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Common Drain Blockers and How to Prevent Them

Blocked drains and pipes can quickly turn into significant complications. A blocked drain can cause poor drainage, corrosion, flooding, sewage backup, and expensive repairs. To avoid them, it’s best to first understand the causes of blocked drains. Here are the household causes of blocked drains and how you can prevent them from happening.

1 – Hair

Hair may block a drain in a matter of seconds. Humans lose an average of 50-100 hairs per day, so it’s not strange that some of them wind up at the bottom of your bathtub or sink. People with longer hair lose more hair because it is more prone to breakage and exposure to the weather.

Generally, removing hair that has blocked a drain is as simple as pulling it out with your fingers. If this method does not work, you can use a commercial gadget such as a drain stick. Chemical drain cleaners are not advisable for use, as they frequently erode the interior of your pipes.

2 – Soap

Bar soap tends to re-solidify in your drains, resulting in clumps of it forming into a massive, goopy mass that will eventually cause a block. There is no way to avoid soap buildup unless you use liquid soap on a regular basis.

Not only is soap buildup in your pipes inconvenient, but it can also be dangerous to your health: soap scum attracts bacteria, and no one wants to finish their morning shower wading through an inch of germ-infested water.

3 – Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG)

FOG is an abbreviation for fats, oils, and grease. It refers to any food waste that should not be discarded down the drain—cooking oil, pan drippings, gravy, bacon grease, lard, shortening, butter, margarine, salad dressings, mayonnaise, creams, and sauces all fall under this category. Even non-greasy food leftovers might block your home’s wastewater lines, so avoid flushing any type of food down the drain.

Food blocks pipes and can result in untreated wastewater backing up into homes and businesses, resulting in significant cleanup and restoration costs. Manholes can overflow in neighbourhoods and contaminate local waters, including drinking water, in extreme circumstances.

4 – Tree Roots

Trees are incredibly resilient. They tend to go to any length to reach a nearby water supply. This involves pushing their roots through cracks or stress lines in concrete, stone, and metal objects, such as sewer pipes beneath your house. Tree roots that gain access to a pipe can cause significant and widespread damage, resulting in blocked drains.

A small video camera attached to the end of a semi-rigid wire and connected to a display allows the plumber to see what the camera sees in the pipe. It’s the cheapest and least invasive method for a plumber to determine what’s blocking your sewer systems.

If you want to avoid tree root blocks in your pipes, talk to a landscaper or licensed commercial plumbers. They can provide beneficial advice and solutions whether you reside in a used home or are planning to create one.

5. Toiletries

In the age of environmental concern, we are called not to dump “disposable” toiletries down the toilet. These materials were not designed to be disposed of in this manner, and if allowed to build up inside pipes, they can cause significant damage to a home’s plumbing system.

Numerous brands of baby wipes claim to be “flushable,” but they do not disintegrate efficiently in water (since they are engineered to be wet and strong), blocking drains. Therefore, even if a baby wipe is labelled as flushable, it should always be disposed of in a rubbish bin.


Fixing blocked drains in your home might help you save money on your water bill by reducing your overall water consumption. Regular drain cleaning also has environmental advantages.

You can’t prevent all drain blocks, so if you do have one, call Sunny Coast Plumbing, and we’ll send one of our plumbing experts to fix it. Sunny Coast Plumbing and Gas has been serving South East Queensland for over 15 years. We offer 24/7 emergency plumbing services—contact us today!

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