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What are the Most Common Drainage Issues?

Erin J. Hill
Erin J. Hill

The most common drainage issues affecting pipes and drains of any size usually involve the obstruction of the pipe by a foreign object or a damaged pipe due to age or heavy weight above the plumbing. In most cases, a plumbing company can be called to remove the problem, but unless it is discovered what caused the blockage to begin with, it will likely happen again. Special cameras can be used to find the exact location and cause of a blocked or slow moving drain.

A blocked or obstructed pipe is one of the most common drainage issues. This can occur with someone flushes or inserts something into the drain that is too large for the pipes to accommodate. Blockages can occur both inside a home or building, or closer to the street drainage systems. Clogs can also occur when debris becomes lodged in an outdoor drain. This may include leaves, trash, dirt, rocks, or broken cement.

Broken cement may cause drainage issues.
Broken cement may cause drainage issues.

To remedy a clogged drain, one of two methods can be used. For larger pipes beneath the street, a high pressure hose can generally be used to force any obstructing objects through. Home and building drains may need a slightly gentler method. A pipe snake usually does the trick in these cases, although with some severe clogs a smaller high powered hose may still be used.

A home's downspout diverts water away from the gutter system.
A home's downspout diverts water away from the gutter system.

Damaged pipes are also common drainage issues that must be fixed by an experienced plumber. There are two main types of damage that can occur. The first is when a pipe collapses due to age or heavy dirt or building materials piled on top of it. This can result in pipe debris blocking the water flow of the drain.

Collapsed pipes are usually repaired by removing the dirt or other materials from on top of the pipe and replacing the broken section. If other sections appear worn, they may be replaced as well to prevent any additional problems later on. This problem is most common in older or less durable pipes, such as those made from clay.

Cracked pipes can also cause drainage issues because it is common for debris to enter the plumbing system through the crack. If the damage is severe enough, reduced water flow may also occur. This problem is fixed much in the same way as a collapsed pipe. The offending section or sections is removed and replaced with a new piece of piping.

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    • Broken cement may cause drainage issues.
      By: romantsubin
      Broken cement may cause drainage issues.
    • A home's downspout diverts water away from the gutter system.
      By: Amy Walters
      A home's downspout diverts water away from the gutter system.