Common Drainage Problems and How to Fix Them: A Guide to Maintaining Your Home’s Plumbing System

Every homeowner will encounter a drainage issue at some point in their life, whether it be an external clogged drain which can be easily fixed with some DIY plumbing repairs or a much more severe issue like a burst pipe. Common drainage problems such as clogged drains, slow drains, and leaking pipes can be frustrating but with the right knowledge, you can often fix these issues yourself. However, for more severe issues like root intrusion, pipe bursting, and sewer line issues, it’s best to call a professional plumber. Regular maintenance of your home’s plumbing system can help prevent these problems and save you money in the long run. This article outlines some common drainage issues you may be experiencing and how you can fix them.

Clogged And Slow Drains

The pipes inside and below our homes work 24/7, ensuring the flow of water to and from our appliances like clockwork. With this constant use, it is very common for our drains to become clogged or completely blocked. Over time, debris like food and oil from sinks, and products and hair from our showers, can build up within pipes, slowing the flow of water. Clogs can gradually build over a long period of time, forming a slab of sludge around the interior of pipes. Oil, coffee grinds and hair are particularly fond of becoming lodged within pipes, as they can stick to the pipe wall, catching other debris at the same time. An outside clogged drain can be quite easy to maintain, simply ensure after a particularly stormy or windy day that your drains have not been blocked with sediment or debris. Brushing any leaves or branches out of your guttering can also ensure blockages don’t form over time, allowing water to flow down and drain. If you suspect an external drain may have a blockage inside the pipe, this type of plumbing maintenance is best left to a professional who will have the necessary tools to flush out the blockage.

Leaky Pipes

Have you noticed the pipes under your kitchen sink dripping slightly or a loss of water pressure? This could suggest you have a leaky pipe. With constant use, it is normal for the fixings around our pipes to deteriorate with age, particularly where pipes join or bend. An untreated leak can cause an expensive mess, as water ends up getting into places it shouldn’t be. If you have a leaky pipe you can see (around an appliance, outside your home or under your sink), try using epoxy putty around the area that is leaking. Before you undertake any work to your pipes, make sure you have turned off the water supply and drained water from the system before loosening anything. Whilst this method can act as a temporary fix for a small leak, for larger or underground leaks, you will need to contact a professional immediately to assess the issue. Unfortunately there is no home DIY fix for these issues, only an expert from an established company can remedy these drainage problems and restore your pipes to working order.

Root Intrusion And Burst Pipes

Root intrusion and burst pipes are two of the more serious plumbing issues you may encounter. Either of these issues will be easy to spot, as you will notice a large drop in water pressure and your grass may be greener than usual as more moisture is present in the soil. A burst pipe can happen as a consequence of root intrusion, cold weather or wear and tear. Weather is often the leading cause of a burst pipe, as pipes contract and expand with extreme temperatures which leads to fractures in the plastic. Root intrusion is less common but equally as serious, as roots, drawn towards the heat and moisture, grow around and eventually into pipes, putting pressure on them until they crack.

Sarah Evans