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HELP! MY TOILET AND SHOWER DRAINS ARE BLOCKED!

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A blocked shower drain is bad enough. But what do you do when both your shower AND your toilet drains become clogged at the same time? Besides doing your daily ablutions over a bucket of water like a you did in the worst school camps of yore, and adopting the sanitation habits that predate Roman civilization, you’ll probably immediately Google a local plumber.

This would be an unplanned expense. The nature of plumbing emergencies is that they can strike any house or apartment at any time. Before you go to red alert and bring in the Special Forces of Sanitation, why not try the more common fixes for clogged and blocked drains. Don’t call a plumber unless you know that you absolutely HAVE TO. So when it comes to unblocking your shower and your toilet drains, why not save some money and fix both issues in one fell swoop?

The fact that your toilet and your shower drains have become blocked at the same time means that there is probably one problem causing both issues. Ready to roll? Let’s start with the very basics.

TAKE THE PLUNGE

A good old fashioned plunger and a little bit of determination is sometimes all you need to solve your plumbing woes. Make sure that you use the right tool for the job. A funnel cup plunger is designed to create the best amount of pressure on toilet blockages. As with anything in life, don’t be timid when you take the plunge! Repeated plunging action can create enough pressure to loosen blockages further down the system.

UP ON THE ROOF

After plunging without success, a professional plumber would try and get sight of the blockage. A blockage in the vent pipe can affect the drain pipe, which in turn leads to problems in all your bathroom drains. Have a look with a torch into the opening of the vent pipe. If the vent pipe opening was more accessible (It’s located on the roof), it would be the first thing to check if more than one drain is blocked. Simply blasting a vent pipe blockage with water would solve this problem.

AUGER-MENTATION

You’ve plunged all you can, climbed onto the roof and still found no solution. It’s time to get a toilet auger, or drain snake. This is a wire that extends deep into the pipes and makes contact with the blockage. Spin it clockwise as you feed it into the pipes, and anticlockwise as you remove it. Do this a few times to clear all stubborn blockages.

KNOW WHEN TO FOLD ‘EM

If the blockage still persists, take a bow because you’ve done everything that you possibly could. The problem is probably seated at the main pipe that connects your home to the sanitation network. Now is the time to bring in the professionals. Only a reputable and professional plumber would be equipped with the knowledge and the equipment to fix plumbing problems of this nature.

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