Emergency 24/7 Plumbing Services

We 're Open

1300 734 677

August 19, 2023

Read Time


What Causes Blocked Drains and How to Avoid Them

Are you dealing with a blocked drain and don't know where to turn? Clogged drains can be an annoying and expensive problem, but the good news is that understanding the causes of blocked drains and taking steps to prevent them can save you time, money, and frustration.

In this article, we will explore the common causes of blocked drains and provide helpful tips for avoiding them in the future.

Blocked drains can be a frustrating and inconvenient problem for homeowners. There are several common causes of blocked drains, including tree roots, baby wipes, hot water, food scraps, and paper towel. Understanding these causes and taking preventive measures can help you avoid this plumbing issue and save you from the hassle and expense of calling a professional plumber.

Tree roots are a major offender when it comes to causing blocked drains. As trees grow, their roots can invade and crack drain pipes, causing them to become blocked. Despite being labelled as flushable, baby wipes do not break down like toilet paper and can accumulate in the pipes, leading to blockages.

Pouring hot water down the drain may seem like a good idea for removing buildup, but it can actually soften and melt fats and oils, causing them to congeal and clog the pipes. Food scraps, such as leftover bits from cooking or excessive grease, can also cause blockages. Similarly, paper towel, which does not break down easily when wet, can accumulate in drains and contribute to blockages.

You must be mindful of what goes down the drain to help prevent blockages. Avoid disposing of baby wipes, food scraps, and excessive grease down the sink. Instead, use a drain strainer to catch any solids and dispose of them properly. Regularly checking your drains for any signs of blockages and having them cleaned by a licensed plumber can also help prevent future issues.

In the following sections, we'll delve deeper into how each of these causes contributes to blocked drains and provide tips on how to avoid them. Taking proactive measures can save you time, money, and the headache of a blocked drain.

Common Causes of Blocked Drains

Blocked drains can cause unpleasant odours, slow water drainage, and even damage your home. You must understand the causes of blocked drains to prevent issues and maintain a healthy plumbing system.

Foreign items are one of the main culprits behind blocked drains. These can include items such as baby wipes, paper towels, sanitary products, and even tree roots. These foreign items can get stuck in the drain pipes, leading to blockages and restricted water flow.

Other common causes of blocked drains include the buildup of food scraps, grease, coffee grounds in kitchen sinks, and excessive amounts of toilet paper in toilet drains. These materials can accumulate over time, creating a blockage that hinders the flow of water.

To fix blocked drains, you can use a drain snake or a homemade solution such as bicarbonate soda and vinegar to clear minor blockages. However, more serious blockages or damage may require the expertise of a professional plumber.

To prevent blocked drains in the future, it is advisable to dispose of food waste properly, avoid flushing non-degradable items down the toilet, and regularly clean sink drains to remove food particles and residue. Installing drain guards or strainers will help you prevent foreign items from entering the drain pipes.

How to Prevent Blocked Drains

Preventing blocked drains in your home is essential to ensure smooth water flow and prevent costly plumbing repairs. Follow these simple steps to minimise the risk of experiencing drain blockages.

First and foremost, clean your drains regularly. This can be done using a mixture of hot water and vinegar or commercially available drain cleaners. Regular cleaning helps remove buildup, such as hair, soap scum, and natural debris that can cause blockages over time.

Another important prevention method is to use fixtures as intended. Avoid flushing items like baby wipes, paper towels, or sanitary products down the toilet, as they can easily clog the drain pipes. In the kitchen, refrain from pouring fats or oils down the sink, as they can solidify and block the pipes.

It is best to flush small amounts at a time when it comes to toilet paper usage. Flushing excessive amounts of toilet paper can overwhelm the sewer pipe and lead to blockages.

If you are unsure about the best prevention methods for your home, you should seek advice from a local blocked drain plumber specialist. They can provide additional strategies and offer professional drain cleaning services when necessary.

How to Clear Blocked Drains

Blocked drains can be a major inconvenience, but there are several methods you can try to clear them before seeking professional assistance.

A drain snake can be useful for blockages near your property. It is a long flexible coil that can be inserted into the drain to break up and remove the blockage. Another effective DIY solution is using hot water combined with bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Simply pour the bicarbonate of soda into the drain, followed by the vinegar, and then flush it with hot water. The chemical reaction helps break down the blockage and clear the drain.

However, if the blockage is in the main drain pipe or you are experiencing repeated blockages, it is recommended to seek professional assistance.

At Sewer Surgeon, we have the expertise and proper tools to identify and address the underlying causes of blocked drains. We thoroughly inspect the drain pipes to identify any broken pipes or other issues that may be causing the recurring blockages. We are trusted and licensed and have a team of experienced plumbers to help you clear blocked drains. If you are unable to clear blocked drains yourself or the problem persists, contact Sewer Surgeon.  


Identifying the common causes of blocked drains is essential in preventing further issues. Tree roots, baby wipes, and food scraps are among the top culprits known to cause drain blockages. These blockages pose potential consequences, such as slow water drainage, foul odours, and even broken pipes if left unaddressed.

To avoid these issues, you should dispose of sanitary items properly, avoid excessive use of toilet paper, and install drain guards to catch hair and other debris. You should also maintain your drains by scheduling professional inspections can also help prevent future blockages.

Need urgent help? Hire Sewer Surgeons today to help you clear blocked drains. Our expertise in diagnosing and fixing drain issues will ensure a proper and long-lasting solution. 

Protect your drains from blockages for proper sanitation and functionality of your plumbing system. Don't hesitate to reach out to a professional plumber when faced with blocked drains, and trust a reputable plumbing company like Sewer Surgeon to handle the job efficiently and effectively.