Trouble Down the Drain: How to Deal with Blocked Drains

Have you ever turned on the tap only to find the water isn’t draining away? Or, perhaps you’ve been confronted by an unpleasant smell wafting up from your sink? These may be signs that you’re dealing with a drain blockage. This blog post will not only delve into what causes blocked drains but will also provide handy tips for dealing with and preventing such issues.

Understanding the Problem

First and foremost, it’s crucial to understand what we’re dealing with. The term ‘blocked drains‘ is self-explanatory, but what causes this unpleasant scenario?

The main culprits are everyday items such as food particles, hair, and grease. Over time, they accumulate in your pipes, leading to a stubborn plumbing obstruction. Other potential causes could be external like tree roots infiltrating your pipe system.

The Hidden Health Hazards of Blocked Drains

Blocked drains can lead to significant health issues. They can become breeding grounds for bacteria and insects, potentially causing diseases like salmonella, dysentery, or gastroenteritis. The foul odours from blocked drains can also trigger respiratory problems, headaches, and allergic reactions. Therefore, it’s crucial to address drain blockages promptly.

Spotting the Signs

drain blockage doesn’t occur overnight, and it’s often a gradual process that gives off a few warning signs. The key is to recognise these early enough before your drain becomes entirely blocked. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind:

  • Slow drainage: Is the water taking its time to disappear down the plughole?
  • Unpleasant smells: Can you detect a foul stench, akin to rotting food, emanating from your drain?
  • Gurgling sounds: Are your pipes making strange noises after you’ve flushed the loo or emptied the sink?

Getting Your Hands Dirty

Have you recognised these signs? Don’t panic. There are a few tricks of the trade to try before calling in the professionals.

  1. The Plunger Method: This is your first line of defence against a drain blockage. Remember to cover any overflow outlets before you begin to ensure the best suction.
  2. Cleaning the Pipe: For a blocked drain in your sink, you might need to clean out the U-bend. Ensure you have a bucket to hand, as it could get a bit messy!
  3. Using a Plumber’s Snake: This is a flexible auger used to dislodge a plumbing obstruction. Feed it into the drain until you feel resistance, then turn it to break up the blockage.
  4. Chemical Cleaners: These are a last resort and should be used sparingly due to their environmental impact. Always follow the instructions and wear protective gear.

Prevention is the Best Cure

Rather not deal with clogged pipes in the first place? Here are a few preventative measures:

  • Dispose of grease and oil properly, not down the sink.
  • Install a strainer in your sink to catch food particles and hair.
  • Run hot water through your sink after each use to clear any build-up.
  • Baby wipes cause over 40% of blockages. Please do not dispose of them in your drains.

Time to Call in the Professionals?

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, the drain blockage persists. This is when you might need to call in the professionals. It’s important to remember that prevention is better than cure. By being mindful of what goes down your drain, you can avoid a lot of trouble.


Dealing with blocked drains doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With these tips in mind, you can tackle existing drain blockages and avoid future plumbing obstructions. So, next time you’re faced with slow-draining water, an unpleasant smell, or gurgling sounds from your pipes, you’ll know exactly what steps to take. Don’t forget, when all else fails, professional drain-unblocking services are just a phone call away. You don’t have to fight the clogged pipes alone.

Happy plumbing!