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BLOCKED DRAINS: ARE YOU LIABLE?

October 16, 2020

Inevitably, if you’re having a blocked drain cleared by a professional plumber, it’s going to cost money. Whilst most people are pretty clear that if there’s a blockage in pipework on their property, they’re going to have to stump up the cash to get it cleared, what is less clear is that sometimes blockages that occur beyond your property’s boundary are also your responsibility! Here we take a look at when you’re liable to foot the bill, and when it’s the local authority’s or someone else’s problem.

Is the blockage in a sewer drain or a storm drain?

There are two drainage networks that remove waste water from your property. The first is the sewage system. That’s the pipe network into which waste water from your sinks, baths, toilets and washing machine goes. The second way in which water is removed from your property is through the storm water system. This is the system through which rainwater (run off) from gutters, driveways and similar runs into the storm water drainage system. These systems have different regulations when it comes to where liability for blockage removal occurs.

Blockages in sewage pipes

As you might expect, when a blockage occurs in a sewage pipe, if it’s your side of “the point” then it’s your responsibility. “The point” is the point at which your sewage pipe joins the water (or sewage) company’s branch drain. Blockages “beyond” the point are the responsibility of the water or sewage company. Note that “the point” may be beyond the boundary of your property. If this is the case, you are still responsible for the pipework between your property and “the point” even if it’s located outside your boundary.

Blockages in storm water pipes

Homeowners are responsible for clearing any blockages in drain pipes, down pipes, guttering and similar until the pipes connect with the council’s barrel drain. This may be at a surprising distance from the property. Your local council will be able to tell you where the “legal point of discharge” of storm water is from your property.

Note that if work needs to be conducted outside your property, the plumber may need to put a number of additional safeguards in place whilst work takes place. If the blockage is located under a road or pavement, a council permit may be needed before the work takes place, particularly if traffic is going to have to be diverted whilst the work is completed.

Remember that, by law, a plumber can’t remove a blockage at your request unless the blockage is located in pipes that are your responsibility. If it becomes clear that a blockage isn’t on your section of pipe, you’ll need to inform the relevant company so that removal can be instigated by them.

Pinnacle Plumbing Group is able to accurately pinpoint the location of blockages in storm water or sewage pipes. Call us today and book one of our skilled, experienced plumbers.

Testimonials

Hear what our customers have to say about their experiences with Pinnacle Plumbing Group. 

  • Marg Campbell

    5 stars
    Fantastic service from Pinnacle Plumbing when we had to have the gas pipe running from the meter under our house replaced. I called Harry on the T...
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    5 stars
    Good service! Very responsive! Highly recommend for reliable and professional plumbing work!
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    5 stars
    Nick and the team are great. They're very professional, responsible, and do a great job. We've used Pinnacle a number of times for both business an...
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    5 stars
    I highly recommend Pinnacle. Nick and Ash were prompt and responsive with quoting and scheduling installation of our new hot water unit. And plumbe...
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    5 stars
    A great team, very reliable, great communication and good quality work
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    5 stars
    Conclusion: We strongly recommend Pinnacle Plumbing and will most certainly request them to do work for us in the future. The job: Around 10 perso...
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    5 stars
    We used Pinnacle Plumbing to undertake plumbing works as part of a home renovation. Not only were they reliable, professional and had great communi...
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    5 stars
    Such a great experience with Pinnacle Plumbing. I rang Nick on a Wednesday and by Friday noon, my toilet seat had been replaced efficiently and by ...
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    5 stars
    This company is very reliable and offers prompt service.
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    5 stars
    This plumbing service was great at communication, understanding immediately what the issue seemed to be. They asked if it was an emergency - no, we...
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    5 stars
    Andrew and Lee came out to fix our bath which was leaking into the ceiling below. They were super easy to deal with, explained everything well, and...
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    5 stars
    Fabulous team to deal with from the start to finish on my carport roof plumbing! Nick and the crew, 5 stars!
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    5 stars
    Plumbers came to the site and fixed my drains for a decent price , very professional. Highly recommend.
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    5 stars
    Amazing work and great prices ! Best plumbing company in Melbourne. Highly recommend Nick and his team
  • Angela Rybalko

    5 stars
    I had a burst pipe at 7pm on a Wednesday night, called about 3 plumbers before finally I got on to Pinnacle who answered straight away. They arriv...
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    5 stars
    I have used Pinnacle Plumbing Group for various plumbing jobs during my renovations. Each time, the expertise of the team has saved me time and mon...
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    5 stars
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    5 stars
    Great service, very responsive, and showed up on time! Would highly recommend.
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    Second time I have used Nick Rybalko's Pinnacle Plumbing Group, last year for roof leak, this week for leaking toilet cistern. Fixed promptly both...
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    So grateful to Pinnacle Plumbing for working hard to accomodate me at short notice. They went out of their way to ensure that my issue was fixed pr...
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    5 stars
    These guys do absolute quality work ! Nick and his team are easy to work with and ensure the job was smooth for us from start to finish! Thanks aga...
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    5 stars
    Nick and his team have been very prompt, friendly and professional. They've done great work for our pub and we will happily use them again for any ...
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    5 stars
    Nick and Andy were great to deal with. Organised, on time and efficient to deal with on an older style roof, with a "bit going on". Support your lo...
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    5 stars
    Very impressed with the service for a replacement sink. Compared to other quotes we received, the price was competitive and took the time to confir...
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    I would definitely recommend this company. They responded promptly and fixed a roof leak, partially replacing the box guttering. Good service, goo...
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    Pinnacle Plumbing were helpful, efficient and professional when the hot water service in our rented property failed on the eve of the Easter holida...
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    Thank you so much Pinnacle Plumbing! Special thx to Kyle and Simran. Kyle have given us a valid quote parameters and attended as emergency case. Si...
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    5 stars
    I have had a variety of works completed from Pinnacle, all with professionalism and courtesy. They are quick to respond and easy to deal with, high...
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    5 stars
    Kyle and Nick were both excellent , experienced good plumber. very responsive and provide good solutions , will recommened !
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    5 stars
  • Kim R

    5 stars
    Nick was my first contact at pinnacle, he was lovely on the phone and managed to fit us in that week! Rhys, came out to camera our pipes. He was v...
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    5 stars
    Great service. Thank you Dan!
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    5 stars
    Superstar plumbers.
  • Liam McCallum

    5 stars
    There was a leak in the bathroom that was running to the apartment below. The plumber was professional and friendly with both myself and the tenan...
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    5 stars
    Great service - Dan was professional, on time and listened to what we needed done. We definitely recommend Pinnacle plumbing.
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    The basics of what you want from a tradesperson they did what they said they were going to do when they said they were going to do it and at the pr...
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    Our plumber, Isaak from Pinnacle, was very friendly and did a great job. He even wiped the dirty remaining parts when he changed the kitchen waste....
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  • T M

    5 stars
    On behalf of Anne Goyne:- They did an amazing job on in a very difficult location and got everything done within the quote and on time before the r...
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    Tradesman (Basil) turned up on time and was very polite. He was very professional keeping us updated with progress and after completion cleaned the...