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Drain Blockages: 6 Causes and Their Solutions

Got Drain Blockages?

Drain blockages or sewer systems are a common plumbing issue in the Northern Beaches that warrant an immediate solution. When your plumbing system becomes blocked, your whole schedule gets disrupted, as the time you dedicate to what’s important gets stuck spent on cleaning the subsequent mess or trying to contain the problem.

Most of the time, drain blockages and sewer systems are preventable, and to help you avoid losing time, we’ve listed down the six common causes behind this plumbing issue and how you can prevent it from happening.

Causes and Solutions

  1. Tissue Papers and Wipes

    Tissue paper and wipes are the most common cause of a blocked toilet drain. As a result of using extensive amounts, blockages often occur due to their insoluble material, with most people unaware they’re using too much. To avoid blocking your toilet drain, we recommend using no more than ten sheets per visit to ensure they travel down successfully.

    Catching drain blockages in their early stage makes a huge difference to your pipe health. The early stages are when the water drains slowly but can still flow through the pipes. In these cases, a toilet plunger can temporarily help ease the situation. However, it is in your best interest to have a blocked drain specialist take a look at your pipes when the water flows to the toilet after plunging because it indicates a total blockage.

  2. Soap Scum

    Soap scum is not your ordinary soap build-up or a bar of soap that has slipped into the drain or toilet bowl. It forms by soap residue mixing with body oils and different minerals present in the water, like calcium. Over time the soap scum builds up inside your pipes and solidifies, blocking your shower or bath drain. Since it is unavoidable for soap scum to form, the best thing you can do is to schedule regular system cleaning with your blocked drain specialist.

  3. Hair

    Whether while showering or shaving, your hair is another cause of blocked drains. While small amounts may flow down the drain each time we shower or bathe, it accumulates over time. As the hair continues to catch and clump with soap scum and other residues, the mass builds until it firmly blocks your drain. To minimise the amount of hair that falls, we advise installing a hair catcher on your drain covers to protect your drainpipes from blockage.

  4. Food Wastes

    Food wastes, particularly grease and fat residues, easily block kitchen sinks. Since it’s in liquid form, we get complacent and rinse a pot full of oil without considering drain blockages. As the oil travels down, it cools and thickens, transforming into a solid-state when the temperature rises. To avoid blocking your kitchen sink, we recommend pouring the fat and oil residues into a container. Doing so allows you to deposit it at a recycler who accepts it where it can be re-used.

  5. Human Wastes

    Unbeknownst to most, our waste can also block the drainpipes when the septic tank gets full. The only way to avoid this is to get your sewer systems checked and cleaned by a licensed plumber at least annually.

  6. Tree Roots

    There are times when the blockage naturally occurs, and that’s what happens when tree roots penetrate your drainpipes. When your pipes leak, tree root systems can often penetrate your pipes to access the water source better. The blocked drain becomes more pronounced as the root grows until it blocks the passageway entirely. As the result, the drain blockage redirects water upward because there is nowhere else it can go.

    To prevent this situation, regularly schedule maintenance inspections with your drain specialist or plumber. Doing so guarantees leaks, caused by tree roots or something else, are detected.

Are you experiencing the same problem with your plumbing system? Don’t worry because Northern Beaches Blocked Drain is here to solve your dilemma! We are drain specialists servicing the areas of Northern Beaches and North Shore. To contact us, call us at 0416 962 481 or email us at for a service done right the first time!

To see the complete list of our plumbing services, click here.


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