Blocked drainage is a common yet often overlooked issue in many homes and commercial buildings in Canberra. It is a problem that disrupts our daily routines, creates unsanitary conditions, and even leads to costly repairs if not addressed promptly.

That being said, in this post, we will cover a few common causes of why your kitchen or toilet drainage gets clogged. We will also provide practical steps on how to prevent them as well as how to fix them. 

What is Blocked Drainage?

Blocked drainage is when a solid material clogs up pipes and, as a result, makes it difficult for water to pass through quickly. It could happen in any drain in your house, like a clogged sink, shower, bathtub, or blocked toilet.

When a drain gets clogged, the water goes down very slowly or might not go down at all. If it happens a lot and you do not fix it as soon as possible, it could lead to bigger plumbing problems.

Common Causes of Blocked Drainage 

A Canberra plumber getting tree roots out from the pipe

A drainage issue does not happen in one night. It is typically a problem that could be prevented only if homeowners tended to it as soon as they saw the first sign. That said, let's look at a few of the usual causes and signs of clogged drainage.

Foreign Objects and Debris

The intrusion of foreign objects and debris into the drainage system is one of the main culprits behind blocked drains. This includes a variety of materials such as:

  • Hair. A common issue in bathroom drains is that hair can intertwine and form large clumps, obstructing the water flow.
  • Soap. Over time, soap scum can accumulate on the pipe walls, reducing their diameter and impeding the flow.
  • Toilet Paper and Sanitary Items. Excessive use of toilet paper or flushing sanitary items can lead to a blocked toilet.
  • Food Waste. Certain food items don't break down easily and can accumulate in the pipes, causing blockages.

When introduced into the drainage system, these materials can gradually build up, forming a stubborn blockage that hinders water flow.

Accumulation of Fats and Oils

Kitchen drains often suffer from the buildup of fats and oils. When these substances are rinsed down the sink, they tend to solidify upon cooling. They then adhere to the pipe walls, gradually narrowing the pipe's diameter and restricting the water flow.

Over time, the buildup can result in a complete blockage and can severely affect your drainage system's efficiency.

Tree Roots Invasion

Tree roots pose a unique yet significant threat to your drainage system. Drawn by the moisture in the pipes, tree roots can infiltrate even the smallest cracks and joints in your pipes.

Once inside, these roots can grow and expand, leading to a severe blockage and potentially causing substantial damage to your pipes.

Structural Damage and Pipe Deterioration

Structural issues are another significant cause of clogged drains. Pipes can deteriorate and become damaged due to various factors, including:

  • Age: Older pipes are more likely to crack or break, leading to blockages.
  • Ground Movement: Changes in the soil around the pipes can cause them to shift, break, or collapse, creating obstructions.
  • Extreme Weather Conditions: Severe cold can cause pipes to freeze and burst, while extreme heat can cause pipes to expand and crack.

These structural problems can obstruct the water flow, leading to recurring drainage issues and potentially necessitating extensive repair or replacement work.

Easy Ways to Prevent Blocked Drainage

A drain cover effectively blocking foreign particles from draining

Having a blocked drain can be a hassle, but there are things you can do to stop it from happening. Here are some handy tips:

Preventive Measures Against Hair Accumulation

Hair is one of the main things that can block drains, especially in the bathroom. Here are a few tips to keep hair from clogging your drains:

  • Use a drain cover. These are little covers that you put over the drain. It is basically a filter that lets water through but catches hair before it goes down the drain.
  • Regularly clean your drain cover. Once you have a drain cover, make sure to clean it regularly. If too much hair builds up, it can still end up going down the drain.
  • Brush your hair before showering. It can help get rid of loose hairs that might otherwise end up down the drain.
Tips to Avoid Grease and Fat Build-up 

Grease and fat can cause big problems in kitchen drains. Here's how you can stop them from blocking your drain:

  • Don't pour grease or oil down the drain. It might seem easy to get rid of cooking grease by pouring it down the sink, but this can lead to blockages. Instead, try to wipe out pans with a paper towel before washing them.
  • Use hot water. After washing dishes, run hot water down the drain. It can help melt any fats or oils that might have gotten into the drain.
Keeping Foreign Objects Out of Your Drains

Sometimes, things that should not be in drains end up there and cause blockages. Here's how you can prevent this:

  • Be careful what you flush. Only toilet paper should go down the toilet. Other items, like wet wipes or sanitary products, can easily lead to a clogged toilet.
  • Teach children about what can and can't go down the drain. Kids might not know what can cause a blockage, so make sure they know not to put toys or other objects down the toilet or sink.

By following these tips, you can help prevent blocked drainage and keep your drains running smoothly.

Early Signs of Clogged Drainage

Knowing the early signs of a blocked drain can help you fix the problem before it gets worse. Here's what to look out for.

  • Water drains slowly. If water is not going down your drain as fast as it usually does, it could be a sign of a blockage.
  • Bad smells. If there is a bad smell coming from your drain, it could mean something is blocked and starting to rot.
  • Gurgling noises. If your drain makes a gurgling sound after you have used it, it could be because water is struggling to get past a blockage.
  • Water backs up. If water comes back up out of the drain, it is a clear sign of a blockage.

What Happens If You Ignore Them? 

If you ignore these signs and don't fix the blockage immediately, things could get worse:

  • Bigger blockage. The blockage could get bigger over time, making it harder to fix.
  • Damage to pipes. If water can't get through a blockage, it might start to leak out of the pipe instead. It can cause damage to your home.
  • Health risks. Blocked drains can become a breeding ground for bacteria and can lead to health problems. 

Get Rid of Blocked Drainage!

We hope this guide has helped you understand the common causes of blocked drainage. It is important to remember that ignoring the early signs of blocked drainage can lead to bigger problems, including significant damage to your pipes and potential health risks.

However, sometimes, blockages may still occur despite our best efforts, or you might need help implementing these preventive measures. That's where we come in.

At Level Plumbing Canberra, we are experts in tackling any plumbing issue, including blocked drainage. We provide quick, efficient, and professional services to ensure your drains run smoothly and your daily routines remain uninterrupted.

So, what are you waiting for? Contact Level Plumbing Canberra today at 6188 6088, and let us take care of all your plumbing needs!