Categories: Plumbing
| On 7 months ago

Blocked drain causes and how to stop the blocking

A blocked drain can be caused by several things. Although blocked drains in your kitchen or bathroom can often be cleared with drain cleaner, if the blockage persists or recurs, you’ll need to get in a professional plumber.

What causes a blocked drain

  • The most common causes of blocked drains are objects and substances going down the drain that shouldn’t be going down the drain. These ‘foreign objects’ include hair, bits of food, and thick, viscous liquids such as oils and fats. It’s relatively easy to prevent blockages from these substances, but if you haven’t taken adequate precautions, you may be surprised at how quickly a blockage can occur.
  • Other causes include small objects (if you have children, they might flush small toys down the toilet), wet-wipes, excessive toilet paper, and soap. Soap on its own won’t cause a blockage, but add it to a build-up of hair, fats and grease, toilet paper, wet-wipes, feminine hygiene products and other objects, and you will have a serious drain blockage in no time.
  • Lint from washing machines can build up and contribute to blocked drains.
  • Other causes of blocked drains in older homes and buildings include calcium build-up (especially in ‘hard water’ areas), and tree roots breaking into old drainpipes.

How to prevent a blocked drain

  • Use sink strainers to collect hair, thick soap residues, food particles and the like, that can be scraped into bins instead, and install a lint catcher in your washing machine.
  • Be vigilant over the amount of oils, fats and grease you put down your drain. Dispose of such substances into bins as far as possible.
  • Run hot water through your drains after each use and follow up regularly with bicarb. and vinegar solutions.


Recurring blockages? Call your plumber to assess whether your drainpipes need to be jet-cleaned or replaced entirely. Drains can be a strange household monster that can cost a fortune if they are not maintained. Manholes or sewers on your property could be the cause of all your blockage issues. On rare occurrences by simply lifting the manhole cover it will release an airlock that could be the cause of your blockage.

Whitelaw Plumbing and gas are professional plumbers in the Johannesburg area that can assist with your plumbing issues including a blocked drain, geyser problems and leaking pipes....in fact anything to do with plumbing.

Keep your sewers clean to prevent future blocked drains.

Tags: Plumbing