Water is an essential part of our daily lives. In fact, the average Canadian uses 329 liters of water every single day!
That's a lot of water passing through your home on a daily basis. On top of this, Markham experiences an average of 30.8 inches of rain every year, which needs careful drainage to prevent flooding. So if something goes wrong with your home's plumbing this could cause a serious issue very quickly.
This is why it's incredibly important to fix a clogged main drain in your home as quickly as possible. But how do you know if your main drain is blocked and what can you do to fix it?
If you need help fixing your clogged drain then you've come to the right place! Read on to find out everything you need to know.
What Causes a Clogged Main Drain?
Lots of things can cause a clog in your home's main drain. This is because they are used on a daily basis and all sorts can pass through them! So why do drains clog?
Washing certain things down your drains can increase your chances of experiencing a clog. When this happens things can get stuck in the pipe as they travel along it. Over time, this builds up into a clog.
A variety of things can build up in your drains to cause a blockage.
For example, washing soap or hair down your bathroom sinks will contribute to clogs. This is because soap, especially bar soap, can dry out on the sides of your main drain pipe.
Alternatively, washing fat and small bits of food down your kitchen sink can have the same effect. Dirt and dog hair can also contribute to a clogged drain.
If you flush something you shouldn't down the drain this can cause a clog. The chance of this happening is higher if you live in a house with small children. But flushing too much of a substance, such as toilet paper, down your drains, can have the same effect.
It's also a good idea to avoid flushing things like baby wipes or sanitary products down your toilet (even if they say they are flushable. These are common causes of clogged drains.
Unfortunately, not all drain clogs are within our control. A build-up of minerals in your drain pipe or a dead rodent could lead to a clogged floor drain. If you have a tree root growing through one of your pipes this can catch debris and cause a drain.
Whatever the cause, it's important to get on top of your clogged drain problem as soon as possible. Let's take a look at a few key signs that you might have a problem.
Signs of a Clogged Drain to Watch Out For
If your drain is clogged there will often be some signs of the problem. Keeping an eye out for these could prevent your clog from turning into a major problem.
Backed-up drains around your home are a sign that there's a blockage somewhere. If this is happening in multiple water fixtures around your home then it's probably because your main drain is clogged. This can affect your toilets, sinks, showers, and bathtubs.
A backed-up drain usually smells bad and makes a gurgling noise. It also takes a long time to empty. You may even find that not all the water drains away properly.
You can also check for clogs in your mainline by looking at your sewer cleanout and main sewer lines. If you find drainage into your sewer cleanout line then you could have a clog. Checking these regularly can help you spot a problem before it progresses.
As the blockage in your main pipe because more extensive, the water from your home won't have anywhere to go. This means that it will start coming back up into your home via floor drains or other water fixtures.
For example, if you have a clogged drain, you may find that your sewage comes up through the plughole in your shower or bath when you flush the toilet. Or your toilets and sink can start to overflow when you run your washing machine or dishwasher.
As well as being very unpleasant, this can cause extensive problems throughout your home. Let's take a look at why it's important to fix your clogged main drain sooner rather than later.
Why is it Important to Deal with a Clogged Drain?
Your drains are responsible for carrying dirty water away from your home. If something goes wrong with this system, it can have serious consequences for your home and your family.
Backed-up sewage isn't just unpleasant, it also poses a health and safety hazard for your family.
Drain water and sullage contain dangerous pathogens that you don't want contaminating your home's water. On top of this, leaking sewage can release hydrogen sulfide gas, which is toxic, into your home. It also exposes your family to methane.
So fixing a clogged drain is a vital way to protect your loved ones' health.
A clogged drain in your Markham home can also develop into a more serious problem very quickly. As the clog builds it can become a blockage in your main pipe. When a blockage occurs it puts a lot of pressure on the pipe and can cause it to leak or burst completely.
If this happens you may be at risk of having water or sewage leaking through your home causing extensive damage. If you haven't carefully maintained your pipes then your home insurance may not cover you for this damage.
Fixing a clogged drain is also a lot simpler and cheaper than dealing with a burst pipe. So it's in your financial interest to get on top of the problem before it becomes serious! In that case, it's probably time to look at exactly how you should fix your clogged drain.
What You Need to Fix a Clogged Drain
There are several things you'll need in order to clear out your clogged drain. This includes:
- A wrench
- A professional auger cable (also known as a plumbing snake)
- A garden hosepipe
- An old rag
Most people don't have an auger cable at home. You can rent one from a local DIY or home improvement store.
We'd also recommend wearing a pair of waterproof boots and gloves while clearing your drain's clog. This can be a messy job and the last thing you want is to end up covered in dirty drain water!
In order to fix your clogged drain, you will first need to locate your main drain pipe.
This will always be outside and is located on the same side of your house at the sewer line so start by looking there. Once you've found your main pipe you should be able to find the drainpipe by following its course towards the sewer line.
How to Fix a Clogged Drain
To access the drain pipe you'll need to take off the cap. This will usually be secured on firmly so use your wrench to loosen it. As you take the cap off, get ready to move quickly because a lot of built-up drain water will be ready to spill out!
Let this excess water runoff before approaching the drainpipe again. This may take a couple of minutes. Getting rid of the excess water will make it a lot easier to get to the blockage.
While you're clearing out a blockage in your main drain you should make sure that people in your house don't try to use the drains. If they do, you may find that you get a surge of water coming through the pipe!
Once all the excess is drained off, you can start looking for the clog in your pipe. Start feeding the auger cable into the drain and along the pipe. Most auger cables should come with instruction manuals so make sure you have a look through this before you start using yours.
When you hit the clog, it will become harder to feed the cable along the pipe. At this point, you can start running the auger machine. This will work its way through the clog, breaking it up as it goes.
As this happens, you'll start to notice that the water level in your drain pipe goes down. Eventually, the drainpipe should be completely clear. Keep running your auger cable for a while as this will clear out any smaller blockages in the pipe.
What to Do When Your Pipe is Clear
Once you've cleared your pipe using the auger cable you can start cleaning up. Turn the auger machine off and use your garden hose to do clean up.
Position the hose over the mouth of the drain pipe and turn it on so it is going at full blast. You should do this while the auger cable is still in the pipe. This will wash any debris down the drain and clean the auger cable at the same time.
Once you've run this for a few minutes, turn the hose down and pull out the auger cable. Make sure you do this slowly to prevent the cable from getting damaged.
It's a good idea to keep the hose nearby, as you may need to clean off any remaining debris from the cable. Once it's clean you can wind it back onto the stand.
Before you replace the drain cap, you can use a sewer camera to check that the clog is completely cleared.
After doing this, make sure you replace the drain cap. Wipe this down with your old rag (you should dispose of this afterward) and tighten it up with the wrench. Then your work is done!
Getting Help with Your Clogged Main Drain
It is a good idea to get professional help with your clogged main drain, especially if this is a reoccurring problem. If you find that your drain gets clogged a lot there may be a reason for this.
For example, you may have a tree root growing through the main drain. This will require a more extensive solution to stop the problem from happening again.
In this case, it's a good idea to get a plumber in so that they can look at replacing your main drain pipe. They may also look into redirecting the pipe around the tree roots in order to stop the problem from happening again.
For best results, hire a trusted plumber the first time around. They will give you proper peace of mind about the state of your main drain. Not only will they ensure the job is done well and without damaging your plumbing system, but it also means that you don't have to get your hands dirty.
If you're hiring a plumber, you need to know the most important things you should look for from a plumber in Markham.
Finding a Plumber in Markham
Finding the right plumber in Markham to help with your drains is essential if you want the work done properly. This will protect your property and everyone living in it. It could also save you serious money further down the line.
So what should you look for in a plumber?
You want someone who works locally. They will be able to come to your property sooner rather than later. This also means they'll be on hand to help in a plumbing emergency.
Make sure you check out a plumber's reputation before you hire them. Good feedback from previous customers is a sign of a great plumber. It also demonstrates that they have the proper experience to help you.
Ideally, you should also look for a plumber that offers a guarantee on their work. This shows they're committed to delivering quality work. It could also save you a lot of money if anything goes wrong further down the line.