Common Causes of Blocked Drains

by | Mar 5, 2024 | DIY Tips

Whether your drains have had issues with blockages in the past or you hope to prevent them in the first place, it’s important to know what the most common causes of blocked drains are. In this blog, we’ll discuss these reasons and how to limit the risk of these issues arising in the first place.

Note: With a few DIY-friendly exceptions, it’s crucial that you hire a professional or team of professionals to unclog your drain. The rare exceptions are small jobs that are also approved for and safe to perform DIY (e.g. removing hair from a shower drain). Of course, always double check that a given task is DIY-friendly and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Debris Accumulation

One of the main reasons that a drain or drains become blocked is due to the build-up of debris over time whether that be hair, soap, or other bathroom products.

A build-up of debris can slowly lead to blockages that may start off as unnoticeable but become apparent over time. Removing debris can generally be done quite easily once you follow the manufacturer’s instructions (including safety advice) to ensure it is done correctly.

That said, certain debris blockages may need a professional depending on the extent of the issue and other factors. Unblocking a drain often requires the work of professionals for their expertise, skills and to ensure the work is performed safely.

Larger Pipes Are Needed

It’s also possible that the pipes are not of sufficient size based on requirements. That is to say, blockages will occur at a rate and with a likelihood that could be avoided by swapping out existing pipes for larger, suitable alternatives. Of course, having a pipe replaced must be done by a professional.

Foreign Objects Accidentally Enters Drainage

While there are many types of debris that will inevitably enter a property’s drainage system, foreign objects may also accidentally enter. That is to say, items like keys, rings and other jewellery, and wet wipes could end up falling down a sink or going down the toilet.

Trees Being The ‘Root’ Cause

One issue that would not be on anyone’s Bingo card is tree roots resulting in a blocked drain. However, a tiny leak/crack can allow tree roots to expand throughout your property’s pipework. This can obviously result in substantial blockages that only a professional can address.

If you see any signs or otherwise suspect that tree roots have grown into your home’s plumbing (and again as should be the case with any blockage aside from DIY-friendly exceptions), you’ll need to hire a professional. 

The cost of this work can vary depending on the extent of the blockage. Moreover, tree roots are growing within blocked drains (or even have in the past) can cause major pipe damage.

Other Causes 

Aside from the above, other reasons why a drain may become blocked includes the following:

  • Food grease from cooking
  • Other outdoor debris that has clogged drainage
  • One form of drain damage or another (e.g. a harsh storm resulting in damage to the structure of your home’s drainage system)

Read through our useful guide for more information

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