Common Causes of Blocked Drains and How to Prevent Them

It’s not nice finding out you have a blocked drain, but it’s a situation many households face every day. If your bath is taking forever to drain or there’s a horrible smell, you could have a blocked drain. Having a blocked drain can be very frustrating, not to mention smelly, so you’ll want to get it sorted quickly. In some instances, you might need the assistance of a drain/sewer clearance company to tackle the problem.

Fortunately, there are some straightforward ways to avoid blocked drains in the first place. Read on to find out how…


Bin the Fat, Oil and Grease

Pouring fat, oil, and grease down your drain is asking for trouble. It might be one of the most common causes of blocked drains, but it’s also very avoidable. Blockages can occur when the fat, oil, and grease harden in the pipes. Instead of running the risk of an expensive plumbing bill, leave the waste to cool down, find an empty container to put it in, and then put it in the bin – rather than down the sink. Spending a little extra time can save you plumbing headaches in the future!

Frying eggs

Sweep Away Leaves

It’s not uncommon for leaves in your garden to make their way into your drain and cause a blockage. Predictably, sweeping away leaves is the easiest way to prevent this from happening. Consider other ways in which you can protect the drain from leaves, such as with a leaf guard or cage. This will allow water to pass through and stop the leaves from entering. Remember to check your gutter; it’s not uncommon for leaves to get stuck here too!


Bin Paper Towels

When you flush away toilet paper it breaks down easily, reducing the risk of a blockage. Paper towels, however, like those found in a kitchen, do not break down easily which can result in blockages. Avoid a plumbing nightmare and throw your used paper towels in the bin!

Tip: Too much toilet tissue can cause blockages too, so be careful not to flush away too much at once…

Don’t Use Your Toilet like A Bin

According to Southern Water, two billion items each year are incorrectly flushed down the toilet. Things such as nappies, wet wipes, and leftover food belong in the bin, not down the toilet. Using your toilet like a bin is bound to cause drainage problems eventually but it is completely avoidable. Make sure other members of the household are aware of this too. If you work together you can help prevent blockages. Consider having a bin in your bathroom, you’ll be less tempted to flush away the things you shouldn’t.

Useful Tip – Avoid DIY Plumbing

It’s not always food and wet wipes causing the problems. Issues with the way pipework is installed in your home can sometimes be the cause of blockages. That’s why it is important to have a professional carry out the plumbing jobs in your home.  Don’t risk a DIY disaster – find a local plumber for help with the plumbing tasks you can’t quite tackle yourself.



Being mindful of what you pour down the sink or flush down the toilet is the easiest way to avoid blocked drains.

If it does happen, have a plunger handy, they can be really useful if you are ever faced with a blockage. Alternatively, chemicals designed for unblocking sinks and toilets are readily available from many DIY stores, but make sure you carefully follow the instructions when using them.

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