How a blocked drain could hide other plumbing problems

It seemed like a simple blocked drain. Although a CCTV inspection of a blocked drain uncovered underlying issues for this restaurant with a collapsed pipe allowing sediment to create water blockages


How a blocked drain can hide other plumbing issues at your property.

The Ichi-ban Boshi restaurant owner had a blocked drain that needed repair because it was causing overflows into the dining and cooking areas of their business. They had been experiencing regular blocked drains and the assumption was their staff were washing too many food scraps, cooking oil and debris down the sinks. 


This type of blocked drain situation is fairly common in Sydney with lots of retail business owners operating take away shops, cafes or restaurants that dispose of large volumes of waste. A lot of them will be using shared drainage systems in the shopping centre or apartment block they are located in, so it’s important to consider what is being washed down the sinks, especially grease or food scraps. 


Nu-Trend is a licensed plumber that can provide emergency plumbing repairs in the CBD, North Shore, Inner West or Sutherland Shire in Sydney for any retail location. Our team has all the experience and equipment needed to repair a blocked drain using either a CCTV digital drain camera or high pressure jet blasting tools. If the issue is too severe or the system is damaged, we can replace parts of it as required.


At this restaurant what we discovered was their actual drainage system was broken and needed to be repaired. We were able to determine this after doing a thorough inspection of all their piping rather than just doing a plunge to clear the debris that had built up.

The Ichi-ban Boshi restaurant owner had a blocked drain that was causing overflows into the dining and cooking areas of their business. They had been experiencing regular blocked drains and the assumption was their staff were maybe washing too many food scraps or other debris down the sinks. 

Instead of just plunging the drain clear, you can look inside it to see what the issue is, this can uncover other potential problems that need to be repaired. Some plumbers won’t bother to do this because it might mean a repeat job for them a few months down the track. Fixing plumbing correctly is the better long term solution.

In many cases people will try and unblock their drain by pouring chemicals down it or maybe even organising a water jet blast service. Although this can hide underlying plumbing issues by not inspecting the pipes to ensure there are not other problems. 

So using an experienced plumber in Sydney gives you the right expertise to work out the cause & available solutions to repair it. In most blocked drain situations a CCTV inspection of the pipes can ensure there wasn’t something else creating the problem in the plumbing system deep into the lines.

Using the CCTV camera we are able to explore the pipe network and visibly inspect it to see if there are any other issues occurring. It takes all the guesswork away and delivers clear evidence as to what the drain blockage issues are. It meant the property owner could see for themselves what the cause of the issue was and then decide how they wanted to fix this blocked drain.

How did we fix this blocked drain?

To help the Ichi-ban Boshi restaurant owner we organised to conduct all our work after hours so they didn’t need to alter their trading hours. Our emergency plumber service is available 24 hours for situations like this. So we scheduled tour he team to be onsite to do the inspection and remedy works as quickly as possible during the night.

Once we had completed the CCTV inspection of the pipes we also made sure we carried out a leak detection process to then identify any services that may be under the tiles before we did the wet saw cutting. 

Once that was completed we were able to begin our work to get access to the pipes and repair the issue. To achieve this we had to use a wet saw to cut into the concrete slab to reach the pipes. This gives us the access we need to get to the source of the problem and fix it. It won’t be needed in all instances but it was this time because the pipe had collapsed and broken.

In the end what we discovered was that the pipe had collapsed and had a large hole in it. This was allowing sand or sediment and other debris to fill the pipe which was leading to the recurring blocked drain. If we had just unblocked the drain we wouldn’t have uncovered this underlying issue for the property owner.

By going the extra step with the CCTV inspection we were able to identify the cause of the recurring blocked drain as well as put a long term solution in place to save the property owner servicing costs in the long term.

Rick Karagiannis - Licensed Plumber & Bathroom Renovator
Rick Karagiannis - Licensed Plumber & Bathroom Renovator

Rick Karagiannis is a licensed Plumber, Building Renovator and Director of Nu-Trend, a Sydney Plumber and Bathroom Renovations contractor. Nu-Trend has been operating since 2009 as an independent sole trader in Sydney. Rick provides all types of services for small bathroom renovations, leaking tap repairs, hot water high-pressure jet blasting and more.

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