Grace Plumbing
Water leaking from shower

If you don’t get it sorted quickly a leaking shower can cause all sorts of damage to your home. Identifying exactly where and why your shower is leaking can be tricky – especially if the leak is behind the wall.


The worst thing you can do with a leak is ignore it because chances are it will only get worse and the first thing to do is stop using the shower until the problem is fixed. There are several ways a plumber can identify the source of a leak but that doesn’t mean you can’t do a bit of DIY investigating yourself first which could cost you extra labour time so here are a few things to consider:


7 reasons why your shower could be leaking


1. Faulty shower head or tapware – over time and through continuous use, tapware can become prone to leaking. While it could be a cartridge replacement you need, if that doesn’t do the trick you may be looking at a replacement or sometimes it is as simple as needing to re-silicone in behind the faceplate again to give a fresh new seal.

2. Damage to the acrylic shower tray – if the shower was installed without sufficient support underneath it, cracks can appear. Small cracks will eventually become larger cracks as you apply pressure (i.e., by standing in the shower). Even a small amount of water leaking through over time can cause mould, an unpleasant earthy smell and can cause major damage to your subfloor.

3. The shower waste has broken – this can be a tricky one to identify, however, if your shower is on an upper floor of the house and you can see water damage on the ceiling below it could mean a leak in the shower waste and this is a job best left to a qualified plumber.

4. Silicon sealant issues – tatty looking silicone or slight peeling can be a sign that water could be starting to penetrate. Removing and refreshing the silicone is a great start and one of the cheaper options. This is a job you could do yourself but be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully so you’re not repeating the process in six months’ time. There is a real art to getting this right with no air bubbles and a good seal. Always allow a minimum of 24hrs dry time.

5. Grouting issues – even though grout is common around wet areas, it is not waterproof and over time will absorb some water, can start to crack or crumble away, allowing water to seep through. On average you should regrout and reseal your shower tiles every eight years.

6. The sealant on your tiles has warn away – your tiled shower should have a sealant applied when installed and there should be a warranty on the waterproofing membrane. The sealant ensures your tiles remain waterproof, but it will have a lifespan. If you have an older bathroom it could be time to reseal.

7. Pipe damage – if you notice peeling paint, or unusually damp areas of the wall surrounding your shower you could have a leak behind the wall. You never want to think of rats crawling in the cavities of your walls and nibbling through pipes and wires… but it does happen. Sometimes we find that a nail or something sharp like a wall anchor has pierced the pipe and over time this rusts and eventually falls out which then allows the water to spray through said hole causing damage over time.


If you think your leaky shower is beyond a DIY job, give us a call and one of our friendly plumbers can help get you and your shower sorted.  We follow a process of elimination when it comes to this type of work and are often guided by the user as to which option we start with.

Like any system in your home, your pipes, sinks, toilets, water heater, and other plumbing fixtures will suffer wear and tear over time. Having your plumbing inspected regularly with a plumbing maintenance check is a good way to keep things running smoothly and efficiently.  

Having the right information for your plumber is key to making sure you get the most out of your plumbing maintenance visit! 

1. Tell us what’s what 

Get together a bit of a list of how your plumbing has been working, any issues or concerns you’ve had, any attempts to fix things, and any plans to change your plumbing soon. The brand and approximate age of fixtures, along with as many photos as you can provide will also help us to give an accurate estimate and save time. Write down the last date you had plumbing maintenance done and any issues you needed fixed then. That way you won’t forget anything you need to mention on the day!    

The more detail you can give us, the better. Let us know when you first noticed any problems, if you’ve had any problems in the past, and any upcoming plans so we can be well prepared and recommend the best solution. Writing it all down is the best way to make sure we’re armed with all the info and make the whole process smoother for yourself and us on the day. 

2. Locate the basics 

It’s a great idea to know where your water heater, water source, and mains water valve are. If you don’t know, have a look around and find all these spots and let us know so we’re prepared to quickly and easily turn them off if need be. 

3. Clean & clear 

This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised! Leaving the areas we need to work on clean and clear is awesome for us as it makes access quicker and easier! List out the areas that will need maintenance work – give them a quick clean, and clear any cleaning products, candles, etc out of the way. Our team will always clean up after themselves post-job too! 

4. Look out for obstacles 

Similarly, if you clear out any obstacles that might be in the way, it’ll be quicker and easier for your plumber to access and complete your job. Move any obstacles to another spot before the plumber arrives. This may include pets, even though we all love them! Especially, if they’re escape artists and your plumber needs to get in and out, it might be a good idea to put them in another room for the job. 

5. Expect an estimate, not an exact quote up-front 

We’ll always give as accurate an estimate as possible based on your description, but it’s always a bit of a guess. We have to take a look to know for sure what work is required. We’ll always let you know and ensure we give you the best range of options we can. 

Grace Plumbing has been servicing East Auckland for over 20 years, based in Mt Wellington. To book your plumbing maintenance, get in touch with our friendly team! 

photo of plumbing pipes under kitchen sink

Maintenance is key to keeping the plumbing in your home running smoothly and preventing costly or emergency repairs. We’ve put together a handy checklist you can use to keep on top of it! 

You can check on lots of these yourself, but if you need any maintenance or repair work done, be sure to call in a certified plumber. Using a certified plumber ensures both the quality of work and the likelihood that insurance will cover you if anything goes wrong. You can check plumbers’ qualifications with the Plumbers Gasfitters and Drainlaying Board.

Let’s start inside

  1. Check your hot water cylinder valves

    Temperature and pressure valves help to relieve pressure on your HWC when needed. Cooling and heating contracts and expands, which causes pressure on the inside of your cylinder. As with anything mechanical, your HWC valve can go bad. It’s important to get this checked regularly to ensure it isn’t too damaged or corroded and it’s functioning properly. The good news is it’s relatively cheap to replace when necessary and will keep your home safe and hot water flowing!

  2. Check under your sinks

    Take a look under your sink for signs of leaks and water damage. Grab a flashlight and have a quick look under your sink and around the pipes and connection – if you notice any stains, mildew, visible moisture, water pooling, or dripping, the odds are you have a leak that needs fixing. You can also take a paper towel and run it across your pipes and connections while the water’s running – if your paper towel absorbs some stray moisture you might want to get it checked out. Leaks cause a huge amount of water wastage over time, costing you money as well as having the potential to damage your cabinetry!

  3. Clear out sink and shower drains

    Every few months, or if you notice drains are draining water more slowly than normal (likely clogged), you can do a quick clean out to clear any debris that’s built up. It’s especially important to clean your kitchen sink, bathroom sinks, and showers regularly as they’re more prone to blocking from hair, food, etc.

  4. Check your toilets

    Your toilets should not be letting my ANY water into the pan. It’s also a good idea to take the lid off your toilet tank and have a look for any signs of wear.

  5. Check your hot water system

    Find out what type of hot water system you have so that you can tell your plumber. Knowing whether it’s electric or gas ahead of time is helpful, and if it’s mains pressure, low pressure, a gas hot water cylinder (HWC), or gas infinity. This will help us fix or replace it more quickly when needed.  Gas infinity looks a little like this, and if you have a HWC, you’ll know it’s gas if you see connected pipes or remove the access panel and see a blue flame (pilot light). An electric HWC will have a power cable connected to the HWC (not a standard plug).

Now let’s move outside

  1. Keep an eye on hose taps

    Give your outdoor hose taps a try to test how easy they are to turn on and off. Take a look for leaks – place your thumb over the spigot and turn the water on. If there’s enough pressure that you can’t hold back the water, your hose should be fine, but if you feel you can hold back the water, you may have a leak somewhere along the line. Once you turn the hose off, if you notice water leaking from the handle or spigot, you may need a washer replaced.

  2. Weed around your outdoor units

    When you’re mowing the lawn, be sure to weed around any HWC units or water filter systems to make sure they’re clear of plants and vines, which can take over and block or damage your systems.

  3. Check your toby box

    Check your toby box every now and then to make sure no water is letting by. Turn off your water in the house and take a look at your toby box to check that the meter isn’t going up.

  4. Check your gutters and downpipes

    Make a note of where your downpipes are around the house and check each one for signs of deterioration or cracking. Clean out your spouting and downpipes or install a gutter guard to stop leaves and debris from clogging your gutter system.

Running through this checklist on a fairly regular basis will help you to keep your home’s plumbing and drainage running smoothly.

Get in touch if you need any plumbing, drainage, or gas (hobs and instantaneous water heaters) maintenance or repair work done. We’re a team of Master Plumbers based in East Auckland, servicing the greater Auckland region – with over 20 years of experience.

Photo of bathroom reno plans Auckland

Renovating your bathroom is a huge project, but it comes with some massive benefits. Not only does a nice bathroom change your daily life, but it can bump up the value of your house too.

Your bathroom renovation is something you want to get right the first time. We’ve seen delays and issues happen for a number of reasons – bathroom renos are one of our common jobs here in East Auckland, so we’ve put together some tips to make sure you get the perfect outcome.

1. Plan around your existing plumbing

Work with what you’ve got or rip it out? This is the first question to ask yourself. Think about where your fixtures are and if you need to add any extras. If you’re adding extra fixtures such as a toilet or a basin, you may need council consent. Always check your rules at the planning stage!

It’s worth having a quick chat with both your builder and your plumber too, they’ll have a good idea of where to start and some of the issues you might come across based on your rough plans.

2. Pick the right stuff

Another key step is picking the right materials and accessories for your bathroom renovation. For a start, your tapware needs to suit your water pressure. Ask the experts to recommend some good options, or double check that your favourite basin mixer has the right pressure capacity. Always buy through a reputable supplier such as Plumbing World, Mico, Reece, Elite Bathroomware, or ABI Interiors, to name a few here in Auckland. There have been issues such as high lead content in some of the lower quality tapware in New Zealand and abroad, so buying through the right spots will avoid any quality issues.

Remember that when you buy through your plumber, you’ll often get a better deal and service if any warranty claims arise, which in turn saves you time and money. So, it’s always a good idea to have a quick chat with your plumber before making final decisions.

When choosing your materials, be sure to check the waterproof requirements in New Zealand. This may help you decide if you want to tile your bathroom or go with an acrylic shower.

Also check what council consent you might need before commencing any building or construction in your bathroom. Ask your builder or tiler for some advice and check the Auckland Council website for the latest information.

3. Plan for your lifestyle

Start by thinking about your daily lifestyle and your routine. How many people are using the bathroom at a time? What do you use it for? Who is using it? These are key in considering where touches such as your lighting and shelves will go. You might need to think about power socket covers for little fingers or handrails for any older visitors, too.

4. Storage, storage, storage!

Keeping your bathroom clean and tidy can be a nightmare. Make sure you have plenty of storage based on how many people will be using your bathroom. Plan for a linen cupboard if you can fit one. In built storage in the shower can improve the look and declutter. Add a vanity and a mirror cabinet to best utilise your space. There is some great inspiration from right here in East Auckland for your home storage by Simone Anderson and Simplify My Home.

5. Design with the future in mind

Will you be living in this house for another 20-30 years or are you looking for resale value? These will be key to your decision making about what materials you’ll use, design choices, and value-adds.

Good ventilation is always key to avoid water damage. If you’re planning to rent in the future, you’ll also need proper ventilation that meets the Healthy Homes regulation. Always ask your plumber and check for any changes to these rules when planning your ventilation to avoid having to go back in and retrofit or fix the damage later.

Choose a style that lasts, something timeless. Bathroom renovations aren’t something you’ll redo regularly, so keep that in mind and choose classic styles that won’t go out of date.

6. How about a tub?

Showers are a given in most bathrooms, but how about a tub? If you can fit a bathtub, we think it’s almost always worthwhile. It adds style and function to a main bathroom, and gives resale appeal especially for families. A luxurious, freestanding bath will add serious style and appeal, but a shower over bath is a good option if you’re limited on space.

7. Overestimate your budget, always!

Bathroom renovations can be tricky and you’ll often come across unexpected issues that need fixing. We recommend always having some extra room in the budget for potential surprises such as water damage or hidden issues.

Once demolition starts, issues can pop up so always have a contingency fund, especially if you’re ripping up your floors or walls which could result in joist replacements or structural changes depending what’s there already.

8. Efficiency

It’s good to consider water and energy efficiency when choosing your applicances and fixtures. This can save you money in the long run and reduce your carbon footprint!

Check the litre usage per flush, shower head water usage, and consider putting heated towel rails on a timer to suit your schedule. But, be sure to balance out water efficiency with the power of flush you’ll need for your home!

9. The right people for the job

Get the right people for the job. Be sure to check the licences of tradespeople working on your project and that the business is fully insured. This will avoid any issues with not only the quality of your renovation and that it stands the test of time, but also to ensure you’re covered by insurance should any future issues occur. If your work is completed by an unqualified person, you could have your insurance denied, so it’s worth checking! You can check certifications at the Plumbers Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board in New Zealand. Master Plumbers also have a guarantee for all member businesses which is great for peace of mind.

Think about whether you need renovation insurance to cover the added risks that come with renovating, too. More on that here.

Ask lots of questions! Getting your tradespeople to help with advice early on in your planning is key as they may be able to offer some advice and save you money and hassle throughout the project and beyond. Also be sure to check reviews and ask friends for their referrals!

We are more than happy to recommend tradespeople and suppliers that we work with regularly in the local East Auckland area.

10. Get your tradies talking

Lastly, get all of your tradies talking to each other about your project. This will avoid delays as they can ensure work is completed in the correct order. This can make a huge difference on how smoothly your bathroom reno goes.

Happy renovation planning!

The team at Grace Plumbing.

We’re a team of plumbers in East Auckland, servicing the greater Auckland area. Master Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers. Take a look at our reviews here.

photo of plumber fixing pipes in bathroom

Lots of our clients aren’t sure what exactly we need to know. Here are a few key things you can tell your plumber to give them a head start on your job and make sure they communicate and work as efficiently as possible.

More is more

The more information we have about your job, the better. It allows us to come in armed with knowledge and get to fixing your job quicker. The more we know about your job, the more accurately we can quote, too. We’ve most likely worked on a bunch of similar jobs! The better your plan, the easier our job will be.

Photos of damage/the area

Photos and video are a huge help for us! Getting a good visual of your space or the issue you’re wanting us to deal with will help us get a thorough idea of your job quickly, ensure we have everything we need, let you know if there’s anything to prepare beforehand, and find our way around when we get there. This can save us time, which saves you money. You can easily add pics to our contact form, or email them through 😊

Access to your home

We need to access different areas of your home depending on the job. Be sure to let us know how we can access the different areas of your home that need to be worked on, for example, under the house or in your roof space.

Are you using other tradespeople too?

This is key for us to know! Getting in touch with any other tradespeople working on your job, especially for new builds and bathroom or kitchen renovations, makes sure we get in at the right time. We can figure out the best schedule with the other tradies to make sure plumbing goes in at the right time and we’re not tripping over other trades. We work with a lot of different tradespeople here in Auckland so we’re accustomed to scheduling in with one another and making things work smoothly!

Have you got all your parts?

We work on loads of new builds, bathroom and kitchen renovations, which often involve e tapware and other accessories that need to be hooked up to your plumbing. Let us know what parts you have when you’re booking so that we can let you know what else might need your attention. Remember that getting parts through your plumber can give you a better after installation warranty and servicing so it can be a better option in the long run. Pricing is not more expensive through us as many people are led to believe.

Most of all, remember that our plumbers go through years of training and experience to become certified. There’s a reason there are laws to make sure your plumbing is safe. So be sure to ask us any questions and give us as much info as possible so we can ensure we get it done right and as efficiently as possible.


Contact us about your upcoming plumbing in Auckland. We’re based in Mount Wellington, servicing East Auckland and the greater Auckland region.

Image of a plumbing toilet connector

A heads up ‑ there are delays in the plumbing industry nationwide at the moment due to the global impact of COVID‑19 and a huge increase in demand. We’ve started to see a delay on products with short stock and long wait times. This is true across trades as a whole including construction etc. If you’ve got any projects planned in the near future, this may impact your timing.

So what can you do??

Order Early

Ordering everything in early is your best strategy. Our biggest delay is waiting on shopping and logistics on the products themselves. If you get your products ordered ahead of time through your suppliers, we’ll be more likely to be able to get your job done in a timely manner. The majority of products in NZ are imported or rely on parts that can’t be produced here, so this is even true for NZ manufactured goods.

Book your tradies in

The whole trades industry is seeing a staff shortage. This was true even before the demand boom we’re seeing now! Booking all of your tradies in early will mean everyone can work together to schedule each piece of the puzzle and get your job done as quickly as possible. After lockdown, there will also be a backlog of projects so you’re best to get in touch much earlier than usual. A lot of tradies are booked well into 2022 so this will avoid delays.

Give your friendly tradies lots of notice!

Give us (and your other tradespeople!) plenty of notice of any jobs in the pipeline to make sure we can fit you in. Happy planning and we’ll see you out there!


Contact our friendly team of plumbers if you’ve got a job planned here in East Auckland.

Lockdown baking Auckland plumbers

We’ve been sharing some of Amelia’s favourite recipes over lockdown. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!


Cheesy Rocket Scones


Ingredients:Lockdown baking Auckland plumbers

4 cups self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
1½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
a pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
3 handfuls (75g) rocket / arugula or spinach leaves, finely chopped
200g tasty cheese, grated
1 cup chilled cream
1 cup chilled soda water / club soda
a little butter, to serve (optional)
Preheat oven to 200ºC and line a baking tray with baking paper.


In a mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and cayenne, if using. Mix in chopped leafy greens and cheese. In a separate bowl or jug combine the cream and soda water / club soda. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid. Mix with a knife until just combined.

If making in a food processor or electric mixer, pulse together flour, baking powder, salt, cayenne, leafy greens and cheese to combine. Add soda water / club soda and cream, pulsing 3-4 times until mixture just starts to come together.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a rough rectangle about 4cm thick. Cut into 12-16 pieces and place on prepared baking tray. Bake until scones are puffed and golden and they bounce back when pressed (about 15-18 minutes).

Freeze if not using the same day. When ready to use, thaw and reheat for 5 minutes in an oven preheated to 220ºC.

Serve warm or at room temperature, split open and spread with a little butter, if desired. If you have any left over the next day, they are also good split in half, toasted, spread with butter and topped with sliced tomato and a little salt and pepper.

Recipe by Annabel Langbein

Amelia’s note: cut into 3-4 cm pieces as they rise a lot!


Butternut Satay Soup


olive oil 2 tablespoons

onions 2 large, chopped

garlic 3 cloves, chopped

ground cumin, 1 teaspoon

ground coriander 1 teaspoon

curry powder 1 teaspoon (Amelia’s note: also good with garam masala)

chili flakes good pinch

tomato paste 1 1/2 tablespoons

butternut 1.3-1.4kg (skin off), chopped into 3cm chunks

chicken stock 1.25 litres

smooth peanut butter 4-5 tablespoons

lemon juice 1-2 tablespoons


black pepper freshly ground

natural unsweetened Greek yoghurt 1/2 cup (optional)

coriander 1/4 cup chopped to garnish

red chilli 1 large chopped to garnish


Heat olive oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Cook onions and garlic for 5 minutes until onion is soft. Add spices and chilli flakes and fry for a few minutes, then add tomato paste and fry for a further minute. Add a little water at any time if onions or spices are sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add butternut and chicken stock. Bring to the boil, lower heat and cook until butternut is soft, about 15 minutes.

Transfer to a food processor along with peanut butter. Blend until smooth. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper. (If you have used stock made from stock powder, the soup may not need salt).

Divide soup between bowls and garnish with a dollop of yoghurt if using, and chopped coriander and chilli if using.

*Amelia’s note: yoghurt and coriander add extra deliciousness!

Recipe by Nadia Lim


Water Mains Auckland plumber


Let’s imagine for a second. You’ve got a plumbing emergency or a water leak going on at your home. Do you know how to turn off your water mains? This is a super useful thing to know as a property owner, as the water pipes are on you.

Sure, you can call a local plumber (we recommend it, of course!), but you’re gonna want to turn the water off til you can give us a bell. If you’ve got a burst pipe or a leak pops out of nowhere, you’ll want to minimise the mess ASAP. It can also be useful to shut off your water supply if you’re heading away to reduce the risk of returning to a water emergency (or hearing about it from the neighbours when you’re elsewhere!).

Find your water toby

Who’s Toby? A toby is the main water valve that supplies your home. Most of the time, leaks are close to the connection to the toby box or where the main line enters the house. We always ask people to look closely around those two areas before we enlist our leak detection team, so it’s a good time saver to know where it is. Find it ahead of time so you aren’t rushing around in a panic if the plumbing needs some urgent attention! Check for a lid around the front of your home or near the property boundary – your water shut-off valve should be in there. To test if that’s the right one, you can turn it off then run a tap inside. If the water stops after a few seconds, you’ve got it! Go turn it back on and go about your merry way knowing you’re well prepared in case of a plumbing emergency.

Isolation valve

If something happens inside, you may also have an isolation valve that lets you turn off the water at one point of the house, while it continues to flow freely in other spots. These will usually be behind the toilet or under the sink. Check if it requires a screwdriver or it’s a hand-operated valve – it’s good to know and have the tools you need handy just in case.


Check out some handy guides for finding your water meter/valves and checking for leaks at Watercare and Master Plumbers.

Give us a call for all your plumbing needs. Our plumbing team are based in East Auckland, servicing the Auckland region.

You know that annoying, not to mention nasty, feeling finding a puddle of toilet water on the floor every time you’re off to the loo. If you’ve got a toilet leak, don’t ignore it! Water damage is your main cause for concern here and over time it will cause issues. You’re best to fix it at the source before it becomes a bigger problem for your bathroom – and it’s usually simple if you get onto it quickly.

Find the source of the leak

First up, you’ll be looking to find the source of the leak. Mop around the base of the toilet, and keep an eye on it over a 24-hour period if it’s minor.

The bowl

If you notice water leaking from under the toilet bowl, it could be the pan connector has perished or been installed incorrectly. To fix this, your water supply will need to be turned off and toilet disconnected so that the pan connector can be replaced if it’s not sealing properly. Now this is a job for your plumber.

The toilet valve

If the water is coming out of the valve in the wall, it may need tightening or replacing.

Misaligned pipes/valves could mean the supply line needs repairing. This may sound daunting, and this one definitely needs the attention of a certified plumber! They’ll have a good idea of the problem and how long it will take.

A cracked toilet

If your toilet tank is cracked, it could be dribbling water. In this instance we adopt a replacement policy only as trying to fix it can often be more costly that a full replacement. Your plumber will need to access the damage and let you know your options.

If you’re having trouble finding the source of the leak, you can pop just a few drops of food colouring into the tank. Just don’t leave the food colouring in the toilet bowl too long after you’ve found your leak, as it may stain the bowl.

When you flush

When you flush your toilet and the water keeps running into the pan, you could need a new washer or a new flush valve depending on the age of your toilet.

There are loads of different reasons for a leaky toilet, but these tend to be the most common.

If you need a hand fixing your leaking toilet, call our friendly team at Grace Plumbing. Our local plumbers are fully certified to get the job done right. We offer free quotes and great rates, servicing Auckland for over 20 years.

Contact us today!

We’ve been servicing East Auckland with our team of plumbers for over 20 years.

There is nothing more frustrating than a clogged toilet, especially when it keeps happening over and over again! Diagnosing the cause of your clogged toilet can often seem like an impossible task, how do you know where to look? And how can you prevent it from happening again?

With a team of experienced and professional plumbers, we take the guesswork out of clogged toilets. Having seen and handled every situation you could imagine, we are able to provide you with an easy to follow guide on the most common reasons for a clogged toilet, what causes the block to occur and what you can do to fix it so you can start enjoying the comforts of your bathroom with peace of mind.

The Most Common Reasons Your Toilet Is blocking

For your average household, repeated blocking of the toilet is usually due to one of these main issues:

Tree Roots

If you hear a gargling sound from your toilet or shower this could be a bigger issue somewhere in your sewer line. This blockage means instead of air flowing through the lines it pushes back and causes the gurgling sound.

What to do?

First up, you can try to plunge the toilet with a standard home handyman plunger. Make sure it completely covers the drain hole and give it a good 10-15 plunges to see if the blockage clears. If this does not help the situation, it suggests that your blockage is a much larger job and you’re going to need the help of a well-equipped plumber.

We use a tool called a ‘warthog’ to go down the line using hydrojets. This can clear tree roots for a short-term fix. Alternatively, we can use CCTV cameras to identify the exact location of the roots causing the blockage. We can then dig up that area, clear it of roots and replace the drain pipe in the affected section.

Items that shouldn’t be flushed have been flushed

The only two things that should be put down the toilet are human waste and toilet paper. While this seems like an obvious answer, there are many products that have been marketed as ‘flushable,’ flushable wipes are a prime example. While some items can be flushed before repeated blocking occurs, we have seen first-hand what a build-up of cotton pads, flushable wipes and q tips can do to the plumbing system of your home.

Flushable wipes are an especially major problem here in NZ. Despite what the name suggests, they actually do not break down efficiently in your plumbing. The term ‘flushable’ is only used to mean that they won’t’ come back into the bowl after you flush them. Many of them fail to disintegrate as they should. Instead, they create and contribute to major blockages in sewer systems.

What to do?

Our best piece of advice for those who are experiencing repeated blocking of their toilet would be to call a licenced plumber, not only can they clear the blockage for you, but they can also prevent further damage down the line, such as mainline sewage leaks which are a messy, and expensive job! Your plumber will be able to tell you the cause of your blocking and will be able to let you know what is and what isn’t ok to flush down the loo.

Too much toilet paper use

This may come as a surprise to some, as toilet paper is designed to be flushed, right? While this is true, too much toilet paper can actually restrict the flow of water to the main pipes, causing a ‘dry ball’ of waste that can have disastrous consequences. A buildup of toilet paper in your plumbing system is much like paper mache, as it layers throughout your pipes it can harden and become a rock-like substance, resulting in a repeated clogged toilet.

What to Do?

When you are experiencing a slower flush, or are noticing the water isn’t draining away as freely as it once did, we would recommend you begin reducing the amount of toilet paper you are using. With the average household using over 20,000 sheets of toilet paper per year, it’s easy to see how blockages occur!

If you’re not noticing a difference in your toilet flushing system after reducing your toilet paper usage, we would recommend you enlist the expertise of a professional plumber, they will be able to assess the issue at hand and can provide you with the services and advice you need to keep your bathroom in working order.

Clogged Toilet Trap

While some toilet clogs can be cleared and flushed with ease, certain build-ups require a little more assistance. We usually see clogged toilet traps when blockages have formed around the connecting bend of your drainage system. Similar to your sink’s P trap, your toilet has an S trap, and this is commonplace for waste to build up. Whether it be overloading, a weak water flow or old age, this S trap is the point where your toilet meets the wider drainage system, so it’s important to keep it clear.

What to do?

When earlier blockages like these are not cleared correctly, your problems will continue to persist, eventually carrying the clog further down the drains, resulting in a much bigger job. That is why we would recommend getting your trusted plumber in to clear the blockage and provide you with their advice in preventing the build-up of waste in the S Trap of your toilet.

Looking For A Trusted Plumber?

For all of your toilet enquiries, no matter how big or small, the team at Grace Plumbing is here to help. With over 20 years of experience, we can provide you with the very best industry services and advice you can trust. Give us a call today on 022 671 8125 so we can get you sorted.

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