Almost every homeowner will experience a blocked drain at some point, so let’s look at some common causes:
What causes blocked drains?
Grease – Grease from cooking accumulates in your drains over time, much like in your arteries. Eventually this can lead to the flow of water through the pipe becoming greatly reduced or stopping.
Poor installation/deteriorating pipes – When pipes are incorrectly installed there can be overlaps or other misalignment issues which can provide a sticking point for debris to get caught on as it flows through the pipe. If sufficient debris builds up then you will suffer from a blockage. Also, pipes that are not installed with sufficient falls will lack the gravitational force to purge debris from themselves, this can cause a build-up of debris over time which will lead to blockages.
Hair – Whilst most internal drains have hair catchers in them, the stray strands which get through can exacerbate an existing blockage by snaring other debris as it passes.
Leaves and Trees – The autumnal fall of leaves can cause blockages by accumulated plant debris entering surface drains. This is common during storms or heavy rains where significantly more plant matter is carried along by the rainwater as it runs into surface drainage points.
Trees have also been known to establish roots in nearby drains in their search for water.
Foreign objects – Anything that is not meant to enter the drains, from children’s toys to sanitary products will often get stuck in pipework if flushed down the toilet. This can cause a blockage in the toilet outflow which can be rather unpleasant and distressing.
Some of these problems can be remedied yourself with some elbow grease and time. Others will require the use of a drain unblocking service.