Blocked Drains

What Causes Blocked Drains?

Most homes will feature drainage systems and when functioning correctly, they will help to ensure that any used water is able to flow through pipework and make its way back into filtration facilities, where it will be recycled for future use. From bathroom sinks and tubs, all the way to kitchen faucets and even outdoor hose pipes – any spot around the home that features a supply of water will be connected. When these connection suffer blockages, the results can be disastrous.

Blocked drains can occur for any number of reasons. It’s not how the event takes place, but the consequences that can lead to the services of a plumber being required. Here’s a look at the most common causes of blockages and why it’s so important to have a plumbing service take care of them.

Human hair

If there’s one cause of blocking that can take its toll on any drainage system, it is human hair. The average person loses several hundred hairs in the space of a week and although most will fall out as we go about our daily routines, the majority will come out in the bath or shower. Water loosens hair follicles and so they are far more likely to enter a drain and when they build up, it can be all but impossible for water to flow through.

Oil and grease

There’s a reason why you’re never supposed to pour oil or grease down the kitchen sink to dispose of it – and that’s because of its tendency to form a thick, jelly-like consistency when allowed to set. If these ingredients are able to settle into a particular pipe corner, they will soon form a barrier that even boiling water will struggle to break down. It’s best to dispose of these ingredients in a more secure manner. An example would be to pour them into an airtight container and dispose of them in the same way as with regular household waste (in bins).

Sand and grit

Just like oil and grease, sand and grit have a tendency to settle into specific areas within pipes – usually around corners. A trip to the beach will often result in sand being washed away in the shower and although the water flow will help to carry most of the grains away, they will only settle somewhere else and result in a blockage down the line. Sand won’t be broken down easily, in fact it can last for years in singular grains. To avoid this event, it’s a good idea to wipe yourself down outdoors where the sand won’t cause a problem. With the majority removed, it will then be relatively safe to bath or shower.

If a blockage has occurred, it’s recommended to hire the services of a professional plumber. They will be able to gauge the severity of the event and then set about treating it to ensure that water is able to run as smoothly as possible.