Family Magazine

Early Warning Signs of a Blocked Drain

By Therealsupermum @TheRealSupermum


It is always easier to deal with a problem when it is small, before it becomes a bigger issue that you don’t know how to handle, and in the case of your home, often costs more.

The same is true of drainage issues, a common, if often overlooked issue in the home.

Rather than try and fire fight when your drain becomes completely blocked and therefore unusable, learn how to read the warning signs and get something sorted before it’s too late.

Bad smells

When a drain becomes blocked, food and waste starts to gather in various parts of the drain. Here it begins to decompose and rot giving off a horrible stench that, once the problem starts to worsen, becomes more apparent and unbearable. Aside from being an important indicator that your drains are blocking, this also means they are very unsanitary and could benefit from a good clean out.  The smells are usually worse after you run a tap and aggravate the bacteria, so try this to check the smell is definitely coming from the drain.

Slow drainage

Another big indicator of a blocked drain waiting to happen is a water system that is slow to drain. Watch the next time you pull the plug out of the sink to see how long it takes for the drainage system to pull the water down. The slow pace of the water is caused by problems in the pipes only allowing a bit of the water around the obstacle at a time. You will know what is slow for your home, and if you believe there to be a problem it is always worth getting checked out.

 Raised water

As well as draining slowly, you might also find that the water level in your toilet, bath or sink actually grows initially when you take the plug out or flush. This is a pretty clear indicator that your water drainage is not working at its best. This one is a problem as it can lead to flooding and the floor and ceiling along with other damage that is involved with overflowing water in your home. Don’t re-flush a rising toilet as this will only serve to fill the bowl further.

 Funny noises

Gargling and bubbling noises are often the first indication you get that all is not well with your drainage system. Air trapped in the pipes by the obstructions cause air to bubble up through and make these sounds. If the drain was not starting to get blocked then the water would flow freely down the pipes untroubled by any obstacles and therefore making no bubbling or gargling noises. If you have a few things close together you may find one draining bubbles out of the other too, for example sink water bubbling up through the bath plug.

Be aware of what is normal for your home and take note of any changes. Try and remember to check your drains as you would soon be miserable if they were to malfunction. The above are just a few of the tell-tale signs of a drain that is on the fast track to blockage. Catch the problem before it becomes too big and too expensive by checking for these and other warning signs regularly.

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