Essendon Plumbing Services recently received an emergency plumbing call during heavy rain from an existing commercial customer in Parkville. They suspected they had blocked storm water drains as water was leaking into the basement car park. The call for help required an emergency plumbing response, so our admin team immediately contacted Richard, an experienced commercial plumber and operations manager.
Richard contacted the client to notify them he was 30 minutes away and would contact them when he arrived. While driving to site Richard organised another member of our plumbing team, Matthew, to meet him on site with a high-pressure water jet and CCTV camera equipment.
Arrival On Site
Richard contacted the client on arrival, then proceeded into the carpark to see where the water was coming in from. As Richard is familiar with the site, he quickly realised there was a blocked drain on the West side of the building and the water was banking back and overflowing into the car park.
The carpark has a storm water pit and pump so the water was being pumped away but the concern was if the rain got any heavier, the pump may not be able to keep up with the additional water flow.
Matthew arrived within an hour of Richard; with all the specialised plumbing equipment they were going to need to unclog the drain. Richard had exposed an entry point into the clogged storm water pipe on the outside of the building.
Matthew set up the high-pressure water jet and CCTV drain camera ready to start unblocking the drain once he had completed the plant safety check and put on his PPE, now he was ready to unblock the drain.
Identifying the Cause
- The water jet was approx. 20 meters into the drain when Matthew started to get resistance, he spent 5-10 minutes trying to break through the clogged drain but wasn’t having any luck.
- Matthew then removed the jet from the drain and set up the mechanical sewer machine – aka: sewer snake - with a small cutting head to try and cut through the blockage.
- After constant persistence Matthew was able to break through the blockage but it was not completely clear
- Something was still blocking the drain
- Mathew removed the sewer snake cables from the drain and noticed clay type mud was stuck on the end of the cables, this was a sign of a possible broken pipe
Richard then set up the CCTV camera to carry out an inspection of the drain to see what was in the pipe, when the camera head got to the site of the blockage, he could see an obvious break in the PVC pipe and a large amount of mud still obstructing the flow of water out of the pipe.
Matthew then tried again with the water jet to try and break up the mud to get the water flowing but wasn’t having any luck.
Exposing the Damaged Pipe
It was time to mark out where the blocked pipe was located on the property and how deep it was underground. Using our sonar tracing equipment, Matthew and Richard were able to identify the location of the pipe and the depth. Fortunately, the pipe was outside the building so no interruptions were required for the tenants.
The client was notified of the findings and given a quote to excavate and expose the damaged pipe. Richard explained to the client that once the pipe was exposed and extent of the damage known, he would provide an additional quote to carry out the repairs. The client accepted the quote and excavation was organised for the same day.
The location of the blocked drain was under concrete and approx. 1.3m deep, so Richard organised our concrete demolition saw and mini excavator to be dropped off to site.
Once the pipe was exposed a clear break in the drain could be seen.
Repairing the Drainpipe
Richard provided the client with a quote to carry out the repair work and reinstate the concrete paving when finished. The client was on site, so was shown the findings and could clearly see the damaged section of PVC pipe. Although unhappy with the pipe being damaged, they were comfortable knowing they had a fixed price quote to do the repair and asked Richard to proceed with the job. Richard and Matthew then continued with the repairs and Thom, another expert plumber, arrived to help.
Over the next two days, our team worked diligently in Parkville. Not only did they have the storm water drains repaired and flowing freely, but they also managed to backfill and repair the concrete without any impact on our client’s business.
Cleaning The Site
Matthew and Thom returned the next day, picked up the remaining rubbish and washed down the area with a pressure jet before presenting the site to the customer for approval.
The customer was delighted with the speed in which the work was carried out and the constant communication they received from the first phone call to job completion.
Essendon Plumbing Services always contacts Dial Before You Dig before any excavation works are carried out. It is a free national service that assists in preventing damage and disruption to Australia’s vast infrastructure networks. The response informs the applicant of the proposed works to prevent the loss or damage to infrastructure and harm to the greater community.
Other items to consider when working outside the property boundary or within easements are Council Road opening permits. These are generally required when working within footpaths and nature strips, meaning Vic Roads would need to be notified for any works that may interrupt public roads and possibly require a traffic management plan.
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Essendon Plumbing Services has an experienced team of Master Plumbers ready to find and fix your plumbing problems no matter where they are or when you need us.