What Is A Blocked Drain?
A blocked drain is one of the most common plumbing problems. It occurs when water in a sink, toilet drain, or shower drain cannot properly flow out of the drain. It may be partially blocked and cause water to pool. The drain may also be completely blocked, causing backup issues and overflow.
Blocked drains are inconvenient, can be expensive to repair, and can harbour harmful bacteria. If you notice signs of a blocked drain, it is important to take steps to address the blockage immediately.
If caught early enough, you may be able to repair your blocked drain with DIY fixes. However, blocked drains can lead to serious damage and costly repairs when ignored.
Most Common Causes of a Blocked Drain
1. Food Debris and Fats
Fats and food debris are common causes of blocked drains, especially in colder temperatures.
Although cooking oils, grease, and fats are liquid at certain temperatures, they can solidify and cause build-up in your drain. Eventually, the fatty buildup can prevent any liquid from passing through the drain or trap other food items and create a blockage.
Always dispose of food leftovers properly and clear plates off before rinsing them in the sink. Cereal, rice, and pasta expand when wet, making them particularly important to prevent from entering the drain.
If you suspect grease and fat buildup but aren’t sure how to clean a blocked drain, contact a licensed plumber immediately for help before it becomes an emergency complication.
2. Outdoor Debris
Twigs, outdoor debris, and leaves can get washed into drains and lead to blockages, especially during heavy rains. Be sure to maintain your gutters properly and clean them regularly to keep them free of branches, dirt, and leaves. You can also use a drain guard to help block debris from entering a drain.
3. Tree Roots
Do you have large trees near your home? In their search for water, some tree roots can penetrate cracks in a pipe. These tree root instructions can make cracks worse and cause leaks and blockages.
If you suspect tree root intrusion, contact a licensed blocked drain plumber to assess the situation. Using a drain camera, a blocked drain plumber can pinpoint the affected area and determine the best course of action.
4. Foreign Objects
Foreign objects and non-flushable items can lead to serious drain blockages and damage. Never flush the following items as they do not disintegrate and can lead to blocked drains:
- Solid objects or toys
- Sanitary products
- Paper towels
- Cleaning wipes
- Cotton swabs or other cotton items
- Makeup remover wipes