1. Blog
  2. 7 Common Signs of a Blocked Drain & How to Fix Them

7 Common Signs of a Blocked Drain & How to Fix Them

7 Common Signs of a Blocked Drain & How to Fix Them

Have you ever found yourself ankle-deep in water while taking a shower, or desperately plunging your sink, hoping to bring it back to life? We've all been there, frustrated by the annoying consequences of a clogged drain.

Understanding the significance of blocked pipes and drains is crucial for maintaining a smooth functioning plumbing system in our home. After all, a blocked drain can disrupt our daily routines and potentially lead to more serious issues if left unaddressed.

In this article, we will explore seven common signs that indicate a clogged drain, empowering you with the knowledge to identify and resolve these nuisances efficiently. So, are you ready to dive into the world of blocked drains and discover effective solutions to clear them? Let's get started.

Understanding Blocked Drains

A blocked drain can be a major nuisance in any household or commercial space. It is essential to recognise the common signs of a clogged drain and know how to fix them promptly. When pipes become blocked, water flow is restricted or completely halted, leading to unpleasant odours, slow drainage, and potential water damage.

Several factors can contribute to blocked drains. One common culprit is the accumulation of debris such as hair, grease, food particles, and soap residue. Over time, these substances can build up within the pipes, narrowing the passageway and impeding water flow. Another cause of blockages is tree roots that invade underground pipes, causing them to crack or collapse. Additionally, mineral deposits and sediment can gradually accumulate, reducing the pipe's diameter and causing blockages.

drain with water bubbling and gurgling

Common Signs Of A Blocked Drain

Slow Drainage

Is water taking longer than usual to drain from your sink, shower, or bathtub? This frustratingly sluggish drainage can be an unmistakable sign of a blocked drain. Over time, debris like hair, soap residue, and grease can accumulate within the pipes, obstructing the flow of water and causing it to drain at a snail's pace. Ignoring this issue may lead to more severe blockages or even complete pipe blockage, so it's crucial to address it promptly.

Bad Odour

If you've noticed an unpleasant smell wafting up from your drains, it's likely that blocked pipes are to blame. As organic matter decays within the stagnant water, foul odours can permeate your home. The combination of food scraps, grease, hair, and other substances trapped in the blocked drain creates an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and fungi, resulting in an unpleasant and persistent stench. Don't mask the problem with air fresheners; instead, focus on clearing the blocked drain to eliminate the source of the odour.

Gurgling Sounds

Have you ever heard strange gurgling or bubbling noises coming from your drains when water is flowing? These peculiar sounds are often indicative of a blocked drain. As water tries to pass through the obstructed pipe, air bubbles form and rise to the surface, causing gurgling or bubbling sounds. It's essential to address this symptom promptly, as it could signify a more severe blockage that requires immediate attention to prevent further damage.

clogged sink

Frequent Clogs

Do you find yourself repeatedly dealing with clogged drains in your home? If so, it could be a sign of an underlying issue with your plumbing system. Frequent clogs occur when the same blockage reoccurs, indicating that the initial problem was not fully resolved. Whether it's debris accumulation, tree root intrusion, or a structural issue within the pipes, it's crucial to determine the cause and address it effectively to prevent ongoing frustration and potential damage to your plumbing system.

Backflow Of Water

One of the most obvious signs of a blocked drain is water backing up or overflowing from the sink, shower, or toilet. This unpleasant occurrence happens when the blockage prevents water from flowing through the pipes, causing it to seek alternative routes, including back into your home. Backflow not only poses a significant inconvenience but also increases the risk of water damage and potential contamination. Addressing the blockage promptly is essential to restore proper drainage and prevent further issues.

Multiple Clogged Fixtures

If you're experiencing clogged drains in multiple fixtures throughout your home, it's likely that a serious blockage exists within your plumbing system. When various drains show signs of obstruction simultaneously, it indicates a more significant issue affecting the main drainage line. This could result from a clog in the sewer line or a problem with the septic system. Seeking professional assistance becomes crucial in such cases to identify and resolve the underlying cause effectively.

Presence Of Fruit Flies

Have you noticed an unwelcome invasion of fruit flies in your kitchen or bathroom? These tiny insects can be a surprising indicator of a blocked drain. Fruit flies are attracted to decomposing organic matter, which commonly accumulates in blocked drains. Their presence suggests that food particles, grease, or other debris have become lodged within the pipes, providing an ideal breeding ground for these pesky pests. By clearing the blocked drain, you can eliminate their breeding site and bid farewell to the fruit fly infestation.

How To Clear A Blocked Pipe

Use Of A Drain Snake

When faced with a blocked drain, a drain snake can be a useful tool for clearing the clog. To use a drain snake, insert the flexible cable into the drain and rotate it while applying gentle pressure. This will help dislodge and remove the blockage, allowing water to flow freely once again.

Take Advantage Of A Plunger

An effective method for clearing blocked drains is using a plunger. Ensure there is enough water in the sink or tub to cover the rubber part of the plunger. Position the plunger over the drain, creating a seal, and vigorously push and pull to create suction. The pressure generated will help dislodge the clog and restore proper drainage.

Utilise Drain Cleaning Chemicals

If other methods fail, drain cleaning chemicals can be used as a last resort. However, it's essential to follow safety precautions and instructions provided by the manufacturer. Wear protective gloves and eyewear, and carefully pour the recommended amount of chemicals down the drain. Allow it to work for the specified time before flushing it with hot water. Remember to handle these chemicals with caution, as they can be harmful if misused.

Employ Natural Methods

For those seeking natural alternatives, vinegar and baking soda can be effective in clearing blocked drains. Start by pouring a pot of boiling water down the drain to loosen any debris. Next, pour a cup of baking soda followed by a cup of vinegar down the drain. Cover the drain and let the mixture fizz for about 30 minutes. Finally, flush the drain with hot water to remove the loosened clog.

Seek Out Hydro Jetting Services

In cases of severe blockages or persistent clogs, hydro jetting can provide a powerful solution. Hydro jetting involves using high-pressure water to clear obstructions in the pipes. This method is best left to professionals due to the specialised equipment and technical expertise required. It can effectively remove stubborn debris, tree roots, and other blockages, restoring optimal flow.

plumber using hydro jetting equipment

Seek Professional Help For Blocked Drain Repairs!

While dealing with a blocked drain can be frustrating, there are times when Diy methods fall short and it becomes necessary to seek professional help for blocked drain repair.

If your attempts to clear the blockage have been unsuccessful or if you notice recurring blockages or slow drainage in multiple drains, it's time to call in the experts. Unpleasant odours, gurgling sounds, persistent leaks, or temporary relief followed by reoccurrence are all signs that you need professional assistance.

At GRH Plumbing Group, our experienced plumbers can accurately diagnose and resolve the underlying issues, providing long-term solutions to your blocked drain problems. Don't let blocked drains disrupt your life – contact our team for reliable and efficient blocked drain repair services.