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What Causes Blocked Drains?

Blocked drains never happens at the right time; these handy tips will help you, hopefully, avoid them.

Blocked Drains

Everyone has had the unfortunate incident of dealing with a bothersome blocked drains.

Image via Shutterstock

Drain blockages are quite a common issue and tend to occur at some stage in most homes and businesses. Blocked drains need to be attended to by an experienced plumber immediately before the problem worsens. Here are the five most common causes for blocked drains:

Foreign objects or debris

Fats and soaps, while in a liquid state as they go down the kitchen sink, often solidify while travelling through the drain and collect other materials such as food and hair, preventing water from flowing freely and eventually causing a blockage. Toilets are regularly blocked due to too much toilet paper or other foreign objects being flushed in them, such as sanitary items or nappies. The only thing in your toilet bowl should be bodily excrements and toilet paper. Anything else and you’re risking a bad, bad blockage.

Broken pipes

Broken pipes can also cause blockages, as water cannot flow freely through broken pipes, which can lead to the pipe collapsing and blocking the drain. Pipe breaks tend to be attributed to poor installation, age and tree roots. In the case of an underground pipe breakage (such as that from a rogue tree root)  repairs can be lengthy and disruptive, depending on how difficult it is to access the problem area. Pipe relining technology makes this simpler and less destructive.

Incorrect pipe installation

There has been an unfortunate rise in the popularity of DIY repairs and renovations – and while many are harmless and end in relative success, amateur repairs also lead to an increase of poorly installed plumbing and drainage pipes, which can lead to pipes becoming misaligned or collapsing completely. For the record: DIY plumbing is illegal and, more importantly, dangerous. It can be more expensive and time-consuming to incorrectly install a pipe, break it then have a plumber fix it for you, so skip the heartache and let your local plumber fix it from the get-go.

Water flow issues

Following on from the previous point, incorrect pipe installation with inadequate falls to ensure adequate water flow can also cause blocked pipes as particles and debris builds up in drains. These kinds of blockages build up over time so you may be able to detect them early – gurgling sounds after flushing a toilet, bad smells from sinks and drains, or the water level in your sink or bath draining more slowly than normal.

Heavy rains or storms

After a heavy storm or prolonged downpour, your outside drains may become blocked due to leaves, dirt and other debris building up and blocking pipes. During periods of wet weather this can become an issue as the outdoor drains are generally not designed to handle large volumes of water. It is important to handle outdoor drain blockages as soon as possible as they can cause flooding and damage to property if left unrepaired for too long.

While some blockages can be easily cleared with the use of a plunger, often treating the symptoms of drain blockages does not address their underlying causes. Using an experienced plumber will ensure that the job is taken care of properly and save you money and time in the long run. Get in contact with GF James today and get a free, obligation-free quote by calling (02) 9649 1099

Enjoyed this post? You may also want to read this: Plumbing Uncovered: Pipe Relining

Geoff James
Written By:

Geoff grew up in Berala near Lidcombe in Sydney and attended Birrong Boys High School where he finished his Year 10 school certificate. Geoff was encouraged by his uncle to consider plumbing as he had done a bit of plumbing work on weekends during his school years. DJ Childs Plumbing in Canterbury offered him a plumbing apprenticeship and he spent most of his time working on plumbing maintenance and new roofs on commercial sites. Geoff on Google+.