WHAT DRAINS DO I HAVE IN AND AROUND MY HOUSE ? SEWER PIPES - Earthenware (clay) or UPVC (plastic) drains installed underground and under house to connect house drainage to sewer main (owned by Sydney Water)
WASTE PIPES - UPVC (plastic), galvanised steel, copper, brass or lead pipes installed above ground to connect sanitary fixtures (bath, sink, tub, shower and floor waste) to house drainage.
STORMWATER PIPES - Earthenware or UPVC (plastic) drains installed underground to connect downpipes, subsoil system and surface water system to street gutter, easement or absorption trench.
SURCHARGE GULLY - Open drain with grate designed to overflow outside if sewer blockage occurs. (opening must not be obstructed)
VENT PIPE - Installed through roof to allow sewer drains to breathe.
STACKS - Installed in or outside multi level buildings.
WHAT DRAINS ARE MY RESPONSIBILITY ? SEWER PIPES - Your responsibility ends at the junction of the sewer main (owned by Sydney Water) whether on your property or not.
STORMWATER PIPES - your responsibility ends at the street gutter or connection to a Council or private common drain or to and including an absorption trench or rubble drain.
WHAT CAUSES BLOCKED DRAIN ? SEWER - Tree roots, fat / grease, sanitary products, paper, toys, broken pipes or blockage in sewer main (owned by Sydney Water)
WASTE - Fat/grease, hair, soap, sand.
STORMWATER - Tree roots, leaves, silt, broken pipes. Generally blockages are caused by tree roots and paper combining to form a plug preventing normal flow of sewage to back up drain. First indications are the toilet pan filling or gurgling or the surcharge gully outside overflowing.
WHAT IF THE PROBLEM IS NOT MINE ? Your plumber will normally charge Sydney Water for work carried out.
HOW DO TREE ROOTS ENTER DRAINS ? Through broken pipes or faulty joints, which leak and attract tree roots.
HOW DO UNDERGROUND DRAINS GET BROKEN ? Ground movement (expansion and contraction), large tree roots, heavy vehicle damage, metal spikes etc.
CAN DRAIN BLOCKAGES DAMAGE MY HOUSE ? YES! Blocked drains leak into the ground and provide nutrients for tree roots to grow and undermine house foundations and uneven soil moisture can cause uneven bearing of house foundations.
WHAT DO PLUMBERS / DRAINERS USE TO CLEAN DRAINS ?Electric eel (spinning steel rods with cutter on end)
Water jet (high pressure water with cutting nozzles)
CAN I LOOK INSIDE MY DRAINS ? YES! With a closed circuit television camera (C.C.T.V) which is pushed through a clean drain on the end of a flexible cable
CAN I LOCATE MY UNDERGROUND DRAINS ? YES! With electronic tracing equipment which locates the C.C.T.V camera head.
WHAT SHOULD I DO FOR A PERMANENT SOLUTION ? Clear the blocked drain and clean inside the pipe with Water Jet.
Inspect inside of pipe with C.C.T.V camera to be sure all obstructions are removed.
Trace C.C.T.V. camera head to locate position of broken pipes.
Replace broken section of pipe.
WHAT SHOULD I DO FOR A TEMPORARY SOLUTION ? Clear the drain blockage with Electric Eel or Water Jet and clean regularly as tree roots grow back into the pipes.
CAN I EXCAVATE TO EXPOSE THE BROKEN PIPE ? YES! Under guidance from your plumber / drainer and your complete understanding of safety precautions involved.
CAN I REPLACE THE BROKEN PIP ? NO! This must, by law, be carried out by a licensed plumber / drainer.
CAN I BACKFILL AFTER REPAIRS HAVE BEEN COMPLETED ? YES! Under guidance from your plumber / drainer.