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Most Common Causes of Blocked Drains


Most of us will have experienced at least one occasion in our lives where a drain in our home became blocked. It could be the kitchen sink, the toilet, the bathroom sink, or even one of the outdoor drains in our home if we live in a larger detached or semi-detached property. If you’re a blocked drains and sewer plumber in Melbourne, you definitely know a thing or two about this problem, and you also likely know what the most common causes are for blocked drains.

You might think you know, too, but do you? Below you’ll find several of the most common causes for household drains becoming blocked.

1. Kitchen Sink - Grease

Most Aussies like their fried foods at home, and every meal can and might include items cooked in oil, lard or other fatty, greasy substances. It may help to make the food taste phenomenal, but it’s also ruining the drain that runs away from your kitchen sink. In fairness, even if you don’t eat a lot of fried food at home, you can still get a buildup of grease even from household soaps that get washed down the drain whenever you do the dishes.

Over time, this excess grease hardens and attaches itself to the walls of the pipes, eventually creating a serious blockage. The draining will simply slow at first and you might not notice, but then when it takes twice as long for the sink to drain, you know that it has become a real problem and will likely only get worse.

2. Shower/Bathtub Drain - Hair

This one isn’t the most pleasant to discuss, but it’s true. Hair from all over the human body is a huge contributing factor to blocked drains, especially in the shower and bathtub. If you’ve ever used a wire coat hanger to dig down and try to get hair clogs out and you succeed, you’ve seen the extent of the problem.

Hair is tricky, too, because it’s not like it comes off in great clumps, but rather just in a few strands every time we shower and remove the old/dead hairs from ourselves. This means it’s hard to notice or see any buildup since no one really notices it during an individual shower or bath.

3. Outdoor Piping - Cracked and Broken Pipes

This one appears counterintuitive, but the plumbing professionals know the score. What can happen with outdoor piping is that when cracks appear, perhaps there would be a leak initially, but tree roots and dirt will quickly find their way into the gaps, plugging it up but also going a bit further and creating blockages in the pipe. These kinds of issues are harder to locate because the cracks or breaks could be almost anywhere in the pipe, so the pros have to use specialist equipment to locate the problem and fix it post haste.

4. Toilet - Toilet Paper

Homes with young kids might have experienced a number of things being flushed down the toilet that shouldn’t be, creating blockages. The most common, however, is toilet paper because kids and adults alike seem to make these mistakes. The funny thing is that this one is the most easily avoided, if only people would better control the amount of paper they use and flush. It is meant to be flushed, after all.

5. Outdoor Drains - Leaves

Dead leaves in the autumn are all part of nature’s rich tapestry and life cycle. They look beautiful as they change colour, but are a nuisance when they get into your drains and block them up. The resulting lack of downward flow can cause problematic overflows that flood your garden or yard and create unsanitary conditions.

It’s probably a good idea to try and avoid these situations, of course, but if and when the drains get blocked, make sure you have good plumbers on speed dial.

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