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3 tell-tale signs your clay drains need to be replaced
18 Jun

3 Tell-Tale Signs Your Clay Drains Need to Be Replaced

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On March 6, 1834, Toronto was officially deemed a city. This fast-growing urban area expanded quickly and took on new technology as it did.

Part of this process was developing and implementing clay drains for residential sewers during the 1900s. Fast-forward to 231 years, and many of these drains are still in place and functioning.

Clay was the material readily available when the sewer system was being planned and constructed. However, clay doesn’t have a long life expectancy, especially when used in high-demanding structures such as drains.

The city is actively monitoring and replacing clay drains in stormwater catchments and other areas of the city. Still, it’s up to homeowners to monitor and replace their drains in the event they need to be. Eventually, you will come across issues and find that it is time to invest in replacing and upgrading your clay drains, which will require consulting a plumbing company.

1. Foul smells inside

Occasionally, you may get a brief hint of an unpleasant odour in the house. Usually, this indicates that the garbage needs to be taken out or a pet has had an accident somewhere inside.

However, if this smell continues to linger, and no amount of air fresheners or sprays are working, then this can indicate a bigger issue with the plumbing.

If the smell is worse near indoor drains, such as in the bathtub, shower, floor drains or sinks, or if it appears to be coming from the air vents, you may have a broken clay pipe that needs urgent attention. Ensure that you call your nearest emergency plumber in such situations.

This odour will get stronger the longer it is left unattended, and you also run the risk of raw sewage coming into the house, inviting the need of plumbing services for help.

2. Sludge

Imagine it’s the end of a long, hard day, and all you want to do is relax in a nice warm bath. Then, to your shock, you pull back the shower curtain and see sludge and other organic material seeping in from the drain.

By now, the pipe has been broken for some time, and the overall damage could be worse. The pipe could have collapsed or become blocked with debris. This is now causing the sewage and grey water to back up into the home, as there is nowhere else for it to go.

Your floor drains should be checked for sludge, particularly in the basement. Any indication of sludge confirms a larger problem that should be addressed.

3. Gurgling pipes and drains

When water flows freely through a drain, there is typically no sound. If you notice the water making gurgling sounds and bubbling back up, that means there is a blockage somewhere along the pipe that should be addressed.

While this is not a guarantee that a clay pipe has broken (as you may simply have a bad clog), it’s best to contact a plumbing company to check it out just to be safe.

Clogs are easy to fix and remove. Broken pipes, however, will need more attention and, if dealt with later, you can find yourself facing a larger and unexpected repair bill for the necessary plumbing services.

Drain Replacement Options

After a plumbing assessment, you will be advised if a partial or full drain replacement is warranted.

In some cases, a partial drain replacement is all that is required, and it could be years before you need to replace more. However, if more issues are found when the work is being done, you may have to opt for the full drain replacement. At Advanced Plumbing, we will first conduct a video inspection of your drainage system to determine if a partial or full drain replacement is recommended.

Replacements are done using newer PVC plastic pipes, which are fused together with solvent, ensuring a long-lasting connection. This ensures that no sewage will get into the environment and simultaneously prevents tree roots from infiltrating the drainage system.

One thing to consider during the process is the age of your house. If it was built prior to 1970, then you may have clay pipes, as this was the material available and commonly used in construction.

When purchasing any home, an inspection is required. If your house is older than 1970, a separate specialty plumbing inspection should be carried out in more detail.

Contact the Clay Pipe Experts

Advanced Plumbing is more than just your regular plumbing company. As the name suggests, we have advanced knowledge and skills to aid you with all your plumbing needs, including dealing with the uniqueness of clay pipes.

From emergency plumbing issues to clogs and leaky faucets, there is nothing that we can’t handle with expertise, professionalism, and efficiency. With the work guaranteed, you can relax knowing that everything is taken care of.

So, call Advanced Plumbing at 866-863-9539 for emergency plumbers who are available 24/7 or contact us here to book your service today.


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