A key element of responsible homeownership is staying on top of your home’s maintenance. One major area that’s all too easy to neglect is your plumbing system. Your pipes are the lifeblood of your home, but it can be tricky to be on top of the upkeep for a system you can’t even see! Water and sewer line repairs can be some of the most expensive home repairs, so prioritizing your plumbing is highly recommended.
If you do suspect that your home has some clogged drains, follow this step-by-step guide to controlling the situation and minimizing risks of further damage.
Step 1: Identify all potential clogs
When undertaking drain cleaning in Melbourne and other large cities, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s not only your wastewater system that has the potential to develop clogs. Even your stormwater system can experience blockages, predominantly arising from leaves, dirt, rocks, and potentially even deceased wild animals like birds and mice. Urban stormwater systems are under duress in colder weather, so be sure not to neglect your gutters and drainpipes during this preliminary phase. In fact, consider starting with your stormwater system and working from outside-in so that you can get the more difficult portion of this process out of the way and put together some comprehensive notes for your plumber.
Once you do move to your wastewater system, be sure to test every fixture as well as exposed pipes, these being the ones you can find under your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room sinks, as well as the pipes behind your washing machine. First, check for rust and any other signs of corrosion. Then check for leaks and odd noises like groans and gurgles as well as clogs, and make a note of any abnormalities with your water pressure, as sometimes weaker or stronger streams of water can also be indicative of a potentially damaging blockage.
Step 2: Monitor clogging patterns
Just because your kitchen or bathroom sink has been experiencing some clogging, it doesn’t mean that the clog is isolated to that fixture. Repeat clogging from numerous fixtures may be a sign that your plumbing system is experiencing blockages at multiple inaccessible points. For this reason, it’s important that you use a water pressure gauge to test your pipes and potentially see what might be triggering your repeat clogging.
Open and close your faucets as smoothly as possible and listen closely for any sounds. If you hear a strong, hammering sound, you may have a water hammer on your hands, which will absolutely need to be inspected by a certified plumber. If the water hammer extends to multiple fixtures in one room, you know that the blockage must lie within that portion of your plumbing system. However, if you can recognize pressure build-ups and clogs in multiple rooms, the blockage will most certainly be underground in your deeper system. In these cases, it’s best to provide your plumber with as much information as possible to help them appropriately handle the situation.
Step 3: Call your plumber
Now that you’ve got a firmer understanding of what may be affecting your pipes, it’s time to call your plumber and request a plumbing inspection. Be sure to communicate your concerns promptly and with as much clarity as possible, and also to ask plenty of questions! Your plumber should be able to provide you with some valuable answers, not just when it comes to fixing blockages, but also about preventative measures you can take to ensure that your home’s risk of experiencing future clogs and other blockages is greatly minimized.
It’s common for organized homeowners to keep track of maintenance tasks by arranging for them to be fulfilled on a weekly, monthly, or annual schedule, depending on how often the tasks need to be performed. Be sure to add the maintenance of your home’s plumbing system to your responsible homeownership routine and to use your plumber’s recommended preventative measures to ensure that your pipes stay clear and sturdy for years!