Monday, 2 December 2013

Blocked

I only wish it was a blocked nose...or being blocked from Facebook...alas it was a blocked toilet. On the weekend one of my dreaded fears became a reality: our sewerage pipe became blocked and we had a bit of an effluent episode...

Thankfully the overflow was all outside and contained in the one small area, near the drains under the Sow's Ear's deck.  It's  a pretty disgusting thing to see one's ablutions for an encore performance. Eww! Anyway, thank goodness for reliable plumbers.

We haven't had a regular plumber since we moved to the Sow's Ear. Our last plumber moved to the country and is living in semi-retirement mode, so we haven't had a plumber on whom to call in an emergency. And when you own an old house with a yard full of trees, a reliable plumber almost becomes part of the family.

Fortunately, we just stumbled upon a new plumber who  proved to be quite good in his maiden voyage on the Sow's ear.

Plumber's electric eel

With the help of a plumber's electric eel down the sewer pipes, our new plumber was able to remove the mass of tree roots which were the cause of the blockage. There must be a crack in the pipes underground, allowing the tree roots to invade the drain.

The electric eel is a cable/coil which spins as it is fed down the drain. The abrasive motion breaks up all the soft tree roots which are developing through any cracks.



The tree roots which were the cause of the blockage 
Eww again!

The blockage is now cleared and we can all relax and resume normal programming.

12 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. No, not nice at all. Lucky it wasn't inside the house...and now we know we'll have to clear out the drains every once in a while. Xx

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  2. It's icky!!! and we had the same problem... We had to get the plumber in with his special snakey tool to clear it....but now, to prevent the problem happening again, we get some caustic soda and pour it down the toilet every couple of months to clear any tree roots that are making their way into the old pipes. Haven't had a problem since.
    Lesley
    xx

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    Replies
    1. Oh thanks for that tip, Lesley. I think we still have the old clay pipes, so it will be a reoccurring problem... xx

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  3. I've never had a backup in a house, but many, many years ago I lived in an apartment complex of quadplexes built on a hillside. I was at the bottom of the hill, and a blockage caused EVERYBODY'S ablutions to back up into my apartment...through the toilet, the tub and even the kitchen sink. It was hideous. Needless to say, they moved me into a hotel while they completely gutted my apartment (especially the sink) and renovated. Ewwww. I still shudder when I think about it. I'm glad you found a reliable plumber and got everything back in working order.

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    1. Oh no Dana. How awful is that. Ours was a walk in the park compared to your poor old apartment. Ewwww is an understatement! Yep, glad we have a new plumber. xx

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  4. Nasty - I have every sympathy we've just been going through a blocked ensuite and it took the plumber and his mate with the camera a few attempts to find the blockage. Of course it's tree roots. Rather than dig up the floor to sort the pipe out (and have to replace all the tiles etc) we are going to try one of these pipe liners - its not cheap but apparently its guaranteed for 40 years and really won't take long at all. I'll let you know how it goes!

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    Replies
    1. Oh thanks Bronze Toes. Sorry to hear about your drainage problems. Love to hear how your pipe liners work...plumbing work can be so invasive, so it's good if you can avoid the ripping up of bathroom tiles. xx

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  5. I'll say nothing lest Murphy and his Law sends a blockage this away! My sister in law had a blockage that completely flooded their house with the unsayable stuff! Luckily the blockage was under the footpath, thus council responsibility. They got 6 months paid in a luxurious apartment and a complete home reno. Everything it had touched was replaced. Entire bathroom, wall paint, all kitchen cabinetry, furniture… They'd been having trouble selling beforehand but after the reno sold instantly for a much better price. It gave another whole reno meaning to "the Block"!

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  6. I know the problem well... My remedy is a bit of caustic soda down the drain every couple of months, alternated with roundup. So far so good - the darned thing always block on a Sunday with the plumber charging emergency call-out rates!

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  7. Well played. Glad they found that out in time. Who knows what kind of complications these blockages can cause? These clogs can leave damage to the rest of the system, if not taken out immediately, as the internal currents and flows of wastes and liquid can leave a mark that is not beneficial and isn't most welcome.

    Kurt @ Total Plumbing

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