At Newcastle Plumbing Kings, our number #1 call out – for urgent and non-urgent jobs – is blocked drains. Some of our customers have no idea that their drain is blocked until we finish our investigations and that’s ok. Sometimes, you don’t know what you don’t know. Plumbing is not ‘common sense’ it is taught and shown. That’s why Newcastle Plumbing Kings is here to teach the basics signs to identify a blocked drain – without doing a full plumbing apprenticeship.

Here are some tell-tale signs to identify you have blocked drains:

Foul smell

The first sign of a blocked drain is an unusual foul smell. Smelly drains can occur both inside and outside of the home. This sewage-like or foul smell could be food debris, oil and other nasties slowly decomposing in your pipes, instead of further down the line – where they should be.

The stronger the smell, the more serious the problem could be. If you can smell something odd in or around your drains, we encourage you to investigate or call give Newcastle Plumbing Kings a call.

Slow draining

Another subtle giveaway for blocked drains is slow draining. Toilets, baths and sink drains are designed to create a whirlpool motion to efficiently drain water. It should only take showers and household sinks seconds to empty – without bubbles. If you notice water pooling down the bottom of your drain and taking longer than expected to empty, you may have a blocked drain. Slow draining is due to water bottlenecking around a blockage in the pipes and the decreased. Just remember, if flush the toilet, the water should never rise higher, or sit lower than the usual water level.

Increased water level

No one knows your house as well as you do, you may subconsciously know approximately normal water level your toilets and showers fill to before they start to drain? Is it a little higher than usual? Us Aussies have a very low toilet water line compared to our American friends. Slow draining can lead to an increased water level in sinks, showers and toilets as new water piles up on top of dirty water waiting to be drained. Be careful if you notice one of your sinks or toilets has an increased water level, refrain to urge to keep flushing or add more water. Do not hesitate to call a plumber like Newcastle Plumbing Kings, as an increased water line may lead to…


What starts out as a decreased flow, needs to be carefully monitored. Blocked drains rarely fix themselves. If you keep flushing or try to add water to ‘fix’ the blockage, you may end up with an overflow. This is a pretty gnarly and messy situation, no one wants to clean up.

In the event your drains end up overflowing do the following:

  • Under no circumstances flush or add more water.
  • Block off the area and make it safe, cleaning up any overflow.
  • Call an emergency plumber. If you live on the central NSW coast, you can call Newcastle Plumbing Kings to come out for emergencies.

Gurgling sounds

So far, we’ve learnt that you can see and smell blockages but did you know you can also hear them too?  If you hear some unusual gurgling sounds from your drains, pipes or toilets, it’s a sign you may have a blockage. That gurgling sound is caused by air bubbles trapped in the drainage escaping to the surface. Gurgling is not a normal noise. Gurgling sounds indicate that the water is pooling and pushing against the pipe. It is best to investigate or call a plumber before the situation gets worse.

Sewerage or greywater coming out of your outside drains

So far, we have covered the basics for spotting blocked drains inside your homes but how do spot a blocked drain outside of the home? Some blockages can ride their way down the pipes in our kitchens and bathrooms and causes blockages in the main household sewer drain.

If you check your outside drains and discover sewerage or grey water seeping out of your outside drains. This could mean there is a blockage in your sewer main and it has caused backflow.

How do I know if I have a blocked sewer?

  • Really foul smell caused by sewerage.
  • Greywater or sewerage leaking from pipes
  • Muddy area around pipes that never dries.

If you discover a blockage involving your sewer, call a plumber like Newcastle Plumbing Kings straight away and we can prioritise your job.

Being able to identify a blocked drains makes life easier for yourself and your plumber as we immediately know what to look for.

Who to call?

Newcastle Plumbing Kings are the experts in blocked drains. We are licensed in both plumbing and drain issues, guaranteeing you efficient and quality service. You can rely us for your plumbing emergencies. Call us today on 1800 313 222. We serve areas across the central coast including Newcastle, Hunter Valley, Central Coast and Lake Macquarie.

Our licensed plumbers have the right knowledge and tools to investigate and fix blocked drains. We also give upfront pricing so you will not have to worry about any hidden charges.