Blocked Drains » Building Regulations South Africa
Dec 042013
 

What to do when you have Blocked Drains

Blocked Drains01W Blocked Drains

Blocked Drains02 Blocked DrainsDo your drains sometimes look like this, with smelly overflowing waste-water running into the street? Well a few days ago we had this problem. After a few tries with the plunger I gave it up as a bad job.

If you think that this is going to be an article on how to DIY and unblock your drains, you’re wrong. I called in the plumbers – and that’s what this is about. As I have an agreement with our landlord to check with him before incurring any expenses when it comes to essential maintenance of his property, I duly sent an email with a couple of pictures explaining the situation before taking action. When, after nearly a week there was no reply from him, I decided to go ahead anyway as the stench and health risk to everyone had to be sorted out. I phoned and asked the plumber for an estimate over the phone. This sounded reasonable, and I asked how soon they could get here.

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Blocked Drains06 s Blocked DrainsWithin 30 minutes of my call, the plumber – a company I had sourced myself, but which was highly recommended – was at the front door. What follows here is a step-by-step of what they found and how they fixed it.

 

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*A word of caution, if you are slightly prone to feeling queasy DO NOT read any further.*

Blocked Drains03 Blocked DrainsFirst they did a site inspection and located all the manhole covers. There are six plus one on the verge next to the road.

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Blocked Drains05 Blocked DrainsThe manhole next to the road seemed to be fine as there was nothing backed up.

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Blocked Drains07 Blocked DrainsThis is what they found. Disgusting sewage completely backed up and overflowing.

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Blocked Drains08 Blocked DrainsNext it was out with the “Big-Guns” – an industrial-strength rotating drain cleaner.

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Blocked Drains09 Blocked DrainsThe way it works is that the man at the septic pit feeds in the rotating coil with an attachment fitted to the front that is designed to clear the drain pipes. The second man attends to the machine and feeds the coil through.

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Blocked Drains12 Blocked DrainsOnce the blockage had been cleared, and the sewage had flowed away, then the coil was withdrawn and all the tree roots that had been blocking up the pipe were visible.

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Blocked Drains14 Blocked DrainsExtra lengths of the coil were then attached and re-inserted into the drain to make certain the blockage had been cleared.

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Blocked Drains13 Blocked DrainsThe extra lengths allowed the probe to go into the municipal line to check that it was clear.

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Blocked Drains15 Blocked DrainsThe next section to get sorted was the line from the kitchen that runs under the house.

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Blocked Drains16 Blocked DrainsThe same procedure was followed as before, with one person on the front and the other man working the machine.

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Blocked Drains18 Blocked DrainsAll sorts of unpleasant matter was extracted after a lengthy probe down the pipe.

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Blocked Drains20 Blocked DrainsA special long-handled plunger was used to clear the grease trap outside the kitchen.

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Pipe SquashS Blocked DrainsThese guys are the experts, but they found it particularly difficult to clear the drain under the house. They explained that the reason they struggled was because, without a concrete casing (which should have been in place), the weight of the soil and the house above it has gradually, over time, made the pipe oval (or irregular) in shape, which can cause blockages … and clearly this is what has happened.

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Blocked Drains06 s Blocked DrainsIf you see what these plumbers have to go through to sort out our problems, they are worth every cent they charge. And they have smiles on their faces.

Specifically, I can recommend these guys if you are in the Cape Town area. Contact Casa Plumbing and ask for Cheyenne (pronounced Shayne) or Anni on 073 228 4278

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