We received a really lovely testimonial on our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LeslieDrainClearing/ today that I wanted to share. It is a great representation of the work that Marty and Kevin provide and we certainly appreciate the feedback. We’re also very pleased that the issues with Caroline’s drains have been sorted.


If you are after some advice, or even a free quote, please get in touch with Leslie Drain Clearing – we’re only too happy to help!

Biodegradable wipes are not toilet paper

Biodegradable wipes sound like a good idea. In theory. The makers of those wipes claim they are “flushable” – meaning that you can drop them in the dunny, press the flush button and they’re gone. Out of sight and out of mind. Right?! Wrong.

The wipes often snag, and then bunch together in the pipes further down.

Those supposed biodegradable wipes were pulled from a blocked sewer pipe at a Lower Hutt property this week.

Wipes pulled from drain

The tenant had only started using those wipes two months before – so it shows how quickly things can back up!  It took Kevin 4 hours to unblock the drain….meaning a hefty bill for the landlord.

So our message is stop using them! Or if you do, do not put wipes, whether they are biodegradable or not, down your toilet. They will not break down like toilet paper. That goes for sanitary products as well.

If you have concerns or questions feel free to give either Marty or Kevin a call. It is much better to have free-flowing drains, than any back-up causing a stink.

Unblock your drains in 1 easy step


Replacing Buchan traps 

Buchan traps are an old fashioned claypipe bend that were initially designed to stop rats and mice from entering the council sewer mains. They were commonly used in homes around the Wellington region. 

Recently they’ve become problematic with many collecting solids, waste and sludge or are just simply broken from tree roots. We recommend a simple replacement in those cases, or even to prevent future problems.

The photo below demonstrates the process. Note – the broken clay pipe is replaced by a simple straight pvc pipe. 

The hole in this case was back filled afterwards and all rubbish removed. 

Camera that

Sometimes it is impossible to know from the surface what is going on below the ground. You can see boggy areas or a back flow in your drains but no obvious cause. That’s where a camera comes in handy. 

The colour drain inspection camera is portable and has a long corded lense so it can see all those places you can’t. 

It’s great for finding cracked and broken pipes and tree roots. It’s also good for generally mapping out where your drains are located.   It can be peace of mind when you are buying a property – and save you from potentially being lumped with a $15,000 bill to repair your drains a month after moving in. This happens more often than you think. 

Gas pipes

Following on from last week’s blog about what not to flush, we thought we’d share with you two photos of another avoidable blockage. Both pipes were damaged after a gas pipeline was thrust through them.

The photo below looks clean but the gas line caused a major backup in the drain. The blockage was located using our CCTV camera. 

This next photo shows how the gas pipeline shattered the drain. 

The best way to avoid this is to make sure you know exactly where on your property your drains are laid. 

What not to flush

Surprisingly it’s not just poos, wees and toilet paper that get flushed down the toilet. On a regular basis, the boys come across items that have made their way down the porcelain bowl which shouldn’t have been anywhere near the toilet in the first place. Flushing that junk can cause some serious and expensive problems. 

Just this week Kevin pulled out these from a drain:

On closer inspection:

So our top five list for what not to flush:

1. Paper towels

2. Wet wipes

3. Undies

4. Clothing

5. Food or cooking waste 

Tree roots vs Drains

Nearly every property in New Zealand has a tree planted on it somewhere. But it’s when they are located close to pipelines that they can cause serious problems.

This photo was taken a couple of weeks ago at a property we were called to in Lower Hutt. The offending tree roots were located using our CCTV camera.


Those roots caused that sewer pipe to back up and cause a stink – and nobody wants that!

As it was a very severe case, we had to dug up the affected area and replace it with a new line. But in most cases we can just use our electric eel machine to cut and remove the tree roots from the drain.


The best advice we can give homeowners is for them to check where their drains are laid and make sure any future plantings are well away!