A blocked drain can be a big drama if left untreated. Throughout the densely populated city of Newcastle, the issue of blocked drains is a common one. As plumbers, we see this household problem on a daily basis, and we’ve come to find some common culprits. So how do we tackle the blockage and what are some ways you can avoid a messy, smelly, clogged drain in the future?

Let’s take a look at how drains get blocked in the first place.

Many things can be the cause of a drain blockage in your home. Some of the most common ones start in the kitchen sink, the toilet, or even the backyard.

The kitchen sink can end up seeing a lot of food scraps and cooking ingredients which can be a recipe for disaster when they get stuck in the plumbing system. Grease and fats can easily build up over time in the walls of the pipes. The more fats and grease in the pipes the harder it will be for water to pass through easily. Food scraps from the dishes can make their way down and cling to the grease, compounding the issue.

The toilet can be a dumping ground for a lot of un-flushable items. Weather on accident or just not knowing what can safely get flushed, plenty of people send ‘no flush’ items down the pipes. These seemingly harmless items, in fact do not biodegrade causing potential clogs and obstructions all the way through the sewage system. It’s important to get clear on what will keep the drains clear.

So what are some common ‘No No’s’ we see flushed down the loo?

The list is actually quite long! Paper towels, tissues, hygiene products, cotton swabs, hair, band aids, medications, hazardous materials, oils, grease, kitty litter all should be disposed in the garbage bin. Essentially anything that is not toilet paper should not be flushed down the toilet. The less we treat the toilet like a garbage bin, the more likely we will avoid any kind of clog in the system.

Sometimes the cause of a blocked drain can happen outside the home. Debris, leaves, tree roots and mud can easily infiltrate your drainage system and cause problematic blockages. Without proper maintenance, stormwater drains and gutters can build up and overflow.

There are a few steps in tackling a blocked drain. CCTV is used to scope out where in the plumbing system the blockage is. The CCTV is handy Leak detection equipment and saves a lot of time. The mini camera on the end of the long coil gets sent through the pipes and delivers footage back to the screen. Once the source of the problem is spotted, your trusty plumber can blast through the pipes with a high-pressure jet blaster and repair any breaks or leaks. The beauty about using CCTV technology is that it is efficient, accurate and low risk in causing any further damage to the pipes and the property.

The important thing to remember when it comes to avoiding blocked drains is to be conscious about what you’re sending down the sink or toilet. If your yard is home to some trees with extensive root systems, they may make their way into cracks in the underground plumbing.