Blocked drains are very common in many households and can be caused by many factors. If you have kids, there’s a strong chance you’ll suffer from a blocked drainage system at some point. Why? Because they love to throw things down the toilet or put things in the sink that really should not go down your pipes! As a result, blockages are caused and you’re in a very precarious situation.
Similarly, blocked drains can be caused by pipes collapsing or parts of a plumbing system eroding and creating a block. Either way, unblocking your drain is a fairly important plumbing repair because leaving it unblocked could create further issues. So, here are three signs you have a blocked drain:
Probably the easiest and most obvious sign of a blocked drain. Slow drainage means water doesn’t drain away as quickly as it usually does. In a sink or bath, you see water pooling around the plug hole, taking an age to go down. The same goes for your toilet; the water level rises and it takes longer than average for it to reset back down. Clearly, something is blocking the water and preventing proper drainage.
This is a bit of a hidden sign that most people don’t associate with blocked drains. If you get some bad smells from the drains around your home, you may assume there’s an issue with the local sewage system. Instead, it could be down to a blockage in your pipes. When a drain is blocked, it can stop water and other things from freely flowing through. As a result, water can stagnate in the pipes and start smelling very badly. The smell then moves up through your drains and into your home.
If you notice bad smells before you see any slow drainage issues, it could indicate a blockage far down the pipes. This is awful because you won’t pay much attention to it until it gets much worse. Once there’s a bad smell, call a plumber to inspect the situation.
Your drains aren’t supposed to gurgle when they are used. An unblocked drain will just allow the sweet flow of water through the pipes with no problems. Gurgling shows there is a blockage somewhere that’s causing air bubbles in the water and leading to these loud and weird sounds.
Again, this can be a good indication of blockages further down a system. With slow drainage, this can happen when you have surface-level blocks – such as hair or debris around a plug hole. Gurgling and bad smells are more likely to show deeper issues, particularly when combined with slow drainage.
The important thing is to notice these signs as soon as possible. If your drains take an age to drain away, inspect the plug holes or use a plunger to see if you can remove anything. If this improves the situation, you know the issue was surface-level. If nothing changes – and you start experiencing bad smells and gurgling sounds – there’s clearly a serious blockage somewhere. Call a plumber to get a drainage inspection and then the correct repairs.