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Drain Cleaning

The following topics are discussed on this page:



At Yates Plumbing and Gas, we refer to drain cleaning as any activity involved with maintaining a drainage system, whether that be at home or work, with sewer drain or stormwater drain.

Our team will work hard with you to fix your drainage problem and then give you the tools to maintain the health of your drainage system with several helpful tips.

We advocate for preventative maintenance with any sewer or stormwater problem.

Feel free to call our team to get ideas on what you can do to improve your situation.


Floor waste gully drain cleaning

The floor waste gully drain is the one located in the middle of the bathroom or laundry. This drain is fed by other fixtures in the same room, such as the basin or shower, never a toilet.

Floor waste drains often get blocked or become smelly. This is caused by years of use without any maintenance. The main reason a floor waste drains will get to this point is that not enough water goes into the floor waste drain to cleanse the trap. For example, if only one basin goes to the trap and you only use this to wash your hands when you go to the toilet, this may not be enough water.

The good thing is that this problem can be easily fixed. The grate firstly needs to be pulled out and the floor waste gully cleaned with a disinfectant or bleach, something with a strong smell that will kill any germs. It is a good idea to wear rubber gloves when doing this.

Now that you have got a clean, nice smelling floor waste drain, it is important we make sure it stays that way. Make sure that once a week you fill up the basin with hot water, add a small amount of your preferred cleaning product (bleach/disinfectant) and unplug the basin so the whole basin is released into the floor waste drain at once. This will clean the floor waste drain of dirty water and leave just clean treated water.


Toilet drain cleaning

Toilet drains are commonly affected by tree roots entering the drainage, use of too much toilet paper, use of baby wipes, use of kitchen towel, foreign objects being flushed down the toilet (toys), or broken drain pipes. All these problems end up causing the toilet to either partially or fully block up.

The good thing is that most toilet blockages are preventable and that 90% of all toilet blockages can be fixed with a plunger.  If the plunger doesn’t work, then it is time to call your local plumber and they can either use an electric eel or jet rod to clear the blockage. If the blockage is reoccurring, then it is advisable to get a look at your drain with a camera to see why your drain keeps blocking up.

Now that your drain cleaning is done, and the drain is blockage-free, you need to follow these simple rules:

  • Do not use paper towels in the toilet
  • Do not use baby wipes in the toilet
  • Do not let the kids flush toys down the toilet
  • At the first sign of a drain problem, call an expert before it gets worse.


Urinal drain cleaning

Aging urinals have a habit of blocking up. This is due to years of use and not enough water flushing the waste product way.

I would recommend calling in a plumber to clean the urinal drain, as they get very smelly and dirty and can be very difficult to clean.

Your plumber may use a wet and dry vacuum to suck out the trap to see if this is where the blockage is located. If it is in the drain itself, then the urinal may have to be removed and a jet rod used to clean the drain.

I would recommend using a urinal with a sensor with at least 1 liter per flush. I would also highly recommend that you get your cleaning staff to pour a full bucket of hot water down each urinal every day they clean.


Roots of Tree – Drain cleaning

Roots of a tree are one of the biggest causes of blocked drains and can be quite troublesome once they are in your drain.

A drain cleaning machine must be used to clear the blockage and a drain inspection with a camera is advisable, so the location of the tree root can be found and fixed. Otherwise, the drain cleaning will become a regular occurrence in your life.

In most cases, the most cost-effective way is to remove the tree root. If this is not possible for you right now, then there are several products out there which may help to deter the tree root from re-entering the drain. These products are flushed down the toilet and coat the drain with a foam solution which discourages the root from re-entering the drain. These products are inexpensive and very easy to use.


Shower drain cleaning

You will notice this problem happen over time. The drain will probably just start taking longer and longer to drain away until one day it just stops.

A shower drain blockage is usually caused by our own body waste products, like hair and body oils, all combining to clog up the drain.

A plunger and hand eel can normally clear the blockage, but it is far better to chemically clean a shower drain, and because of the nature of the chemical I would recommend a plumber doing this as this drain chemical can make you blind,  even kill you if used incorrectly.  



The problem with our stormwater drainage is that we do not really see any problem until we have heavy rain or a storm rolls through. At this point, the back garden looks like a swimming pool.

This happens for several reasons:

  • Tree roots in the drainage
  • Broken pipes or crushed pipes
  • Incorrect installation – lack of fall to the street, the gravel pit in the backyard is too small
  • The underground drainage system is too small.

The solution may not be always black and white and will require a little bit of problem-solving first.

We first need to know how the drain flows to the street. We do this by starting at the front of the house and putting a hose down the downpipe. The water should come out on the street after a minute or so, depending on the distance. Repeat this process until the water no longer goes to the street. Now is the time to call a drain cleaning plumber.

If all the gullies in the yard are always full of water, then there is a good chance that your drain does not have the required fall to the street. I would again advise you to get a drain camera to investigate this to confirm because the options to fix this are quite labour-intensive and will cost a fair bit. These options include:

  • Replace the drain
  • Run the drain to a small pump out tank and pump out the ground drainage to the street
  • Install a gravel retention pit. This will catch the first 3000L-5000L of water and drain to the ground.


Stormwater drain maintenance

With your stormwater drain, please practice the following:

  • Keep gutters clean
  • Keep drainage grates free from pebbles, rocks, and vegetation
  • Clean out the water outlet where your drain enters the street


Future Projects

As a previous client, you can now enjoy the benefits of being a Yates Plumbing and Gas VIP Member. To view member benefits, go to our home page.


Current Offers

  • All our plumbing and gas customers will receive
    • 30 mins free onsite consultation to review stormwater issues
    • 10% off all future work