Drains R Us Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my drains are blocked?
Sewer Drain - Your sewer drain takes all of the toilet waste, bathroom including shower, bath and vanity wastes, kitchen sink and laundry water. If your sewer drain is blocked you may notice some of the following symptoms
Slow draining toilet or toilet water rising when you flush
Gurgling sound in toilet pan or outside in the gully trap
Discharge from the gully trap outside, discharge may contain toilet waste and toilet tissue etc
Slow draining sinks or shower
It is important to rectify this problem as soon as possible as this can be a health hazard.
Storm Water Drain - Your storm water drain takes rain water from your roof, gutters and down pipes. If your storm water drain is blocked you may notice some of the following symptoms, especially in heavy rain
Flooding from gutters and down pipes
Surface flooding in yard sumps, driveways, channels etc
Again it is important to rectify this as soon as possible as flooding could lead to water damage to your property
What causes drains to block?
In our experience about 90% of the blocked drains we attend the blockage is caused by tree roots. This happens when there is a crack or a fault in the drain and the tree root enters to get the nutrients out of the drain.
Other causes of blockages are;
Dislodgement in drains which cause uneven surfaces for material to catch on
Collapsed pipes, which is caused by heavy vehicles, leakage, earthquakes, stakes being driven through etc
Trusted drains i.e. contractors installing broadband, gas and telecommunications etc
Flat drains i.e. little slope that material has difficulty flowing through
Debris in the drains i.e. children's toys, sediment, rocks etc
Wipes, sanitary products, kitty litter, paper towels and other unapproiate items being flushed down the toilet
Do I need a Plumber or a Drain unblocker?
A plumber generally works on pipes above the ground, inside the house and behind walls etc. A drain unblocker works on everything under the ground.
Why does my drain keep reblocking?
If your drain relocks after being cleared within a short time frame i.e 3 months there is normally a more significant problem which needs to be addressed. At this stage we would recommend a camera inspection (CCTV) of the drain to determine what is the cause of the problem. With this inspection we can accurately pinpoint where the issue lies and the depth of the problem. With this information we can provide you with a solution and remedy.
Can I clear a blocked drain myself?
Sometimes simple blockages can be cleared by plunging. This pushes the like of food waste or hair down the drain. If a drain cannot be cleared within in few minutes by plunging the drain should be machine cleared for the best long term result.
Does the machine of jet flusher damage my drain?
No, the machines we use are designed to clean the drain and remove tree roots etc. This will not affect the integrity of the drain or cause any damage. If a tree root has already entered the drain or a fault has developed to cause a blockage this damage was done prior to any machining. In almost all cases we jet flush or use the electric eel to clear and clean drains for the following reasons;
Remove scale build up
Remove fat and soap scum build up
Cut tree roots out
Remove any minor tree roots that are growing
Ensure full flow
Do I need to camera (CCTV) my drain?
Yes if your drain is blocking more than once a year this generally indicates there is an issue which may need further attention
Yes if you have put a foreign item down your drain and want to locate it i.e gold ring gone down a vanity
Yes if you want to locate the position of your drain for i.e. house additions, subdividing, new fence lines, pre property inspections etc
I am buying a new house, should I get the drains checked before I purchase?
As your house if your most expensive asset it is well worth a pre purchase inspection, we have saved customer $1000.00's of dollars doing this particularly in older homes.
What is a Main?
A main is owned by the local authority and is a common pipe which each house discharges into, this is maintained by the local council. Occasionally council mains block and may discharge through a homeowners property normally flowing in a constant stream from a gully trap when no water in that house is being used. If this is apparent we suggest ringing your council in the first instance.
When is the local authority/council responsible for a blocked drain?
In the Wellington region each local authority has differing policy on this, generally speaking Wellington City Council policy is the drain is the home owners responsibility until it reaches the council main regardless if it crosses the road. In the Hutt Valley the council will accept responsibility outside the boundary if it can be proven this is where the fault lies. To determine this we would recommend a CCTV inspection. Please refer to your local council for confirmation.
What is a Buchan trap?
In layman's terms a Buchan trap made of earthenware or clay pipes and is in the shape of a U, similar to the trap under your sink, these were initially installed to prevent vermin and smells entering from the council main. These have become troublesome in recent years and we recommend removal if they are causing issues. These are mainly found in Wellington and parts of Whitby.
What is a gully trap?
A gully tap is generally a dish sitting against the base of the house where all the small waste pipes discharge into. Gully traps stop foul air coming up from the drain and to catch any large objects entering the drain as they normally have some sort of grate covering the drain. All houses have at least one gully trap somewhere.
What is Earthenware and what is PVC?
Earthenware drains are made out of glazed clay pipes. Over the years they have had a variety of methods of joining the pipes together from mortar joints to rubber rings. Earthenware was discontinued in the early 1980's when PVC (plastic) was introduced. The method of jointing with PVC is either glue or rubber ring.
My Drain is blocked who are the experts?
Drains R Us - call us today
Drains R Us Referrals
I have no hesitation in recommending Drains R Us - Carol Lower hutt
I was really pleased with the service you provided - Richard Plimmerton
We would like to express our appreciation to Drains R Us for fixing our drainage problem in such an expert and helpful manner - Jan Lyall Bay
Drains R Us were very thorough looking with the CCTV camera and most certainly went the extra mile with their knowledge and attitude to help us - Raeleen Miramar
We found your chap very courteous, polite and he did an excellent job - Justine Karori
You guys did an amazing job yesterday, the guys were lovely, thanks so much - Wendy Tawa
I like dealing with your company because of the staff, they are professional in what they do and how they act, I would certainly recommend your company - Dave Newlands
I was thoroughly impressed with the friendly efficient service, I won't hesitate to recommend to friends - Adam Johnsonville
Your staff worked hard to fix our blockage, he was professional and polite in his communication with us and very helpful in explaining what he had done and what me need to do - Tony Wadestown
I can highly recommend you to anyone that asks - Jeff Lower Hutt