Blocked drains and blocked toilets often start as minor issues but can quickly escalate into major plumbing problems. To help stop drain blockages it’s important to understand the most common causes & how you can help prevent them from happening.

Below are 6 of the most common causes of blocked drains and how you can prevent them causing issues in your home.


Hair is one of the main contributors to blocked drains, binding with grease, detergents and other sticky substances to form disgusting, drain filling globs. The best way to stop hair blocking your drains is to ensure all drains have drain guards or filters to catch hair and ensure these are cleared regularly.


The soap I hear you say? Yep. Soap and other detergents when combined with the minerals in water can leave a hard residue known as soap scum. Soap scum not only stains tap & bath fittings, but when combined with hair or food scraps, is a common cause of blocked drains.

Food scraps should never go down the drain, even if you have a garbage disposal unit installed. Tea leaves and coffee grounds are particularly bad for drains as they don’t break down. Grease or fat are a definite NO NO for the drain, as both can solidify in the pipes and can cause major blockages. Instead of tipping the grease/oil down the sink, why not absorb it in some paper towel and throw it in your rubbish bin.


Small objects often find their way down a sink or drain hole & can cause significant issues. Adding a sink strainer or updating your pug & waste to include a waste basket or filter is a cost effective way to keep small objects & food from your pipes. However, if any foreign matter has gotten into your pipes and is causing issues, you’ll likely need professional help to remove it and ensure your plumbing returns to normal.


Flushing large amounts of toilet paper can clog your pipes and stop your toilets from flushing properly. If water can still run through your toilet when flushed, it is best to try a toilet plunger to see if you can shift or dissolve some of the toilet paper. [Tip – It’s best not to use your sink plunger in a toilet… for obvious reasons. 🙂 ]. If your toilet just fills without draining, your best bet is to call a licenced plumber to take care of the blockage for you ASAP. [You definitely don’t want IT hitting the fan]

Small cracks or leaks in your underground pipes are perfect spots for tree roots. These can quickly grow larger, stopping water flow and causing pipe damage. Removing tree roots from blocked pipes can be complex and often require rooter service, pressure jet cleaning, trenchless repair, or even excavation. It’s best to keep an eye on the root structure of your trees and plants and monitor the condition of your drains to prevent an extensive and costly repair.
It may be possible for you to clear a blocked drain yourself, without using chemicals, following guide “4 chemical free ways to unblock your drains”.

If you aren’t 100% sure what is causing your blockages or you are unsuccessful in clearing the blockage, then it is worth considering having your pipes inspected by a plumber with a CCTV drain camera. A drain camera can take the guesswork out of what is causing the problem, allowing you to see in real time exactly what is causing your drain blockage. This small investment can save your thousands in the long run

If your blocked drain or clogged pipes require attention from an experienced & licensed plumber, then contact Designa Plumbing on 0422 251 147 for assistance. Designa Plumbing are your local plumbers in south Adelaide. Utilising the latest technology in CCTV drain cameras and high-powered hydro-jetting Designa Plumbing can efficiently clear your blocked drains and repair your leaking pipes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our team of qualified plumbers are available now to help with all your plumbing & gas fitting needs in south Adelaide.