What Are the Causes and Signs of a Blocked Drain, and How to Prevent It?

March 7, 2023

A blocked drain can cause all sorts of problems. From unpleasant odours to slow drainage and raised water levels, a blocked drain must be dealt with as soon as possible to prevent it from becoming an even bigger problem.

A common symptom of a blocked drain is that sinks, toilets, and showers drain slowly. It may only be a localised problem with one appliance, but if all of your fixtures are experiencing this problem, it’s a sign that your sewer drain is clogged.

Causes

The most common causes of a blocked drain include food waste, dirt and debris. These items often clump together when it reaches the drains, making them hard to flush down.

It is why monitoring what goes down your kitchen and bathroom sinks is important as avoiding putting anything that you shouldn’t down there. It includes cooking fat, sanitary products and dental floss, as well as paper towels and other hard to flush items like wipes.

It’s also essential to monitor the type of waste that you’re flushing down your toilet and shower. Avoid putting things such as hair, toothpaste, sanitary products and tampons down the toilet, as these can become clogged very easily.

Symptoms

The first sign that you may have a clogged drain is when it doesn’t flow properly. This could be as simple as your toilet doesn’t flush or the water coming up more than usual when you use it.

Another common symptom is that your sink, tub or shower drain drains slowly. It can indicate a buildup of soap scum, hair or other substances in your pipes. Regular drain cleaning can help prevent these clogs and prevent them from becoming severe.

You should also be able to hear gurgling sounds from your pipes if there is air trapped in them due to the blockage. These are very loud and could be a sign of serious damage.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s best to call proflush.com.au/services/blocked-drain-sydney/ professional plumbers immediately. They will be able to identify the problem and resolve it quickly.

Treatment

Fortunately, you can take some simple steps to prevent a blocked drain from happening in the first place and, once fixed, to ensure that it doesn't come back again! The key is to be aware of the various causes that can lead to a blockage and to make sure you're not flushing things down your drains that shouldn't.

Toiletries such as baby wipes, cotton wool and sanitary products should never be flushed down the toilet because they can cause a blockage. Likewise, wet wipes that claim to be "flushable" should not be flushed down the sink or bath.

Other items that can easily clog up your drain include hair and soap scum. If this is the case, consider using caustic soda to clear any clogs in your pipes. It's a cheap and effective option, but you should be aware that it can cause chemical burns, so be sure to wear gloves and eye protection when handling it.

Plants and dirt can also clog your outside drains, especially if you need to keep the area tidy. These materials can build up, break down, and clump together over time to form a clog that conventional methods cannot remove.

Tree roots can also cause your drains to become clogged and are a significant cause of main sewer line problems. These roots are attracted to water, so they grow and can eventually break the pipe and clog it up.

Exterior Issues such as water puddles, bad odours, and exposed tree roots are other signs that you may have a clogged main sewer line. In these cases, a professional plumber should be called to inspect and clean the drain.

There are some quick and easy ways to treat a clogged drain, including boiling water, baking soda and vinegar, and the use of a drain snake. However, if you have an outside drain that is part of the shared sewer system, or one that's not in your home, you may need to call a professional to sort out the issue.

Prevention

These tips will ensure that you can avoid costly repairs and clean-up bills in the future. Grease waste and fatty substances will build up over time in your pipes. It is because they are a sticky material that will attach to the inside of your drains.

It would help if you always disposed of grease and fatty wastes safely by flushing them down your sink or using your bin. However, if you need help with how to do this, speak to your local plumber, who can advise on the best way to dispose of these types of items.

Other items you should try to prevent putting down the drain include nappies, baby wipes, hair and soap bits. While it may seem like a small issue, nappies and baby wipes are made from materials that don't degrade in water and can get stuck in the pipes, leading to a blockage.

Hair is another common drain issue that can cause blockages because it clumps into a ball, and then traps other materials in the pipe. It can lead to a nasty mess and make your drain clog up quickly, so picking up your hair strands after bathing or showering is essential.

Other toiletry materials that can get stuck in the drain are feminine products, including cotton buds and sanitary pads. Keeping a trash can in the bathroom is also a good idea, so you don't have to throw your rubbish away down the toilet.

In addition to taking these precautions, you should also ensure that your pipes are properly installed and maintained by a professional. It will ensure that they are laid correctly underground and, in your walls, to promote a healthy water flow and minimise the risk of blocked drains in the future.

 

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Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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