The team at Kennedy Plumbing & Gas spends a lot of time unblocking toilets, sewer drains and sewer lines / ties in Canberra. Not surprisingly, we get asked a lot of questions about how sewerage systems work and why problems occur. In this blog post, we explain the ins and outs of blocked sewer lines and ties in Canberra.

What is a sewer line?

A sewer line is the main underground pipe that carries sewage from your home to the edge of your property. All household fixtures that produce wastewater – such as toilets, sinks, hand basins, showers and laundry tubs – are connected to the sewer line. External overflow drains are also a feature of many sewer lines.

What is a sewer tie?

A sewer tie is the sewerage infrastructure (piping) that runs from the edge of a private property to the street sewerage connection. In other words, the sewer tie runs across public land (typically a nature strip). In Canberra, responsibility for repairing or unblocking a sewer tie lies with Icon Water.*

* Pending approval, Kennedy Plumbing & Gas is authorised to work on behalf of Icon Water to repair or unblock sewer ties.

What are the signs of a blocked sewer line or tie?

There are a number of signs that indicate your sewerage system could be blocked:-

  • Water banks up in your toilet bowl and drains slowly (after flushing).
  • The water in your toilet bubbles or makes a gurgling sound when hand basins and showers are used.
  • The water level in your toilet rises after using the washing machine.
  • Sewage starts coming up through some of your internal drains (typically bath or shower).
  • A sewage smell emanates from one or more of your other plumbing fixtures: baths, showers, sinks, hand basins and laundry tubs.
  • Pipes make loud or odd noises following the disposal of sewage or wastewater.
  • The Overflow Relief Gully (ORG) starts to overflow with sewage (an ORG is an external overflow drain that’s found close to your home).

A blocked sewer line / tie requires a plumber specialising in blocked drains (preferably with local  Canberra experience) to diagnose and pinpoint the problem. As a local plumber specialising in blocked drains, the team at Kennedy Plumbing & Gas can help you fix a blocked sewer line / tie in Canberra.

What are the causes of a blocked sewer line or tie?

The most common causes of a blocked sewer line / tie are listed below.

  • Physical deterioration of pipes (very common in older homes and suburbs).
  • Tree root damage to pipes (common in homes with established gardens).
  • Stray debris (mud, leaves, grass, dead rodents, etc) has entered the sewerage system.
  • The toilet has been used as a rubbish bin (only sewage and toilet paper should be flushed).
  • Accumulated cooking grease (you shouldn’t pour cooking grease or oils down the kitchen sink).

It’s fair to say that most residential and commercial properties in Canberra will experience a blocked sewer line / tie at some stage.

Who’s responsible for a blocked sewer line or tie?

A blocked sewer line on private land is the sole responsibility of the property owner in Canberra. On the other hand, a blocked or damaged tie is the responsibility of Icon Water. An experienced plumber is required to pinpoint the exact location of any blockage.

As a leading blocked drain specialist in Canberra, Kennedy Plumbing & Gas uses sophisticated pipe cameras and sonar equipment (sonde) to pinpoint blockages. If we discover that a blockage involves the tie, we’ll liaise with Icon Water to organise a solution.

How do I arrange for sewer line or tie repairs?

In the first instance, you’ll need to engage with a licensed plumber who understands how to diagnose and fix blocked drains in Canberra. It also helps if the plumber understands Icon Water’s processes in relation to sewer tie repairs. A good Canberra plumber will explain any large costs to you before commencing work.

What equipment is required to repair a blocked sewer line or tie?

To cover all scenarios, a plumber specialising in blocked drains in Canberra requires a pipe camera, sonde, electric eel, pipe bending / cutting tools, trench shields and a mini excavator. As a leading local plumber, Kennedy Plumbing & Gas is fully equipped to fix any blocked drain or sewer line / tie problem in Canberra.

For assistance with a blocked sewer line / tie or drain in Canberra, please call Kennedy Plumbing & Gas on 0422 751 560.