Diy Drain Plumbing
DIY drain plumbing projects usually involve unblocking drains and drain pipes. Installation of drains, when houses are built, is a job for the professional plumber. Even so, it's a good idea to know something about drainage systems in general, so that when you do tackle a DIY drain plumbing project you have a good idea of what you are dealing with. So before you are faced with a DIY drain plumbing project in an emergency, that you have to deal with in a hurry, read a little about drains that are installed both below and above the ground.
In general terms, a drain is the part of a plumbing installation that carries sewage from a building to a common drain. It may also be a sewer or any other system that gets rid of sewage (which is basically human waste). Common drains take sewage through the council or local authority's drainage system to the treatment plant where all the solid matter is broken down with chemicals and then disposed of, often into the sea. We also use branch drains to discharge sewage into a mains drain, which is the longest run of any drain from a building. The head of the main drain or any branch drain is the point where the centre line of the main drain and the centre line of any discharge stack, or vertical discharge pipe, intersect one another. Remember that waste pipes only carry waste water - and this might be from a sink, a basin or from a bath. It is the soil pipes that carry soil water from toilets and bidets.
When plumbers install pipes and lay drains, they always include openings where we can get into the pipe or drain to test it or to clean it. You need to know where these openings are, otherwise you won't be able to tackle any DIY drain plumbing.
These DIY Drain Plumbing openings include:
- cleaning eyes that enable us to get to discharge pipes and traps once the drains have been installed and closed up,
- inspection eyes and covers that enable us to get to the inside of pipes and fittings,
- rodding eyes that open into drains so that we can clean them, and
- manhole covers that we can remove to get to junctions where various pipes and drains join up.
You will normally access drains via rodding eyes or manhole covers when you need to unblock and clean drains. Drains that are totally blocked and overflowing are the worst to clean, so if you hear any funny gurgling sounds; if you can smell the drain; if you see gullies overflowing; or if you find that the water level in the toilet is unusually high, the best advice is to act quickly.
Most drains can be unblocked with drain rods, but it's a good idea to wear gloves and a face mask so that you don't smell or touch the waste in the drain. You might also find sticking a garden hose into the drain and then switching on the water to its highest pressure does the trick. But if the drain is badly blocked you might need to hire high pressure water jetting equipment. If the drain run is very long, you might need to hire a flexible drain rod as well.
Sometimes drains get blocked because tree roots have grown into the drain, in which case you'll have to cut them out. One solution would be to hire a powered auger that will cut through the roots. Just take care not to damage or break the drain, otherwise you'll have another project to tackle that deals with DIY drain plumbing.