We take the plumbing in our property for granted. We assume that waste water will flow effortlessly down the pipes and away to wherever it ends up. But what happens if there is a blockage? It is important to find out about where the pipes are in your property or business and to learn about what they do and how they work.
What is a soil pipe?
Take a look around your home at the pipes leading from the bath, toilets and sinks – these are all soil pipes. Soil pipes are responsible for taking the waste water from these systems and transporting it to drains where it will be carried to the septic tank or to the sewers.
If you have a leak, you may want to check with your local water supplier for tips on how to fix the problem.
You will be able to tell if one of these pipes has a blockage by a reduction in water pressure or slow draining water. You may also experience unpleasant odours. You can purchase pipe protectors to help keep your pipes intact. But if the drains are sluggish and you suspect they are blocked, you can follow these steps.
How to clear a blocked soil pipe
Once you are adequately dressed for the occasion, you need to locate the ‘cleaning eye’. This is a large hinge at the point where all the pipes join the main one. Once you have done this, insert a ‘drain auger’, which is a long, bendy tool which can be made to snake through the pipe until the blockage is located. When you have found it, crank the handle to release the blockage. Once you have removed the offending blockage, make sure the water runs down the drains well and then disinfect.
One easy way to prevent blockages in the first place is to use pipe protectors. These work by covering the pipes and helping to stop damage to vulnerable parts of the pipe.
If you are lucky enough, you may already have pipe protectors installed around the pipes in your home and business.
Whenever you are working on anything in your home or business, make sure you have done your research first and keep yourself safe at all times.