How To Avoid The Most Common Causes Of Blocked Drains

The drains in your house are a bit like the veins in your body. If they begin to get blocked, the problem can escalate very rapidly.

Left untreated, clogged drains can wreak havoc with your house’s plumbing, often causing permanent damage and leaks that are expensive to fix. And leaks themselves can cause even more expensive damage to the structure of your home. We’ve previously discussed how to diagnose a blockage before it’s too late. Now, let’s look at the best ways to combat the most common causes.


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Oil & grease

Many people simply pour leftover oil or grease into their kitchen sink. Because it’s in a liquid state, this habit seems harmless enough. It’ll just flush straight through, right?

Unfortunately, although grease is often a liquid at room temperature, it tends to solidify when it enters the cooler space within your drainage system. The fatty buildup that results begins to latch hold of other waste products, so it’s one of the first steps towards a blocked drain.

Moral of the story? Pour grease into the rubbish bin instead.

Food scraps

Most people dispose of larger food scraps into a rubbish bin. But it’s the smaller, more easily neglected items that often contribute to clogged pipes. Things like leftover rice, coffee grounds, potato peel, and the small bits and pieces that get dropped on the floor should be thrown in the rubbish bin too.


Hair is innocent enough when it’s on our heads, but it’s an absolute menace when it comes to drains. Showers and bathroom sinks are the biggest victims of our love of brushing, combing, and shaving.

Place hair into a bin whenever possible (e.g. after shaving), and try installing a mesh screen over plugholes to prevent the hair from causing a blockage further down the pipes.

Toilet paper

Although in many parts of the world it’s common to put used toilet paper into a nearby bin rather than into the toilet itself, Kiwis tend to be very resistant to this idea. Just be aware that paper doesn’t break down in water as quickly as you might think – and it’s one of the leading causes of blocked drains in this country. To reduce the chance of this happening to you, try to minimise the amount of paper that gets flushed down in one sitting.

If you think you’re suffering from a blocked drain, it’s best not to delay. Otherwise, the problem could get much worse. To get it looked at by a professional, give us a call today and we’ll be happy to offer you a free, no-obligation assessment and quote.

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