Tenants putting foreign objects down the sewerage system (the system includes toilets, basins, showers and kitchen sinks). Be aware that “flushable” wipes do not break down quickly and often cause blockages.
Tenants trying to unblock the systems themselves with common supermarket/hardware store products. For example: Draino can crystallise in the drain and form another blockage if used incorrectly. If left in the pipe too long it can also cause severe corrosion.
Old steel, cast iron or terracotta pipes can corrode, crack or break, causing rough sections or catch points that affect the flow of waste, often causing a blockage.
Most systems will move waste 40 metres in graded pipe per flush. During holiday periods paper and waste can build up and dry out causing a temporary plug that will only be found when the system is in full use again.
Advise tenants to utilise a separate coffee ground receptacle (often called, coffee knock box) which can be emptied into the rubbish bin. Coffee grounds can dry out and solidify in the drain, taking on the characteristics of concrete.
Ensure there are reminders to use sanitary bins in all female toilets.
Install air dryers in all washrooms, removing paper towel, which is a common cause of blockages.
For recurring paper blockages we suggest single ply toilet paper located on a specialty designed two or three sheet dispenser. This reduces the likelihood of tenants flushing vast amounts of toilet paper down the sewerage system.
When a drain blocks we check its history to find out the last time this occurred. This gives us insight into the current condition of the drain and the overall sewerage system.
We also keep records of previous camera inspections of the system. Often reviewing the previous CCTV footage can assist with a speedy rectification of the issue. If the sewerage system hasn’t had a camera inspection for 3 to 6 months, then we recommend this occur to clearly identify the problem.
Where possible we assess the cause of the blockage and advise tenants and the building representative of the issue. It may be that the tenants are responsible, entitling a back charge to the tenant. We take photos of any foreign objects found (where possible).