What to Do With a Blocked Sewer? Guide for the New Homeowner

In Sydney, a blocked sewer line is probably one of the most dreaded household problems a homeowner would not want to encounter. Not only is it filthy, but resolving such an issue is downright costly and time-consuming, not to mention a headache for the most part.

In case of a sewer blockage, not too many homeowners know what to do. There are even instances when an individual would not do anything but hope that the problem resolves itself.

If you find yourself in such a predicament, you can follow these easy, useful steps.

Shut the Water Off

In the event that you suspect something blocking your sewer main is not to use any plumbing fixture inside the house. You will also have to inform everyone in your home, not to about the issue, so they may refrain from using water in the meantime while you resolve the problem.

You may shut off the water main if needed. This option may come in handy, especially if you have family members who may easily forget about the clogged sewer dilemma.  Turn the valve back on after resolving the issue yourself or once the plumber has arrived.

Check the Fixtures

Often, the clogging can be somewhere near the drain and not in the sewer main itself. See if you can troubleshoot the matter yourself. There are several ways on how you can resolve a blocked drain, such as using a plunger or plumber’s snake to remove a clog. DIY homemade plumbing solutions may also come in handy for a blocked sewer problem.

While you attend to your drains, however, you may hear strange sounds from your plumbing fixtures. These unusual reactions may come in the form of gurgling sounds or bubbles coming out of the toilet, as well as water backing up in the drain, among others.

Use a Plunger

If the blockage is not in near the main sewer line, you may use a plunger to unclog the drain. Though a seemingly straightforward tool, there’s a proper way of using the plunger to obtain better results should you choose to DIY your plumbing fixes.

Here’s how you can do that:

  1. If you’re plunging either the tub, sink, or shower, place a piece of cloth around the drain. A wet towel will do, for that matter. This method will increase the plunger’s suction power, which is what you’ll need to agitate whatever it is that’s clogging your drain.
  2. Putting petroleum jelly around the rim of your plunger creates a better seal. With this technique, you will have more suction power as you pump the plunger and remove the scum or grease that’s clogging your drains.
  3. If you are plunging a toilet, make sure you use a flange plunger. Instead of a curved bell, a flange plunger has a short, protruding extension. Such a feature gives it a better suction ability, which makes it only for toilet bowls as compared to its standard counterparts.

Before you start pumping, you have to make sure the toilet bowl is half-full and that you start slow. For that matter, if the bowl is near full, remove the excess water with a pail. The water plays a critical role in improving pressure.

Use a Plumbing Snake

To the uninitiated, a plumbing snake—also called an auger or a drain snake—is a metallic wire which you push down the drain to remove any clogs or blockages in the sewer pipeline. Its handle resembles that of a manual drill, while at the other end, which is the one that gets into the drain, has an uncoiled spring.

Send the end of the auger into the drain by allowing it to slide inside. When you suspect something is obstructing the path, this may mean you’ve reached a bend in the pipe, or it may be the clog itself. Nevertheless, twist the auger until you have gone past it.

If you have not encountered any resistance, this may mean you have dealt with the blockage. Pour water into the drain to see if the clog is gone. There are instances when the clog goes out into the sewer line. If it attaches itself to the snake, have a garbage bag ready and dump it there.

Call in the Expert

If all else fails, contact a licensed plumber to resolve your plumbing dilemmas. There are several local plumbing companies available 24/7, which accept requests for emergency plumbing Sydney services any time of the day. You just need to choose the most reliable contractor that can resolve your issues within your budget.

Fixing a blocked drain is not an easy task for a homeowner, let alone figuring out what caused it. That is the reason why there are experts to take care of that matter for you. Plumbers have different ways of repairing clogged pipelines, especially ones that some homeowners may deem too much to handle by themselves. For that matter, make sure you call in an experienced professional who carries the right credentials.

Kathy McDonough