Causes of a blocked drain

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A blocked drain is one of the most common reasons to call on a drain expert. Blocked drains are the root cause of all kinds of minor problems. Although most people use their drains appropriately, it’s quite easy to make mistakes. Occasionally, everyday use results in blocked drains too. The following causes are the most common:

Tree roots

Tree roots will not be the cause of local drain blockages; however, they can disrupt your main sewage system. The root keeps growing until it breaches the pipe and causes a blockage.


Toiletries are necessary; however, some can cause drain blockages. Nappies, baby wipes, and sanitary products should not be flushed down the toilet as they will cause drain blockages.

Foreign objects

Toys and other foreign objects become lodged in the u-bend, resulting in a blockage. This may happen when you have children.

Cooking oil

Cooking oil gathers and clumps together with food debris to cause a blockage. Oil should never be thrown into the sink, as it’s too viscous to flow freely.

Food scraps

Similar to the above food scraps do not belong in your drainage system. Particularly coffee grounds.

Mineral Build-up

Minerals such as calcium may build up in your pipes and this causes constriction. Although this may not cause a blockage on its own, it will make it easier for other types of blockages to form.


Liquid soap may not cause drain blockages, solid soap bars on the other hand can get lodged within pipes until they eventually break down. You can prevent this from happening by using a mesh wire guard to cover plug holes.


When you wash your hair in the bath or shower, some of it drops out and ends up going down the drain. As it does, it mixes in with other substances and becomes a major cause of a blocked drain.

Natural Debris

When you don’t use gutter guards, natural debris can fall into your outdoor drains. Most of the time it is leaves and twigs but can include dirt and grit.

Cat litter

When cat litter is exposed to water it clumps together and expands. Consequently, any cat litter that enters your drain is likely to cause a blockage.

If you suspect you have a blocked drain, please do not hesitate to contact us on 02 9158 3564. We are a 24/7 emergency service.

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