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Common Causes of Blocked Drains

Blocked drains can be caused by different things, and many drainage issues can be avoided with careful maintenance of your property and proper knowledge of how your drainage system works.

In this article we’ll discuss the common causes of blocked drains, what to do about them, and how to minimise the risk. If you still have any questions or blocked drains related issues after reading through this guide, feel free to give our North Shore blocked drains plumber a call.


We’re always here to help with blocked drains and all kinds of plumbing problems.

Tree Roots

Tree roots are one of the main reasons for which drains get blocked. For the leafy suburbs around Sydney’s North Shore, trees are everywhere. While we enjoy the tree line, they do grow around the pipes underground often. When there’s a hairline crack in the pipes, tree roots can penetrate the pipes and grow into big blocks within the drainpipes over time. All of this could be happening without the house owner realising anything until the blockage gets bad enough.


Another common culprit behind a blocked drain is hair. We wash our hair every day, and lots of them land in our drains. When left to build up, these hairs can cause a clog that will eventually lead to blocked drains and backflow potentially. A tip from us: when you’re done cleaning your drain with your brush or plunger, flush it down with boiling water to burn off any strands that may have lodged in there.

Food and grease

Food residue, especially grease can often cause blocked drains. If you’re cooking in your kitchen, clean up immediately to avoid clogging your pipes. Grease that gets into drains will stick to them and build up over time.

Try not to throw food residue into the kitchen sink or toilet, which creates blocked drains problem as well.

Wipes and Kitchen Towel

Wipes and kitchen towel can cause blocked drains as well; however they get neglected by home owners from time to time, thinking that flushing wipes and kitchen towel down the toilet is fine.

We always say only toilet paper can go down the toilet, please avoid throwing anything else down the toilet.

Sanitary products

Sanitary products such as tampons and pads can cause blocked drains as well. They should always be binned instead of being flushed down the toilet.

The sanitary items won’t dissolve in the water, they remain hard and solid when they get flushed into the pipes, often blocking up the drains pipes.

Toilet paper

Toilet paper usually dissolves in water when they are flushed down the toilet, but if too much toilet paper gets pushed down, they may start to build up. You can try using a plunge to push them down, and check if the water starts to go down. If the toilet is still draining slowly, you may face a serious blockage and need the help from a professional plumber.

How To Minimise the risk of Blocked Drains

It is important to regularly flush your drain with boiling water. Food, oil and grease build up can solidify, blocking pipes from moving water properly. Use a sink strainer that is large enough to catch food. And try them in the bin.

Do not throw inappropriate item into the toilet or kitchen sink, such as paper towel, sanitary products, food residue. Try cleaning the hair in the bath to avoid big build-up.

Lastly, if you spot any early signs of blocked drains, try talk to a professional plumber to your situation assessed before it turns into a larger problem.