Blocked pipes and how to avoid them

Blocked Pipe Nightmares at Home and How to Avoid Them

Toilets can run and leak from time to time and often we ignore these problems or put off fixing them. We decide that it’s not such a big deal and it can wait and may even forget about it. A week or 2 later you notice your bed room carpet is wet and the source of the dirty water is problem you thought nothing of! Now this is a big problem, right? There’s no such thing as a small problem when it comes to plumbing; even little leaks can turn into major problems if not dealt with quickly.

Although unavoidable accidents can happen any time, taking steps towards prevention is always a good idea. By following some simple rules you can avoid unexpected plumbing problems at your home in many cases. So what can be done then? Here are some useful tips to follow:

Check Before you Rent or Buy a Home

It is better to be serious from the very beginning. If you are renting then make sure to check your kitchen, toilet and electric system is properly working. If you notice anything broken or malfunctioning then immediately inform the owner. Request them to fix the problem as soon as possible. If you are buying, it’s even more important as you’ll be paying for any problems that arise. If you don’t know much about plumbing, get an expert in to take a quick look, it can make all the difference. In Australia, upwards of 30% of people end up buying a home that has plumbing problems within a year – problems that could and should have been avoided.

Remember that the Toilet isn’t a Rubbish Bin

This is a very common problem and children are often the main culprit. Putting foreign objects in the toilet is like playing with fire. The average plumber see all kinds of things block up the toilet, from socks to nappies to tampons to toys and anything else you can imagine! Leaving a rubbish bin in the toilet and teaching the kids to use it instead of the toilet can help, however if you notice that something has been flushed that shouldn’t have been, don’t get cute – just call Rods Away.

Blocked Drain for Heavy Rain

Heavy rain fall can block your sewer system because this pipes are not made to facilitate large amounts of water. Drain blockage mainly happens because heavy downpour brings dead leaves and various other things into pipes that simply can’t handle them. Usually it washes away however if it doesn’t, you’ve got a problem on your hands. What can you do to prevent this? Make sure your yard and surrounding areas are kept clean and tidy. An excessive build-up of leaves and garden waste around the property and in the roof gutters can be costly.

Avoid Incorrect Installation

You might be surprised to hear that people are installing plumbing systems themselves at home more often these days. Unsurprisingly, this has been one of the biggest causes of plumbing problems down the track, and is probably generating more work for plumbers than if they’d just been called to install it in the first place!  Poorly installed pipes can be broken or blocked if you don’t have the full understanding of pipe work and install it yourself then you running the risk of having problems very soon. So don’t do it until you are sure you know what you’re doing.


It is expected that by following the simple tips mentioned above you can avoid common plumbing problem like blocked pipe or broken toilet  and hence save time and money.


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Common Plumbing Problems


Common Problems and Solutions

1.    Running Toilet

Although it’s not hugely serious, a running toilet is one of the most common problems you’re likely to encounter. The first thing to do is check the tank by lifting the cover off the back of the toilet. You should see a ball or If the water level is above the valve but the toilet isn’t filling when you flush, you’ll have a leak on your hands. A further test is to put some coloured dye into the tank, if it seeps into the bowl, it’s time to replace the ball and/or flapper. In other cases, flush the toilet and it might be obvious why it is playing up.

2.    Blocked Toilet

Until the South Korean wonder-product is available here, your best bet when it comes to unclogging the toilet is the plunger, but there are many other tools are your disposal. The first thing to try is to clear the blockage either with your hands if you can visibly see what is causing it (make sure you’re wearing gloves) or with a chemical drain cleaning product, which you can pour into the toilet – in many cases this will erode the blockage away, but it might take a little while for chemical in particular. Baking soda and vinegar is another concoction that might get the job done.

If neither this nor the plunger method is effective, try the plumbers’ snake method. Or if you don’t have one handy, even an uncoiled coat hanger can do the trick. Some blockages are really deep but can be dislodged fairly easily if you can push or jiggle them out of place. Basically it’s just a matter of inserting it into the toilet drain and twisting and manoeuvring it until the blockage comes unstuck.
If none of the above work, get on the phone and call up your local plumber.

3.    Blocked Sink

Unblocking a kitchen sink is quite similar to unblocking a toilet and you can follow the same steps. Obviously using a plunger is a good start point but you have to remember to plug other outlets with rags to make sure the pressure is at its highest. From there, you can try the vinegar and baking soda method. No luck, give it a go a snake or anger to dislodge the object. Following that you can try out the chemical method, but this should be a last grasp given that it can cause harm to the environment.

4.    Leaking Pipes

Whether it’s because your dishwasher was overloaded, the hot water system cracked it or it’s a classic case of a leaking pipe, any level of flooding in the home is not fun. The first thing is to turn off the valve connected to the pipe in question. Most of the time we’d suggest organising a temporary solution to the problem and going from there. A rubber cover, a clamp can usually and Teflon tape will usually hold smallish leaks until you can figure out whether you need to replace the pipe or not.

If you think that the pipe does need replacing straight away, you’ll need to go out and buy some new pipe according the measurements. Then you can cut out the damaged portion of the existing pipe, and depending on the type of pipe you are dealing with, you will need to either solder or connect the new part with the union piece.

Blockage problem is not a daily issue for a home owner. However if you ever face blocked toilet, drain blockage, leaking pipe, blocked sink etc., then you know how annoying it is to solve this problems. Here we have discussed some common problems with minimal solution. Our main aim was to provide a general guideline. Keep in mind that safety is always first priority. If you ever feel doubt about any plumbing issue then it’s a good idea to consult a local .
Rods Away are here for all your drain and plumbing solutions.


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