Blocked drains can be a nasty experience that brings harmful bacteria and a downright disgusting odour.
Every homeowner encounters it at least once in their lifetime, which should be resolved to prevent further damages. Some foreign objects like children’s toys, waste paper or a heavy build-up of grease, hair and other gunk, there can be several causes behind a clogged drain.
If your drain gets clogged, you first need to determine whether it’s connected to the stormwater or the sewer drain. Drains inside your home, such as those in your bathroom, kitchen, and laundry, are connected to the sewer system. Your outside drains will lead to stormwater pipelines.
Nevertheless, most clogged drains require the expertise of a licensed plumber to clear the obstruction. You can also remove the drain by employing some effective DIY methods.
In this guide, we’ll be discussing some common reasons for drain blockage and how you can deal with them. So, dive in!
9 Reasons Behind A Blocked Drain And How To Fix Them
1. Tree Root Invasion
The smallest of leaks or cracks in your drainage pipes attract tree roots. Once inside, they quickly grow more significant, obstructing water flow, leading to clogged drains and damaging the pipe. Cleaning the roots can be difficult and necessitates using a rooter service like trenchless repair, pressure jet cleaning, or even excavation.
Removing a full-grown root from drains can be a lengthy and costly repair. So, we’d recommend you keep an eye on the drains to prevent any root growth.
2. Food And Fats
Food waste and fats result in clogged pipes, especially in winter. Foods like pasta and rice swell in water and can obstruct the sink. Likewise, tea leaves and coffee grounds don’t break down and can clog your drains. So, always ensure to dispose of food scraps in a garbage disposal bin and not down the drain.
“Fatbergs” refers to the solidification of fats and oils that have gone down the drain. When fats are washed down the sink, they get stuck to the walls of pipes and transform into a build-up of a mass to a point where even liquids can’t pass through.
Removing these fatbergs is a complicated process and can set you back hundreds of dollars. Hence, it’s important to avoid washing down these fats and foods in drains. Instead, you can collect the grease or fat in a bin and discard it in a landfill.
3. Wipes Or Toilet Papers
As we know, poo, pee and toilet paper are to be flushed down the drain. However, too much toilet paper, paper towels, or baby wipes can lead to clogged drains.
If there’s still space for water to run down, you can use a toilet auger or plunger to dissolve some of the paper. However, if you’re no longer able to drain the water, call a professional plumber to take care of pipe blockage on your behalf.
4. Small Solid Objects
Solid objects like hair clips, pins, or similar objects may accidentally fall into the toilet. Although these objects can be flushed down into the sewer system, the situation can get tricky at times with kids.
Kids are curious about different things around them, and it’s not possible to keep an eye on them all the time. So, they might end up flushing their toy down the toilet, which may or may not flush down the pipe.
In the case of the latter, you will see that the water refuses to drain down after flushing or the bowl fills up. And in such scenarios, the only option is to use a jet rodding machine that makes way for the water by blasting the blockage.
5. Hair Blockages
Shower drain blockages are caused mainly by hair accumulation. The hair follicles can bind with grease or fats in shampoos and soap scum to create blocked pipes.
An effective way to deal with this problem is to pour sulfuric acid, which eats up the clog and opens the drain. However, prevention is always better than cure, so prevent hair and other debris from washing down the shower drains by adding a strainer at the drain opening. Or you can pick up the strands manually and put them in a bin.
6. Soap Slurry
The primary content of soaps is fats, which can deposit in the form of sludge if washed down the drain. They can clog the drainage pipe, especially when mixed with hair or human waste.
Dealing with a soap slurry is not that difficult if you clean the pipes regularly. Remember that if the sludge stays for long, it can harden up to result in a severely clogged drain.
A great DIY hack to eliminate such blocks is to combine vinegar and baking soda. Mix ⅓ cup of soda with ½ cup of vinegar and pour it down the drain. Let this mixture stay for some time before flushing the toilet.
Aside from that, you can switch to soap-free washes and then clean the pressure of the pipes to remove the deposited sludge. Alternatively, you can use a jet rodding machine, which burns down the sludge and clears the blockage.
7. Tiler’s Grout Or Concrete
A tiler’s grout or concrete blockage is the worst and most difficult to remove unless you have the right equipment. It is common when you’re renovating or building new bathrooms.
The appropriate method to prevent any concrete blocks from entering the drain is to cover the outlets with a solid cap. But if this doesn’t help, you will have to use a jet rodding machine t with a drain cleaner to break the clog.
8. Sanitary Products
Sanitary items like pads and tampons should never be flushed or washed down the drain. They won’t disintegrate or mix with water and travel around in sewer pipes, causing nasty sewage backup.
Hence, you should always dispose of these items in a bin and avoid flushing them down the drain.
9. Incorrect Connections
Always hire licensed and experienced local plumbers to install drainage pipes in your home. Poor installations, broken pipes, and ground movement can be primary reasons for constant blockages, as they may lead to several other issues.
For instance, tree roots might seep through the small gaps and grow inside the pipe, leading to a blocked drain. Besides, the wastes might not be flushed down properly due to the smaller diameter.
Why Is Your Drain Blocked?
We hope that our tips and tricks will help you deal with that annoying clog the next time you face one.
If you ask us, we’d say that the best way to prevent blockages is to keep foreign objects from entering the drain openings. Always keep a bin handy to throw all the collectible waste and debris. Moreover, get the sewer system thoroughly cleaned by professionals.
But if there’s a severe blockage and you aren’t sure about using DIY cleaning methods, then contact a licensed plumbing agency or a drain cleaning service at the earliest. Such situations can cause severe damage to the pipes and the rest of your home.
Get in touch with the team at FTD Pipe Relining if you're in Sydney. In addition to clearing blocked drains, we offer affordable pipe repair and replacement services. Give us a call for more information or a quote!