What should I do if I have a blocked pipe?


What should I do if I have a blocked pipe?

Some blocked outlets can drain slowly while others can cause wastewater or sewage to spill outside from your overflow relief gully or inside from your toilet or basin. 
  • If sewage is spilling continuously or you hear a bubbling sound from your fixtures and no internal fixtures are being used, the blockage could be in our sewer and you should call our Faults and Emergencies team 24 hours a day on 13 18 12.
  • If you have a slow draining toilet, sink or shower, it may be a blockage in your internal drain. This is the property owner’s responsibility. Please contact a plumber to diagnose the problem
If it’s not clear if the blockage on your property or in our sewer we can send a crew to make an assessment. We’ll pay for repairs if the blockage is between the sewer main in your street and your property’s connection point. If the blockage is in your pipes we’ll provide you with the option of engaging your own plumber or clearing it for you for a fee. Your plumber can use the SEWmap app to identify current water and sewer locations.

You can book a plumber from South East Water Priority Plumbing on 1300 760 306, or engage a plumber of your choice. If you choose to use Priority Plumbing you won’t pay anything for clearing the blockage if they discover the blockage is in at a section of pipe owned by South East Water.
Whoever you choose, it’s important that your plumber follows our best practice to determine the location of the blockage.

If your plumber finds that the blockage in our pipes, they need to report this to us our Faults and Emergencies team on 13 28 12. As only South East Water and its approved contractors are allowed to carry out repairs on our assets and pipes, your plumber should not perform any work on a blockage that is our responsibility. 

The plumber will receive a spotter’s fee of $74.00 plus GST for making the call. If the plumber wishes to make a plumbing claim, they must complete the claim form, provide appropriate documentation and email the details to plumbingclaims@sew.com.au. 

If your plumber has charged you for plumbing costs associated with determining where the blockage was you can make claim for us to reimburse you.
    
To make a plumbing claim:    
  1. Complete the claim form
  2. Include the required documentation and email the form to plumbingclaims@sew.com.au.

You’ll need to pay to repair blockages on your property 

If the blockage is in your property’s pipes, you’re responsible for the repair costs. You’ll need to organise a plumber to fix the pipe blockage or contact us to let us know if they identify that the blockage is in our pipes.

If the plumber invoices you for their time, we might be able to reimburse you for any reasonable costs associated with a plumber’s call-out fee (depending on the situation).
    
If your plumber has charged you for plumbing costs associated with determining where the blockage was you may make a claim for us to reimburse you.
    
To make a plumbing claim:    
  1. Complete the claim form
  2. Include the required documentation and email the form to plumbingclaims@sew.com.au.

What’s best practice?
    
Our process for reimbursing plumbing costs usually covers the fair and reasonable costs for the plumber to attend site, locate and identify the blockage. 
    
We consider it best practice for a plumber to insert the sewer cables into the property’s access point (Boundary Trap) and rod to South East Water’s point. The plumber can determine the point by the length of the rods/cables that they insert into the access point. If the property connection is still blocked at this point, your plumber can then call through to our Faults and Emergencies team on 13 18 12.
    
In these circumstances, we’ll review the details and reimburse fair and reasonable costs via EFT. We’ll need all the information before we can do this, as well as details to confirm the blockage is in our pipes. We’ll call or email you to get additional information if it’s required. 

There are some things we won’t pay for

Please be aware that you’ll need to pay your plumber’s costs to clear your own pipes or digs to find your inspection point or boundary trap. 

If you’re the property owner, you’ll also need to pay for the cost of works where: 
  •  the plumber didn’t refer the blockage to us 
  •  all work carried out by the plumber relates to clearance and/or work on your pipes
  •  CCTV was used to determine a blockage location
  •  costs include the use of general accessories (machine hire, for example)
  •  a high-pressure water jet cleaner was used  
  •  Cleared tree roots, or added chemicals to dissolve the blockage
If you wish to make a claim please complete this form and submit it and accompanying information to  plumbingclaims@sew.com.au

Tree roots can often be the cause of sewer blockages. If you have a history of tree roots causing blockages at your property, contact South East Water when you have a blockage. Also, consider having the tree removed or contact the council to have the tree removed. See this link for more information.

If you wish to make a claim please complete this form and submit it and accompanying information to plumbingclaims@sew.com.au

 
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