Blocked Drain Causes & Prevention : Why Is My Drain Blocked?

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Blocked Drain Causes & Prevention : Why Is My Drain Blocked?

Blocked Drain Causes
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Clogged or blocked water drains are not only a huge inconvenience in the household but also nasty. From foreign objects that can go down the drain, to heavy build-up of grease, hair and gunk, there are many common causes of blocked drains. Understanding the main reason behind a blocked water pipe will help you unclog the drain successfully. This piece takes a look at some of the common reasons for a blocked drain and what you can do about it.

Causes Of Clogged Drains


A grease build up is common in the kitchen sink. When grease is washed down the sink or the drain, it cools and hardens causing a blockage. This is why it is always recommended that you avoid pouring oil down the sink or drain.

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Plants and dirt

Plants and dirt that grow underneath your drain as they search for water can block your drains. Blockage from plants and dirt can also occur during your garden clean-up as leaves, dirt and shrubs can easily go down the drain without your knowledge.

Build-up of hair

Hair can block your drains. While this is a common problem, you can simply clear the blockage right away by pulling out the hair using a bent hanger wire. Know how to unblock shower drain full of hair because this is quite a common problem that blocks the inside and outside drain.


When you dispose toiletries on your drain, you are generating serious issues down the drain and sewers. Often, baby wipes and diapers are flushed down the toilet. They absorb moisture, enlarge and blocks water flow along the pipes and your drainage.

Broken pipes

Water pipes tend to wear and tear over time. When a water pipe fractures, it becomes susceptible to blockage compared to pipes that are in good shape.

Poor water flow

Poor water flows down the drain can lead to a build-up of dissolved water minerals. The minerals and sediments build up with time causing blockage in some parts of your drains. Therefore, it is wise that you understand the meaning of down the drain excellent and poor water flow, and get rid of sediments before they cause a major blockage in your system.
Therefore, when you have a blocked drain, it is wise that you look for the underlying cause. You will be able to use the right method to unclog an outdoor drain. Below are some of the best ways you can use to restore water flow in your drain.

quick fixes to unblock a drain

Quick Fixes To Unblock A Drain

1. Baking soda and vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar are effective remedies that you can use to unblock drains. You only need to mix the two cleaners 1/3 a cup of the cleaners, and once it makes a fizz, pour it down an outside drain blocked. Let the concoction sit for 2 hours or more to achieve the best results.

2. Boiling water

Pour boiling water down a blocked drain. The water will flow through the drain system dissolving any grease or obstructions inside the downpipe blocked underground. This is the easiest and fastest way you should know as you learn how to fix a blocked drain.

3. Clean the pipe

Cleaning your pipe is an effective yet advanced method to clear a blocked drain. You only need to place a washbasin clogged under your U shaped pipe beneath the sink. Use a wrench to loosen slip nuts and the pipe then remove it. Empty all the contents to the basin beneath and rinse the pipe with clean warm water and restore the pipe. If you feel you cannot handle the task on your own, it is imperative to consult a plumbing expert in your region.

4. Salt and baking soda

With salt and baking soda, you can learn how to unblock a drain without rods. Mix half a cup of salt and baking soda and pour it down the drain. If your toilet keeps blocking, it could be an indication of a serious waste water pipe blockage. Using salt and baking soda is, therefore, an ideal remedy that will help you to unblock the nastiest or stubborn blockages you are trying to unblock.

5. Use a plunger

A plunger is blocked outside drain home remedy that you can always try before you hire a professional plumber. It needs courage, strength and persistence to master how to clear a blockage in water pipes using a plunger. It may require a couple of efforts and attempts before you can successfully unblock the drain. This is more important especially if you have a blocked soil pipe underground.

6. Chemical cleaners

Chemical cleaners are also efficient in water pipe blockage removal. The cleaners are available in most supermarkets and are easy to use. Identify plumbing blockage problems in your household and pour a sufficient amount of the cleaners down your drain. Let the cleaners sit and work on the drain overnight. Run boiling water down a backed up drain pipe to completely unblock and clean the drain.

7. The Zip-It

You can also settle for the zip it to unblock your drain. It is an exceptional, efficient and outstanding device made up of an upward facing hook. It works by pulling out grime when placed down the drain and lift up the stick’s back up. The beauty of using this device is that it unblocks the drains without much of a bother or a fuss. Therefore, if you want an option that will unclog your drain without a lot of fuss, this is the method to go for. It is neat and reliable.

How to clear a blocked drain outside

Before you clear outside drainage, you need to determine the cause behind the blockage. Often, a build-up of debris including leaves and slit will cause blockage around the guttering, grids and grates. Dreaded oils, greases and fats will repeatedly cause a blockage on sink discharge pipes.

The cause may also be deep-rooted inside your main drainage system. This means the cause may not be visible. Therefore, the first thing you can do is to carry out an inspection of the area where you suspect it’s blocked.

For a closer inspection of your outside drain, you can open manhole covers with a lot of caution to check whether you can identify the blocked area. It is important that you take note of the first signs of a blocked drain through a number of indicators including;

  • An unusual smell from your drains
  • Water rising and overflowing from your toilet drainage
  • Your sink takes longer to clear from the sink
  • Gurgling sounds from the plughole

DIY remedies for an outside blocked drainage

  • Use a drain rod or a plumbers snake to get rid of any items blocking your drain
  • Run clean boiling water through your sink to eliminate any grease build-up
  • You can remove debris manually from your sink but it is important that you wear protective gloves
  • If the problem is serious and you cannot solve it using the above solutions, it is recommended that you seek the help of an expert. A professional plumber has the tools, equipment and the skills to address simple and complex blocked drain issues.

Using an Auger Cable to unblock an outside drain

For outside drain blocked with soil, you can use an auger cable to unblock it. Follow these simple steps to ensure your drain is fully cleared of soil and other debris.

  • Wear protective gloves and remove all dirt, soil and leaves from your drain system. Use a cleanout plug to prevent more soil or debris falling into the drain.
  • Plunge the root cutting auger’s head in the cleanout access and turn on the auger cable power
  • Carefully feed the auger cable into the drain until you feel some slight resistance, as it gets into contact with soil and other possible debris. The head of the auger will break through a clog and you can carefully remove the auger head, run clean water into the cleanout and then work the auger over the pipes until the drain is clear of soil and debris.
  • While feeding the auger into the drain, you should take care to avoid cutting through the main sewer. Once you are done washing away the debris, soil and the pipes, you should test your drain and replace the cleanout plug.

Test the drain by flushing out the toilets, trying out the shower and running water through the sink. If the water flows smoothly, you can be sure that the drainage problem has been fixed.

You should also take time to know how to clear a blockage in water pipes through

Pipe removal and cleaning- where you identify and remove old pipes from your drains. Powerful cleaners are then used to get rid of deposits in the system before the pipes are cleaned and replaced.

Air pressure can also be used by attaching the plunger into the clogged or blocked area. It blasts air pressure into the pipes, and gets rid of calcite, dislodges debris and cleans corroded pipes.

With these solutions, you can prevent future plumbing problems by practising good habits such as disposing of solid waste in your bin, running hot water in your sink after cleaning dishes and removing hair immediately it falls on your sink.

Most importantly, hire the services of a professional plumber to help you identify, address a plumbing issue and the best advice on how to prevent blocked drains. ALK Plumbers in a plumbing expert that offers an array of plumbing services to solve your plumbing issues in Essex.

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