What Causes Blocked Drains? 7 Reasons Your Drains Are Blocked

blocked sewer drain tree roots

Sewer problems are amongst the most commonly encountered plumbing issues. From unpleasant smells and slow draining showers, to blocked toilets and raw sewerage overflows; there can be many indications that your sewer drainage system is experiencing issues.

Here are some of the most common causes of drain clogs and blockages that we come across.

1. Tree roots

Do you have an abundant garden or a nice large shady tree in your yard? Whilst this may look harmless from above, the tree roots below ground can wreak havoc on your drains. As roots are attracted to water, they can enter through the smallest of cracks or separated joints and grow rapidly inside the pipe, consistently causing blockages. 

Tree roots often cause more frequent problems during Spring, but can cause problems year-round.

2. Broken or collapsed pipes

Tree roots, ground movement, structural issues or additional load from above ground can lead to pipes collapsing or breaking. This type of issue will cause recurring blockages until the problem is diagnosed and repaired.

3. Flushable wipes

Are you guilty of purchasing and using wipes marketed as “flushable”? You’re not alone, but it’s time to put an end to them. Wipes are one of the leading causes of sewer blockages in Australia. It’s important to know that even if the packaging claims it is a flushable product, it will still cause damage and blockages in sewer systems and the environment. Any wipes or foreign objects should always be disposed of in the bin and not the toilet.

4. Sanitary products

Like wipes, female hygiene products should be disposed of in the bin and not flushed down the toilet. If there is a crack or section of pipe with inadequate fall, the sanitary products can get caught or sit in one area causing the drain to become blocked.

5. Hair and soaps

Hair and soaps can often cause blockages, more commonly in hand basins, showers and floor waste gullies, amongst other bathroom fixtures.

6. Kitchen waste

Food scraps, including oils and grease should never be washed down the drain as they can solidify in the pipe and cause it to block up. Naturally, not all food and grease can be completely removed from your dishes before washing them. Even if you are careful with what goes in the drain, over time small amounts of grease can slowly build up and cause the pipe to block. This more commonly occurs in the s-bends or in sections of pipe that are flat or back falling.

7. Foreign objects

Products such as cotton buds or cotton balls can find their way into the drain at times. Unfortunately, as these products are made of materials that don’t break down, they can often conglomerate and cause blockages. On the other hand, objects such as toilet sanitisers and toys can sometimes find their way into the drains also. Use caution with toilet sanitisers and ensure if anything is accidentally dropped in a drain or toilet that it is removed rather than flushed.

Every plumbing issue needs to be properly diagnosed before it can be repaired, so it is important that any work carried out on your plumbing or blocked drains is done by a qualified expert.  

At Enviromate Plumbing, we have the expertise and equipment to diagnose and repair any plumbing or drainage issue that you may be experiencing.

If you are experiencing issues with your drains, we are available 24/7 and are fully equipped to take care of any of your Newcastle blocked drain plumbing problems. If you are in urgent need of assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 4943 9000 right away!

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