We received a call from a customer in St Ives who had tried to unblock their toilet. They had tried plunging the toilet as well as a few home remedies that you can find on the internet.
Things like baking soda and vinegar and even drain cleaner that you get from the supermarket can help with unclogging drains but in this case the cause was more serious.
When we arrived, we looked inside and saw that plunging wouldn't fix the blockage. We found an inspection opening in the backyard where we could put our camera in the drain line to figure out what was going on. There was a crack in the pipe and tree roots had com in causing the sewer blockage. The tree roots were blocking half of the pipe and toilet paper had caught on them causing a completely clogged sewer line.
The blockage was in the main sewer pipe that picked up one bathroom. The shower and bathroom sink had been draining slowly for a while but was now completely blocked.
We used a jetter to clear the tree roots. We could tell that we had cleared the majority of the blockage when a large flow of water came flooding through the pipe. Many other plumbing companies will stop there and say that everything is good to go.
We always inspect every drain we clean to make sure that the blockage is completely clear. We don't want you to call back in a week because the blockage has happened again.
We put the camera back in the drain to make sure that we had cleared the blockage. We found that there was another blockage further upstream, where more tree roots were blocking the pipe. The blockage was on a bend in the pipework so the jetter couldn't clear the roots completely. The water from the jetter wasn't able to get the correct angle and clean the roots.
We were able to find another inspection opening up near the second blockage. We used our camera locator to find where the inspection opening was so that we could excavate it and finish cleaning the drain from there.
The inspection opening was under the footpath on the side of the house. We cut open the footpath and excavated the inspection opening. from here we were able to unblock the rest of the drain.
I completely cleared all the roots from the drain, but there are still sections that are cracked. This leaves room for the roots to grow back and cause more issues in the future. There are a few options to deal with this. You can have the damaged sections of pipe relined or we can excavate the damaged sections of pipe and repair it.
I spoke to the client but neither of these options were in their budget at the time so we decided to just keep on top of it and clear the blockages as they came up.
Since we weren't going to repair the damaged pipework, I decided it would be best to install a riser on the inspection opening in the footpath. This means that we will be able to access that section of sewer pipe in the future without cutting concrete or excavating pipes.
We believe that it is important to work with our customers budget but also give them the best advice so that they are able to make an informed decision.
In this case the tree roots were very invasive and within a couple of months the same section of pipe had blocked again. The job was much easier the second time as we had installed an additional riser on an inspection opening. We were able to access the sewer line and clean it much quicker.
If you're looking for a plumber near me that is going to do the job right and give you the best advice, contact Oakland Plumbing on 0466 871 445. We work all over the north shore.