November 02, 2011 05:00 ET

The Main Causes of Blocked Drains

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Nov. 2, 2011) - When it comes to maintaining our homes, many of us often fall prey to that age-old problem: out of sight, out of mind. Until a toilet overflows or a sink refuses to empty, a blocked drain can go undetected for weeks or even months. It's important to regularly inspect your drainage pipes to prevent leaking roofs, walls or ceilings, which could lead to damage to wires or electrical fittings. Branches, leaves and debris can cause blocked drains in the garden, with tree roots sometimes finding their way into pipes. Blocked drains within the home are often the cause of tissues, hair and soap residue, which build up to create barriers to the flow of water.

Here's a look at how to deal with some of the home's most problematic drains:


Kitchen sinks can quickly become blocked with pieces of food, cooking oil and grease. Using a strainer is a quick way to prevent large blockages, but you need to monitor all of the waste going the pipes regularly. Remember not to pour grease directly into the sink, instead pour it into a container to cool so that you can throw it into the bin. If really need to pour it down the drain, follow it with a long blast of cold water to solidify it, which prevents it from clinging to the pipes. Scrape your plates before hand washing or placing in the dishwasher, taking case to use enough cleaning products to break down any food particles before they enter the drain.


The main cause of blocked bathroom sinks and shower drains in the bathroom is clumps of hair, which easily gets stuck inside the pipes and builds up to form a solid mass. Toothpaste and cleaning products also contribute to the blockage. Use a strainer to catch any excess hair and take care to clean it regularly to prevent build-up. Avoid dropping any large objects down the sink, such as hairgrips and face wipes.


Blocked toilets are usually caused by excessive amounts of toilet paper. Flushing baby wipes, sanitary products and paper towels can also lead to bigger problems. Make sure everyone in the house knows to which objects go into the bin and ask everyone to be careful about the amount of toilet paper that they use.

It's important to clear a blocked toilet or drain quickly, as the defective drainage can be very messy and unhygienic. If your DIY efforts to unplug a drain are unsuccessful, it's time to call in the professionals. A drainage expert will use CCTV technology to find blockages in hard to reach areas and will clear up any mess quickly.

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