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A dysfunctional toilet is a nightmare; whether it is unable to flush down all the mess at one go, or the water level in the bowl rises every time you flush, it is simply not a sight to behold. You can easily tell when your toilet becomes clogged, and it is important that you sort out the problem as soon as you can. Otherwise, you may have to put up with the consequences such as a smelly toilet and a leaking drainage. There are many ways to fix a clogged toilet; below are more chemical free, natural ways to go about it.Give it time
This may sound funny, but it actually works. Sometimes, there is so much dirt in the bowl, which cannot go down the drain all at once. This may be caused by the small size of the drainage pipe, or the water being released does not have enough pressure to expel the dirt. Such a simple reason can make the toilet clog up and look unpleasant.
Wait for the cistern containing water to fill up once again so that you can flush for a second time. Alternatively, fetch some water in a bucket or basin and pour it into the toilet in full force to flush the dirt down. Be careful, however, in case there is an underlying problem, as the water mixed with the dirt could overflow causing a huge mess.Use hot boiling water
If you realize that cold water is not doing the trick, try using hot water straight from the kettle instead. The extreme temperatures break down the clog and help dirt move well down the drain with the help of gravity. Add a little ecological detergent or shampoo to lubricate the dirt and help it move smoothly away from the bowl.
However, be careful not to use hot water too many times as this could corrode your expensive porcelain bowl, and we do not want that to happen. Flush after the whole procedure for a better effect.Try a plunger
This might be quite messy, but is definitely better than using highly corrosive and abrasive chemicals to remove the clog. Get a flange plunger and use it to disintegrate the elements in the clog. Make sure that the seal is in place to avoid water spilling as you exert pressure into the bowl. After some time, the clog will disappear into the drain, so accompany it with a good flush of water.Utilize an auger
You can purchase one at a supplies store, or improvise using readily available material. It resembles a drain snake, so you can move it into the bowl and into the drainage pipe easily without scratching and leaving marks on the parts. Should you find a solid obstruction in the drain hole, gently pull it out as leaving it there will not make matters any better.
Make sure that you wear protective gloves and cover your face, especially your eyes and mouth to avoid dirty water from spilling on you. It can be quite disgusting, and getting into contact with such dirt may contaminate you in ways you do not know.
Drainage pipes carry a lot of dirty substances resulting in a characteristically unpleasant odour. In most cases, it is very difficult to identify the main source of the smell, so you need to hire the services of a professional plumber to inspect the sewer lines. The most common reason, however, for a smelly drainage is that there is a leak in the pipes, or they are clogged due to build up of dirt and debris. Here is a list of common questions that plumbers are asked about those pungent drainage pipes:Why is the drainage causing my house to stink?
Any drainage in the bathroom, toilet or kitchen has to experience a foul smell at one point in its lifetime. When such a system gets blocked, the smell will emanate from the kitchen or bathroom sink, or the toilet bowl. This is because of the accumulated substances in the pipe which begin rotting and producing a foul smell.
In that instance, the air has no other way of escaping except through the only opening which could be in your house. Also, your system could be experiencing a leakage that disposes some of the dirty water into your house instead of leading it outside to the main drainage.
Ensure that you aerate your house to reduce the unpleasant smell, and call a plumbing engineer to evaluate the cause of the problem. The ultimate solution is getting rid of the blockage or repairing the leak in the system.Who is responsible for repairing a smelly drainage?
If the problem only affects your house and not the entire neighbourhood, it is your responsibility to ensure that it is repaired before it becomes worse. Therefore, if you own the house, you will have to incur the expenses associated with the repair. In a situation where you are renting the house, your lease agreement will dictate who caters for the expenses; some lay the responsibility on the lessor and others on the lessee. The amount of money you spend depends on the extent of the damage and the amount of fixing required.
A wider drainage problem that affects the neighbourhood is a responsibility of the local authority. Therefore, ensure that you report it to the relevant authorities in time for appropriate action to be taken.How do I get rid of a foul drain smell?
A plumbing expert is best placed in guiding you through the procedure of getting rid of a foul smell. Usually, they recommend certain chemicals that help dissolve substances in the drainage system, making it easier to dispose of them. These chemicals can be dangerous and pose a health hazard if not treated with the care they deserve.
What intermediate steps can you take to reduce a foul smell before the plumber arrives?
Ensure that all windows and doors are functional in letting in naturally fresh air to get rid of the foul smell. Also, an air conditioner can be very helpful in making the situation bearable, and a silicon sealant can be used to cover up drainage openings thus reduce the smell coming from them.
Advancements made in technology have enabled experts to come up with innovative and more practical solutions for repairing plumbing issues over time. These pipe-liner solutions are especially important in repairing pinhole leaks and corrosion of the lead and copper leading to contamination of water. The non-invasive technique of restoring impermeability in broken pipes and reducing erosion has created a plumbing revolution throughout the sector. It is cheaper and faster compared to the traditional methods of digging around the line. With that in mind, here are three common pipe lining methods that can be used for repair:Epoxy pipe lining
This is the most preferred of the three. It is also known as the cured-in-place method, because it involves sealing the inside with a protective layer which stops and prevents corrosion in the future. The affected pipes are first evaluated to determine whether the method is viable and will produce the expected results.
Once confirmed, the pipes are dried and cleaned using a high pressure spray in order to remove the accumulated dirt and debris from the corrosion. Materials soaked in resin are then inserted and placed inside the damaged pipes, and they bond together in a process known as curing. This results in a new lining through which water can flow smoothly without leaking or being corroded.
The new internal lining lacks joints unlike the old pipe, making it harder for plant roots and other substances to permeate and cause damage. It is also an excellent option for both vertically and horizontally-laid pipes in complex architectural structures.Polyutherane pipe lining
Just like the epoxy liners, these ones are also used to repair pipes without necessarily interfering with the surrounding structure. However, application of the polyutherane liners requires a higher degree of evaluation and control for it to become successful. It requires a shorter time to cure hence making the process very time effective.
Solid polyutheranes are extremely efficient and pose no risk of corrosion or oxidation to the water passing through the pipes. Its adherence to the old pipes is above standard, so it is highly unlikely that it will deteriorate in a long time to come. It is the most preferred method of repair in pipes that transport highly aggressive substances such as those in municipal buildings.PET pipe lining
Polyethylene Terephthalate is another common material that is used to create internal linings in pipes during repair. Essentially, it is the same material used to create plastic storage containers and bottles, and sometimes plastic kayaks used for water sports. It is a flexible material that can be moulded into different shapes hence ideal for pipes with complex structures.
It also responds well to extremely high temperatures as it can expand to a considerable measure without breaking. This makes it possible for a plumber to place a PET liner with a small diameter in a bigger pipe, and with time, it expands to fit the interior of the damaged pipe. This liner is mostly used in commercial and medical buildings, and is very similar to PEX technology which is considered to be a more developed version of the same.
After many years of use, you may notice that the mortar in your brick foundation or masonry at the bottom of your house is starting to crumble or chip away. This means that it is deteriorating and needs to be fixed to avoid potentially dangerous situations.
Such cracks allow water to seep through causing it to accumulate in the stone and cause extensive damage. This makes it easy for mould and mildew infestation which would ruin the aesthetic appearance; and also for the foundation to grow weaker with time. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to manage a wet basement foundation with tuckpointing.Remove the deteriorating mortar
Before you start, ensure that you wear protective gear on your hands and face to prevent damage by flying chips of mortar and adverse reactions to brick dust. Also, confirm that the weather condition is favourable enough for the new mortar to settle properly for better functionality.
Use an angle grinder to inch inwards into the mortar into a considerable safe depth. Remember, you do not want to damage the surrounding stone. It is advisable to start grinding from the outer wall and move towards the centre so as to avoid build-up of pressure which could displace the corner bricks.
After grinding both horizontally and vertically along the joint lines, use a hammer and chisel to chip out the mortar. If you have experience in using a hammer drill, make use of it; it does a cleaner job at a shorter time.Clean up the unwanted material
A simple broom or brush will do the work here. Your aim is to remove the accumulated dust and debris caused by the drilling and hammering action. In case there are some chunks of mortar still remaining in the joints, drill them away taking care not to inflict cracks on the bricks.
Soak the brush in some water and wash away the remaining dirt as you let some of the water seep into the bricks to make them damp. This prepares a cool bed for the mortar to settle in.Prepare the new mortar
Make your work easier by purchasing mortar that has already been pre-mixed from a trusted dealer. Otherwise, combine cement and sand in the appropriate measures until you have a consistent paste. If you wish to have it in a certain colour, add a small amount of dye after mixing the wet and dry ingredients to ensure it is well coated.Apply the mortar
Fill in the joints using a brick trowel to scoop the paste and a tuck pointer to push it into the space. Make sure that the space is well-packed before moving on to the next joint. Repeat severally until you are satisfied that the mortar is aligned to the bricks.Strike the mortar
After about half an hour of setting, use a jointer to strike out the mortar into a curved ridge. This process is called tooling and it creates more appealing appearance. Wait for it to settle some more then sweep off excess dried mortar using a stone brush.