or a kitchen or bathroom leaking tap, or leaking toilet can all become a significant problem. Issues such as these need to be dealt with straight away BEFORE they turn into bigger issues.  These types of persistent leaks can result in water being wasted and you receiving a higher water bill. Any moisture-ridden spaces can then become prone to mildew, rot and mould, with mould causing allergies and respiratory issues. If you have any leaks, call plumbers Sydney on 1300 896 508 to fix the problem as soon as possible.

Clogging – it can be very frustrating if you find yourself dealing with sluggish drains and clogs regularly. These problems can be a sign of a more significant plumbing issue.

Hot water system problems – in commercial properties hot water problems can be disruptive, and repairs can also be time-consuming. This is because commercial-grade hot water systems are more complicated than the system you have at home. It is not always easy to maintain constant hot water temperatures in commercial buildings which can be a massive problem for some businesses so need to be hot water plumbing Sydney.

A foul sewer odour – this can be a sign of a major plumbing problem and if you find the smell coming from different areas of the property it could be an indication of a problem with the pipes. If pipes below the floor are very dry, it can cause a constant lingering sewer smell and sewer blocked. It is essential you call 1300 896 508 to deal with the problem.

Foundation cracks, movement or damage – damage to the foundation of a structure is dangerous, and plumbing issues can lead to poor drainage, soil displacement and risk of foundation damage.

You need to have any issues dealt with quickly and professionally, especially when you run a business, ensure all plumbing issues are handled by a 24 hour plumber who deals with both commercial and residential matters. Remember there is no job too small to call out a plumber – from a small kitchen tap leak to a blocked toilet, you need to deal with any plumbing issues quickly, it can put the safety of you and your staff – and even your business at risk.

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Unfortunately, it’s very easy to fall prey to some simple plumbing mistakes, that can end up costing more time and money down the road.

There are a lot of simple plumbing problems that occur around the home, with some homeowners trying to fix the problem on their own rather than calling out a Sydney plumber. Did you know that even the simplest fixes can lead to some costly mistakes? Here are a few common Do It Yourself plumbing mistakes – and how to fix them.

  • Using too much drain cleaner – commercial drain cleaners are great to use to clear away clogs and helping to reduce built-up residue, however using these products too much, or using too much of them, can damage your drains or blocked drain. Drain cleaners use harsh chemicals to break up solid waste and clean the pipes, but, overusing these products can eat away at the walls of your pipes – metal and PVC. Why not use a pipe snake instead?
  • Using drain cleaners in the wrong places – you need to be careful WHERE you use these products, even if you rarely use them. Most cleaning products are safe to use in the bathroom and kitchen sink, shower, bathtub and toilets but they can be damaging if you use the wrong type of cleaner. To avoid problems read all the safety plumbers directions BEFORE using them.
  • Mismatching your pipes – minor leaks that are visible; such as those under a bathroom or kitchen sink are run of the mill DIY projects most handymen or women undertake at home. When replacing a leaky pipe, many DIY’ers choose the wrong size or type, or try to make the pipes fit using the wrong connectors. For example, you should never try and connect galvanised with copper pipes or you risk corrosion. You must also use a proper connector and sealant, just because two pipes seem tight, doesn’t mean they will hold water. Always double check the type of pipe and connector you need.
  • Not turning off the water – when a pipe springs a leak, or a tap starts dripping it’s easy to forget the first rule of DIY plumbing – Turn OFF the Water! No matter what the repair is, or how important it is, always shut off the water. Leaving the water on and disconnecting a pipe could cause a flood and cost you more than time.
  • Not calling a professional plumber – while there are some jobs you can take on, any repair that is above your ability, requires cutting into the wall or floors or accessing the main water line is best handled by an emergency plumber. While the cost of hiring a pro can put some people *off* the money paid is well worth the assurance that the job has been properly completed.

If you have any plumbing issues, call your Sydney plumbers today on 1300 896 508.


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