Formerly Jim's Plumbing

close up of water draining in an aluminum kitchen sink

Common Causes of a Blocked Drain

At Plumber Near Me, we operate 24/7, every day of the year and even within the hour* for all your blocked drain needs. From your sink draining slowly to your toilet gurgling or a tree root, no job is too big or too small for our team.

Our blocked drain experts are fully qualified and complete ongoing training to ensure they are always up to date with the latest fault finding techniques.

Our plumbers have the expertise to guide you through your drain blockage fix and provide a long term solution rather than a patch-up job. We operate across the country for all your blocked drain needs. Some of the most common blockages we deal with are:

  • Blocked toilets
  • Blocked sinks
  • Clogged sewer lines
  • Blocked shower drains
  • Blocked bath drains
  • Gutter blockages

Let’s start with the tell-tale signs that indicate blocked drains.

What are the Common Signs of Blocked Drains?

Dealing with blocked drains can be a real headache. It disrupts your daily routine and can lead to unpleasant odours, water backups, and potential damage to your plumbing system. The key to preventing serious issues is early detection.

By recognising the signs of a drain blockage, you can take action before the problem worsens. In this article, we’ll highlight the common warning signals that indicate your drain might be clogged.

  • Slow draining: One of the most noticeable signs of a blocked drain is slow draining. If you’ve noticed that water takes longer than usual to empty from sinks, showers, or tubs, it’s likely that a blockage is forming in the pipes. Pay attention to multiple drains in your home to identify any consistent slow drainage issues.
  • Foul odours: Unpleasant odours emanating from drains are a strong indication of a clog. Food debris, grease, hair, and other substances can accumulate in the pipes and start decomposing, releasing foul smells. If you detect foul odours coming from your drains, it’s time to investigate and address the issue.
  • Gurgling sounds: When water tries to pass through a partial drain blockage, it can create gurgling or bubbling sounds. These sounds occur because air is trapped in the pipes, causing water to flow irregularly. If you notice unusual noises while using your sinks, toilets, or other fixtures, it’s a clear sign of a blockage.
  • Water backups: Water backups are a serious warning sign of a fully blocked drain. When wastewater cannot flow freely, it will find alternative paths, such as coming back up through drains or overflowing from toilets. If you experience water backing up in multiple fixtures simultaneously, you should address the issue promptly to prevent further damage.

Recognising the signs of a drain blockage is crucial for maintaining a healthy plumbing system. If you notice slow drainage, foul odours, gurgling sounds, or water backups, it’s important to take action promptly. Ignoring these warning signals can lead to more significant problems, such as burst pipes or extensive water damage.

If you’re unable to resolve the blockage on your own, it’s best to seek professional help from a licensed plumber who can diagnose and fix the issue efficiently. Remember, early detection and timely action can save you from unnecessary headaches and expenses in the long run.

What Causes a Drain Blockage?

There are a number of reasons that a blocked drain could occur. From foreign items lodged in your pipes to hair in the drain or a build-up of water. Our plumbers have seen it all. Severe blockages can crack or even break your drain pipes. But what causes a drain blockage?

  • Roots: Roots from trees in your garden and the surrounding areas are among some of the most common causes of a blocked drain. As the plants in your garden grow, so do their roots. Tree roots have a nasty tendency of cracking your drain, growing inside it and causing a blockage.
  • Cooking grease: Grease from fatty foods becomes solid as it cools. As it hardens, the likelihood of a drain blockage heavily increases. To remove the oil, you can try an unblocking chemical or contact your local Plumber Near Me. To avoid grease blockages, never pour leftover oil down your drain.
  • Hair:  Even short hair can start to build up in your drain and cause a blockage. Drain cleaners can usually dissolve hair but the best practice is to stop the hair before it goes down your drain. In the case of a hair build-up, Plumber Near Me has you covered.
  • Toiletries: Putting personal care products down the drain is a big no-no. These objects can easily get lodged in your pipe and cause a blockage.
  • Foreign objects: If you have small children, you will know how much they love playing with things. If one of these toys ends up in your drain, you will typically need to replace it.
  • Natural debris: Natural debris can block your stormwater drain through a build-up of leaves, soil and extra rainwater. There is not much you can do to avoid this other than keeping your gardens and drain areas need and tidy.

These are the most common causes of blocked drains – but what can you do about them?

Remedies for Blocked Drains

Dealing with blocked drains can be a frustrating experience. The good news is that many blockages can be cleared with simple remedies, allowing you to restore the flow and prevent further damage.

Let’s explore some effective remedies for blocked drains that you can try before calling in a professional plumber:

  • Boiling water: For minor blockages caused by grease or soap residue, boiling water can often do the trick. Carefully pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain, allowing it to dissolve the obstruction and flush it away. Be cautious when using this method with PVC pipes, as boiling water can cause damage.
  • Baking soda and vinegar: The combination of baking soda and vinegar is a natural and effective solution for clearing drains. Start by pouring a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup of vinegar. The mixture will create a chemical reaction that helps break down the blockage. After about 15 minutes, flush the drain with hot water to clear away the debris.
  • Plunger: A plunger is a handy tool for clearing clogs in sinks, showers, and toilets. Ensure there is enough water in the fixture to cover the rubber part of the plunger. Position the plunger over the drain and push and pull in a vigorous motion to create suction. This action can dislodge the blockage and restore proper flow.
  • Plumbing snake: For more stubborn blockages, a drain snake, also known as a drain auger, can be used. Insert the snake into the drain and rotate it to catch onto the clog. Then, slowly pull it out, bringing the blockage with it. This method is particularly useful for clearing hair or debris that is deep within the pipes.

Blocked drains can disrupt your daily routine, but with these simple remedies, you can often resolve the issue on your own.

Remember to start with gentle methods like boiling water and baking soda and vinegar, and gradually move to more advanced tools like plungers and plumbing snakes if needed.

However, if your attempts to clear the blockage are unsuccessful or if you’re unsure about handling the situation, it’s always wise to seek professional assistance.

A licensed plumber can assess the problem and provide the most appropriate solution, ensuring the long-term health of your plumbing system.

How to Prevent Blocked Drains

Prevention is always better than dealing with the hassle of a drain blockage. By adopting some simple habits and implementing preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the chances of encountering clogged pipes.

Here are some effective tips on how to prevent blocked drains and keep your plumbing system running smoothly:

  • Use drain guards: One of the main culprits of blocked drains is the accumulation of hair, food particles, and other debris. Install drain guards or strainers in sinks, showers, and tubs to catch these substances before they enter the pipes. Regularly clean out the captured debris to maintain proper drainage.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Avoid disposing of grease, oil, coffee grounds, and other solid waste down the drain. Instead, collect them in a separate container and dispose of them in the trash. These substances can solidify in the pipes, leading to blockages over time.
  • Be mindful of what you flush: Toilet paper is designed to dissolve easily, but many other items are not. Avoid flushing feminine hygiene products, baby wipes, cotton balls, or any non-flushable materials. Even “flushable” wipes can cause problems, so it’s best to dispose of them in a trash can.
  • Regular maintenance: Schedule routine maintenance for your plumbing system. A professional plumber can inspect your drains, perform necessary cleaning, and identify potential issues before they become major problems. Regular maintenance can help prevent blockages and ensure optimal performance.
  • Educate household members: Teach everyone in your household about proper drain usage. Explain what should and shouldn’t be flushed or poured down the drain. By raising awareness and promoting good habits, you can minimise the risk of blockages caused by human error.

A little prevention goes a long way in keeping your drains clear and your plumbing system in excellent condition.

Call Plumber Near Me for Blocked Drains

At Plumber Near Me, we have a wealth of experience cleaning blocked stormwater drains with our CCTV drain cameras and hydro jet drain cleaning machines.

Our plumbers have the expertise to guide you through your drain blockage fix and provide a long-term solution rather than a patch-up job. We operate across the country for all your blocked drain needs.

Contact the team at Plumber Near Me for all your drain blockage repairs and blocked drain services.

Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.