I have a blockage in my drain, how do I know whether it is Sewage or Storm water?

House hold sewage typically contains everything from used water and solid wastes. These products can come from the bathroom, kitchen, toilet and laundry. Typically these all lead to a gully closest to the facility.
Stormwater is rainwater, these stormwater drains are down pipes from roofs and cesspits in driveways etc, they enters the stormwater drainage system and run to the council storm water main, kerb outlet or a soak hole. Sometimes in older houses, the sewage and stormwater lines combine and run into one line.
It is important for us to know what type of blockage you have as sewage overflows are urgent health and safety issues that we prioritise very highly.

What is a sign of a blocked drain?

There are a couple of initial signs to look out for if your drain is blocked:
If your sink, shower, laundry or bath water doesn’t go down (or goes down very slowly) or if your toilet water rises.
If the blockage isn’t located in the waste pipes (the pipes that lead out to the gully trap), it will most likely be in the sewer line where you may notice that your gully trap will be over flowing.

What is a gully trap?

A gully trap is a fitting designed to prevent foul air escaping the drainage system and is used to receive the discharge from the waste pipes. Gully traps are normally located outside wedged to the house.

My gully trap is gurgling; does this mean I have a blocked drain?

The problem could be a partial block meaning there could be some minor root growth or debris in the line. Contact us and we can typically provide a complementary advisory service.

My drain keeps re-blocking. Why does this keep happening?

If you drain has re blocked after the first unblock, clearly there is obviously a more significant problem. We recommend using a close circuit TV camera to determine what is causing the drain to re block.
All drains block for a reason and it is our objective to identify the problem and rectify
it with the best possible solution.
Objects that commonly obstruct the flow in drains can be:

  • Root Infiltration
  • Collapsed Pipe
  • Debris
  • Fat
  • Foreign objects e.g. kids toys, bottles, sanitary products.
How can I prevent my drains from blocking up?
  • Remove hairs that get trapped in the basin/bath/shower plug hole, even better use a filter to trap the hair before it goes down the drain.
  • Don’t flush away disposable items such as nappies, tissues and sanitary products.
  • Check drains are free-flowing by periodically lifting drain covers.
  • Check gutters and down pipes twice a year. Remove any debris.
  • Don’t overdo the use of soap powder when doing your washing.
  • Make sure all drains have covers, grates or lids.
How much would it cost to unblock my drain?

Please refer to our page here.

What is the best option for root termination?

The most commonly used solution for root infiltration is a machine root cutter. However, this is not a guaranteed solution and will have to be maintained from time to time. Roots grow faster and thicker and will cost even more each time they get removed, so we do not recommend this as a permanent solution.
We recommend two of our more advanced permanent solutions of repair:
Option 1 – Dig up and repair (with excavation)
Option 2 – Pipe Patching / Relining (without excavation – no digging)

Does Abbotts provide new drainage?

Absolutely, please refer to our services section under drain laying.

Whose responsibility is it to fix the line?

If the property is tenanted we recommend that the owner is informed before we commence as the problem can more than likely be the owner’s responsibility.
You will need to check with your council in regards to where they take responsibility of their public drains and where you are responsible for your private drains.
We are aware that Manukau City Council states your private drainage starts at the dwelling and ends at the point that it crosses the property boundary or where it connects to the public systems (in cases where the public system runs through private properties). The connection to the main is considered public.
Auckland City Council considered your private drains to be up to when they connect into the council main – the connection to the main is considered private and your responsibility.

What is the difference between a plumber and a drain unblocker?

A Plumber is a tradesman who specialises in installing and maintaining systems used for plumbing, heating, drainage, drinking water or industrial process plant piping. A drain unblocker specialises in unblocking drains and repairing defective faults throughout the whole drainage system.
In a nut shell:
Plumber = Internal Pipes within the house or walls.
Drain Unblocker = Exterior pipes, under the grounds or coming out of the house into the gully.

How can I unblock my sink quickly?

First we would recommend to use a plunger to dislodge any temporary blockage in the pipes. This effectively is all one can really do at this stage. If this is unsuccessful, contact us and we’ll be happy to advise a further course of action.

What if my drain can’t be unblocked – What do I do?

If your drain can not be unblocked it is either because the blockage it too dense e.g. a mass of tree roots our machinery can not break through; or the damage is at such an extent that it needs urgent repairs.
We understand it is not much fun having a sewage problem and we try our best to get this sorted as promptly as we can. Therefore we prioritize still blocked jobs and our next steps of action will be to get in an Urgent CCTV investigation to get the location, depth of the problem and then get the Drain Layers in ASAP to repair.
We will consult with you each step of the way and inform you of all additional costs before commencing any work.
If the works are going to take over a day, we do suggest a Portaloo to be used as anything you put down your drains is going to keep on overflowing until the repairs are made. If you wish to organize your own Portaloo that is fine, but we do have a company in which we can coordinate this for you.

I have a CCTV report but I don’t under stand the codes?

The codes we use are normal Drainage Industry terminology. Please click here to view our CCTV Codes table below to see your relevant codes on your report.

If you have any other questions, please contact us or call us on 0800 274 678

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