Blocked drains are a very common plumbing issue that every household may experience – it is a nasty and inconvenient situation. Unpleasant odour, pipes full of bacteria and clogging isn’t what we want. There are many culprits behind blocked drains such as accidentally dropped foreign objects, build-up of hair, grease, soap and many other. It is essential to know the cause in order to come up with a solution. Sometimes a simple drain cleaner won’t just be enough and here is what to do when that happens.
Take a look at these 9 common reasons for blocked drains:
1. Hair clogging
2. Dirt and plants
3. Build-up of grease
4. Non-dissolvable toilet paper
5. Heavy rain and storms
6. Damaged pipes
7. Slow water flow
8. Poor pipe installation
9. Foreign objects
1. Hair causing blocked drains
Build-up of hair clogging the drains is not anything new. When the clogging of the hair is still reachable and not too far down the pipe, it is still easy to simply remove it – not so easy when the issue is down the line. Hair falling off the body in the shower or while getting ready over the sink and in the bathroom is one of the most common causes of blocked drains. But whilst it’s a common problem for many homeowners, it is a problem that has a solution.
How to fix blocked drains caused by hair?
Here is what to do: Small amounts of hair that is reachable can be removed by hand to avoid things getting worse. It is also helpful to use tools such as a drain spider. However, it’s important to be careful as some tools and chemicals can make the problem worse. It’s important to remove the hair before it gets clogged into the entry of the drain pipes. If you can’t reach the hair clogging by hand and the tools/chemicals you tried didn’t work either, it is time to contact a blocked drain specialist.
2. Plants and dirt causing blocked drains
Debris from nature such as trees, dirt and leaves aren’t the best friends of drains. That’s why garden maintenance is not only important for good looking outdoors but also for the functionality of the drains. Tree roots will find their way to your drains in search of water.
How to fix blocked drains caused by plants and dirt?
What to do: In order to prevent plants, leaves and dirt from blocking the drains, keep you need to make sure your outdoor area is clean – no fallen leaves, branches and dirt. When these are left lying around in your garden or back yard, they will eventually find their way in your drains and cause your drains to get blocked. Keeping your trees watered will get them enough of moisture so that they stay away from your drain pipes.
Sometimes keeping the yard clean will not be the end of problems because it is not uncommon for tree roots to infiltrate your drain pipes beneath the surface. Tree roots are capable of cracking your drain pipes causing blockages and leaks. For this type of issues, it is important that you contact a professional blocked drain service.
3. Grease build-up causing blocked drains
Just like hair in bathroom drains, grease and fat too will build-up and clog your drains. This happens in the kitchen sink very often due to food grease going down the drain. They stick to the walls of the pipes and build-up to a point where water can no longer pass through.
How to fix blocked drains caused by grease build-up?
Start with trying to not put down grease down the drains. Grease that is washed down the pipes will cool down and harden up. Using blocked drain chemicals might help but not always. If the build-up is too much you may need an expert with industry tools to unblock your drain.
4. Blocked drains caused by toiletries
Getting into the habit of disposing of toiletries down the drain is very common and this is clogging our pipes and sewers. Nappies and baby wipes do not dissolve like regular toilet paper and they clog the drains. Such items become immersed with water, they absorb the moisture and enlarge, quickly blocking access to water drains and pipes.
How to fix blocked drains caused by toiletries? What to do:
This way of disposing of toiletries is dreadful for the environment and everyone should be encouraged to dispose of toiletries the right way. Make sure you have a bin in your bathroom to put the nappies and baby wipes to and take it out with your general garbage. If it is too late for precautions, book a specialist plumber.
5. Blocked drains caused by heavy rains and storms
Ever heard of wet seasons? Drains will experience floods of water because of heavy rainfall. And since most residential drains aren’t really designed to take the full load of this weather, there will be too much water for drain to handle. When there is an overflow of rainwater in gutters and downpipes, there’s a good chance there’s a blockage which needs to be cleared out.
How to Fix blocked drains caused by heavy rain and storms?
What to do: It is a good idea to make sure your gutters are cleaned during the wet season to prevent a build-up of leaves that will result in bigger blockage. Problems caused by heavy rain and storms aren’t very simple and more often than not they will require a specialist plumber to help unclog and assist with the wastewater removal. If this is the case, don’t delay contacting one and getting everything sorted out before it gets even worse.
6. Blocked drains caused by broken pipes
It is very natural for water pipes to break due to general wear and tear and tree roots. As soon as the pipe begins to fracture, there is more likely a chance for a blockage. However, this is a difficult issue to diagnose because not all pipes are out in the open. It is even more difficult when you don’t have the necessary tools to inspect your pipes.
How to fix blocked drains from broken pipes? What to do:
If you think there is damage to your pipe such as a crack or rupture, it’s best to call a professional to come out and take a look using professional leak detection equipment. You can always check the pipes that are in the open yourself by looking for rust, cracks and etc. For more serious issues, contact a plumber service.
7. Blocked Drains caused by slow water flow
If there isn’t much of water coming out of your tap like normal, there’s a low water pressure or flow issue. Whilst this may not always be in relation to water pipes, it is an indication to build-up of sediment. This happens because water flows through your pipes carry dissolved minerals than deposit on metal surfaces, that’s why shower heads and taps get clogged over time and cause slow water flow.
How to fix blocked drains from poor water flow? What to do:
Shower heads can be removed and cleaned by removing the sediment, same with some taps. You can soak removable overnight in a vinegar solution to thoroughly clean it. However, if you can’t access the blockage, you are ought to call for a specialist in the field.
8. Blocked drains caused by poor pipe Installation
When plumbing pipes aren’t installed properly, there is a chance that this can result in costly drain blockages. We understand that DIY methods will save you money with east parts of your home renovation, however, installing your own pipes is not recommended. More often than not, this results in faulty water flow, fractured pipes and etc.
How to fix Blocked drains from bad pipe installation? What to do:
You should always hire a professional plumber to install the pipes for you. Doing this will guarantee that the pipes are laid properly, meeting the industry standards and they provide a healthy water flow. If you already have pipes installed and are currently having issues, you might need to look for a plumber to come out and inspect the pipes to give you some on-the-spot recommendations.
9. Blocked Drain caused by foreign objects
It could be children’s toys, small plastics, sanitary items and other foreign objects – they can be easily dropped down the drain and cause a blockage. Whether it is an accident or not, we should be careful to no drop these things down the drain.
How to fix blocked drains caused by foreign objects? What to do:
Keep an eye on the kids, dispose of food waste properly instead of in the sink and make sure nothing gets dropped accidentally.