While most plumbing jobs require the assistance of an experienced plumber, unblocking drains is a task you can take on yourself. Many people feel hesitant about rolling up their sleeves, especially if they don’t have much handy experience. Unfortunately, this can lead to blocked drain issues getting put off, causing build-up and backwater flow that can be a lot harder, more time-consuming and messier to fix.
Your blocked drain issues won’t go away on their own. Identifying the early warning signs will help you get started on fixing your drains simply and easily.
4 Signs of a Blocked Drain
No matter if it’s your kitchen sink, laundry or bathroom, it’s important to take action early if you spot any of the four red flags below:
1. Foul Smell
When household waste matter becomes trapped inside the opening or within the bend of a pipe it will start to decompose and send out a stinky message. A bad smell is usually the very first warning sign that things are not going well. As off-putting as it might be, the longer you leave it the more particles will join the mess and the stinker things will become. Once the blockage is big enough you’ll start to see other symptoms forming too.
2. Gurgling Sounds
Strange sounds including gurgling are a good indication of a block forming inside your drain pipe. Water inside the pipe is pooling, swirling and causing air to become trapped. The air will look for the fastest route up so you may hear gurgling or other noises from bath or shower drains, which might mean there is a blockage somewhere else in the line (like the sink). Check for other signs of blockage to find the source and check the drain points for tangled hairs that might be responsible for bathroom blockages.
While most drain issues occur with your indoor sinks and bathrooms, overflowing drains is one you might also notice outside. It is easy for dead leaves, soil and garden material to be washed down outdoor drains, causing blocks. With outdoor drains, many of the early warning signs are harder to spot, so overflow might be your first red flag. If the pooling water increases in volume (i.e. it’s raining or a pipe has burst) call a plumber to get help quickly to prevent damage to your property.
4. Slow Draining
It’s important for your sinks to drain well to keep waste material moving and prevent stagnant water and those nasty smells. If your water drains away slowly it’s typically because something is blocking the way. As the water pressure is reduced, it’s only going to encourage more particles to gather and the block to increase so getting to it sooner, rather than later is ideal.
There isn’t a one size fits all solution for unblocking drains so you might need to try a few different home remedies before matching the right one for your drain issue. You can also call a professional plumber to find out how to unblock your drains at home.