Everything in your home that uses water is linked to the drainage system and then into the main sewer line. This includes your sinks, toilets, bath, shower, washing machine, and even your dishwasher.

Washing the dishes is a job best left to the machine but there’s always the chance that the dishwasher could be adding to a sewer or drainage problem.

The main thing to focus on and make sure you do before loading the dishwasher is that the washing works better without food pieces on the plates and other items. Use the garbage disposal or the trash can for the food waste, not the dishwasher. Lazy loading with really dirty plates won’t give you great results and it just forces food waste and grease in your plumbing and drainage. This will lead to problems in the future.

There are some early warning signs that your dishwasher is getting blocked and not working as efficiently as it could, and here they are:


Dirty dishes

The easy spot is the result of the wash. If your dishes are still dirty or not as clean as you’d expect, there’s something wrong. After checking that the salt and rinsing detergent are topped up, you might want to check the water is filling and draining correctly.

You dishwasher might not have filled with water because you have a clog in your main or kitchen line. Get it checked out before it gets worse.


Gasping and gurgling

Sounds and smells from any of your drainage or sewage lines are a bad sign. It’s not always catastrophic but you’re highly recommended to act quickly if you see, smell, or hear something unusual.

If you do hear an unusual gurgling coming from your drains, it’s likely an indication that you have water trying hard to push through a blockage.

Clogs can appear anywhere in your drainage system and could be as far as the main sewer line, but they won’t get better on their own. Hear some gurgling from your dishwasher? Get it checked out right away.


Slow-flowing waste water

Not always easy to spot this one, but if your dishwasher is draining slowly or the sink next to it (which is usually using the same drainage pipe) is draining slow, you might have a clog nearby.

Slow draining water is a key indicator that you have something blocking the pipes and with the sink or dishwasher it’s usually some grease build-up or food waste stuck. A quick plunger to the drain hole for either the sink or dish washer can help, but get it plunged or checked to halt the problem from getting worse.


Water backed-up

Just as above, that link between the dishwasher and the sink can often cause more obvious problems. If your dishwasher goes into its drainage cycle and the water backs up into your sink, then you have a clear clog.

If the water has nowhere to go but up, there’s a block. Check your U-bend and drainage further down. If the dishwasher is pushing waste water, again there’s a clog somewhere. It might be a simple plunger job, or a job for an expert like us. Whichever it is – get on it fast!


Water waiting

After a cycle your dishwasher should be empty. You should have clean plates, pots, pans, and cutlery and you shouldn’t see water in the bottom of the machine. If you do, you have a drainage issue and you’ll probably also have a poor finish on your dishes.

Good drainage is essential to the quality of your wash and water waiting for you when you open the door of a completed wash is a sign you need a plumbing inspection. Try cleaning out the drainage trap (a weekly job really) and a quick plunge to see if you can shift the water.

If not, you have a problem further down and you might need to call us.


Be gentle with your dishwasher…

Don’t overload you dishwasher with food waste. Scrape and rinse your dirty plates and pots in the garbage disposal or trash before you run a wash. Food and grease don’t get on well with plumbing and a simple clean before you put them in will save you future problems.

Got a problem with your Colorado plumbing? Contact us now and we’ll help you get back in the flow!

Most of the time you’ll use the plumbing in your home without thinking about how it works or how lucky we are in the developed world to have such effective sanitation. It’s not until you have a problem that you become acutely aware of it all. Most property owners aren’t affected by plumbing most of the time as the underground network does its job quietly and safely.

But there will be a time when you have a plumbing problem. This can range from a small localised issue to a larger problem away from your immediate plumbing. The property’s plumbing will all feed into a main sewer which is a larger and more robust system that takes your waste away to be treated and recycled.

If you have a problem here, it can take time for you to notice, so you’ll carry on flushing and draining into the problem without a care. But eventually that problem will cause a total shut down of your plumbing and then you’ll wish you had been given some advanced warning.

Well, the good news is – there are some warning signs! You just have to keep an eye out for them.

These four key signs you have a sewer blockage will tell you when it’s time to contact your local drain and sewer expert and get that problem cleared and everything working well again.

Look out for these four signs and you’ll be at least aware of issues early enough to prevent a bigger problem.


Slow draining sinks and bathtubs

This one is a simple one to spot and one you’ll have experienced before but possibly not considered it to be a problem. When you pull the plug on your sink or bath you probably walk off and get dry, get dressed, and head off.

But try to keep an eye on that water briefly, each time you pull the plug.

It’s not the most exciting job in the world, and we’re not suggesting you do this for the entire drain, but keep an eye on it for a short amount of time and you’ll soon notice if the drainage takes longer than normal.

Why? Well this is a sign that you have an issue in the sewer.

If there’s a blockage further down the line, then you’ll start to see the water taking longer and more so in your bathtub as you’ll be sending more water down.

Notice the water taking longer? Check locally first (U-bends and traps) and if you’re all clear there then you have a blockage further down the sewer line.


Gurgling or unusual sounds

Just like the above example, you’re probably not fine-tuned to listen for noises coming from your plumbing. Life’s too short for this type of information and learning, right? But once again you’d be wise to get used to listening out for this warning sign.

A gurgling sound or unusual draining noise is a big clue that you have some issues in your sewer pipes. This could be a number of things from a tree root (very common in old, clay pipes) to a build-up or blockage from foreign objects or cracks and collapses in a pipe.

If you hear your sink or bathtub gurgling, then pay attention to it. It’s a sure sign that you have something not right in your system, in the street, or further. A CCTV pipe inspection is the best place to start here to help you diagnose the problem.


Lacklustre toilets that need plunging often

Occasionally a toilet will get blocked. It’s just one of those things.

This can be for a number of reasons:

Occasional plunges are OK but if you’re well-acquainted with the plunger and you’re working together more than a few times a week then you have some bigger issues.

More clogs can indicate an issue further down the line and a toilet that needs constant plunging to push the water and waste away is a sign that the water and waste isn’t flowing in the sewer. It’s not a local issue – it’s a sewer issue.

You might have a grease build-up, a tree root or a collapsed drain. The best way to find out is a CCTV pipe inspection. If you’re plunging lots – give your local plumbing and drainage company a call.


Multiple blockages in your property

More than one block? Well that’s not normal and we’d be pretty confident to diagnose this as a sewer or waste pipe blockage. If your pipes are blocked locally (in the plumbing directly attached) then the sink, toilet, or bathtub will struggle to drain, but the others will drain just fine.

If you have a sink and a bathtub struggling to drain quickly then the waste pipe or the sewer pipe is probably blocked. This will cause all water drained into it to go slower or not at all.

If you see waste water coming into your bath when you flush then you certainly have a big problem. This is often beyond a little plunge or some off-the-shelf chemicals.

At first your plumbing will be OK, but once that block takes hold it’ll keep water in the pipes and the level will get closer and closer to your property. You’ll start to notice more and more problems before, eventually, the system is unusable and needs fixing right away. Urgent problems are more hassle for you to deal with.


Listen to the signs, watch for them, and take action.

Give us a call if your Colorado property needs a drains and sewer professional. Let us take a look and fix the problem before it gets worse.

If you’ve noticed any of the signs above then it’s highly likely you’ll need a professional. We’re happy to be that company.