Blocked Drains

Blocked Drains

Blocked drains are a common plumbing problem that can cause inconvenience and health hazards. There are many possible causes of blocked drains, such as hair, soap scum and grease, food waste, clogged pipes, tree roots, wet wipes and cotton swabs, mineral build-up and broken pipes. Each cause has its own solution, ranging from simple DIY methods to professional interventions. Some of the solutions include using a plunger, pouring boiling water or baking soda down the drain, using a plumbing snake or a drain auger, applying chemical drain cleaners or enzymes, installing a water softener or a filter system and repairing or replacing damaged pipes. Blocked drains can be prevented by proper disposal of waste materials, regular cleaning of drain pipes, avoiding planting trees near sewer lines and inspecting the plumbing system for signs of wear and tear.

It is essential to take action and promptly address blocked drains, or else they can cause serious harm. Not only can they lead to water pollution, flooding, sewer backups, foul odors, and pest infestations, but they can also trigger costly repairs and devastate the quality of life for people in the area. Furthermore, contact with electrical wires or appliances carries a risk of electrocution and injury. If a blockage is severe or recurrent, it is best to get help from professionals.

What are common causes of blocked drains?

Hair, Soap & Other Scum

Be very careful what you allow to go down your drains. Most people think a few hairs going down the drain every few days is not a problem. But it will continue to coagulate and eventually start clogging the entire pipe.

Foreign Objects

Objects like toys, jewelry, utensils, and feminine hygiene products are the #1 culprits.

Debris Build-Up

Debris like dirt, leaves and other environmental factors can start blocking normal water pathways in your gutters, downpipes or storm water drains.

Never pour cooking waste material down your sink or flush it down your toilet. This waste material may not always drain or flush properly. If this happens, the problem will slowly get worse until your drains start draining at all. Even worse, it can eventually lead to flooding.

Improper Waste Disposal

  • Sinks: make sure only water goes down the drain. Don’t let food get through the drain screen into the piping system.
  • Toilets: if it isn’t bodily waste, then it shouldn’t be flushed.

Everything else should be disposed of in the trash can.

Ground Movements

Over time, the ground shifts due to environmental factors like storms, earthquakes and more. Because of this shifting, pipes can begin to shift with the dirt around it, especially if it’s tightly compacted in the ground.

Misaligned or Cracked Pipes

Are you sure your current plumbing system was installed correctly? If your plumbing pipes were installed incorrectly, eventually this can cause a cascading effect on the movement of fluids.

Rodent Infestations

Yes, rodents! Things like rodent excrement, or even skeletons have been known to cause blocked drains. This is why it’s important to maintain your plumbing system: you just never know what little problem can cause a catastrophe!


Pipe corrosion is very common when they’re exposed to paint and other chemicals being poured into your drains. Remember: if it isn’t water then think twice before allowing it to go down the drain.

How do I know if my drain is blocked (symptoms)?


If you can hear gurgling sounds when water is draining, using the washing machine, or after flushing the toilet, then this indicates a problem is already starting.

Nasty Smell

If you can smell strange & foul odors coming from your drains, this means the drainage system is not draining efficiently, and needs to be properly cleaned to prevent further build-up.

Standing Water & Sewage Backup

If you can see standing water around the exterior of your property, such as your yard, then this means the problem is already severe. Do not hesitate to get this fixed immediately.


Flooding in basements or low-lying areas are usually the first areas in a residential or commercial building to begin showing signs of blocked drain systems.

Toilet Sign

Flooding in basements or low-lying areas are usually the first areas in a residential or commercial building to begin showing signs of blocked drain systems.

Slow Draining

Your sink, bath or shower drain is slow to empty water, or not draining at all.

Decrease in Water Pressure

Over time, water pressure will decrease if debris begins clogging the drain.

How can I prevent future drains being blocked?

Use Drain Covers, Strainers, or Screens

These will catch hair and debris.

Avoid Flushing Non-Biodegradable Items

Especially avoid flushing feminine hygiene products down the toilet. For bonus points, dispose of all your toilet paper into a trash bag and not flush it down the toilet.

Use Baking Soda & Vinegar

Warning: These two items will help to clean and deodorize your drains. However, this will cause a reaction with the metal used in the pipe itself. Over time, this may lead to pipe corrosion. So while baking soda and vinegar can be a quick fix, it should never be used unless it is an emergency and you need to get the drain unblocked immediately.

Professional Regular Maintenance Services

Schedule regular plumbing inspections to identify and address any potential blockage issues. Royal Flush Plumbers Adelaide can help you schedule a regular maintenance service!

Avoid Pouring Grease or Oil Down the Drain

There is a reason this is on this page multiple times: it is that important. Grease and oil are some of the most common things you can avoid pouring down the drain that will really help prevent a massive problem from happening in your drain systems. Instead of pouring these substances down the drain, they can be safely disposed of outside. Make sure it’s not within reach of any animals.

What are common causes of blocked drains?

Drain Snake

If you don’t have a drain snake, then we suggest buying one for future use.


This can be a temporary fix, although not a long-term solution.

Home Chemical Cleaners

Warning: using home chemicals to clear a blockage can damage pipes and create toxic fumes.

Hot Water

Using hot water to try and clear a blockage can sometimes be effective. Hot water can melt common blockages like grease or soap scum.

What happens if I ignore my drain blockage?

Health Hazards & Risks

If a blockage is allowed to get worse, then exposure to sewage and standing water can be a serious health issue.

Property Damage

If a blocked drain goes unchecked, eventually flooding, water damage, and an increased risk of pipe damage can lead to costly repairs.

Bad Smelling Odors

As more things go down your blocked drain, it will continue creating more bad smells that come from mold and other nasty things that will continue spawning.

What are professional ways a drain can be unblocked?

CCTV Cameras

When we inspect your drain, we use a CCTV drain camera to help us see exactly what is going on. Not only does this allow us to accurately diagnose the issue, it also shows us any other deficiencies in the pipe that we need to address to stop the problem from happening again.

High-Powered Hydro Jetting

One of our top solutions is a hydro jet drain cleaning. The hydro-jet can rip an obstruction apart with its high-pressure water jets.


A pipe needs to be sealed if tree roots have gotten inside of it. If that’s the case, the use of drain relining is recommended.

Note: A blockage may not always be immediately visible, and can sometimes be hidden in the pipes underground. Fortunately for us, it is easy to locate the exact location of the blockage using specialized equipment.

Professional Chemical Cleaning

If necessary, we have industrial-grade chemical cleaners that are safe and can quickly break down blockages.

Electric Drain Machines

These high-powered machines are another handy tool.

Excavation Equipment

In uncommon situations, if the blockage is located in the ground then we can easily use excavation equipment to dig up dirt or concrete to locate the source of the blockage and get quicker access.

What happens if I ignore my drain blockage?

Frequent clogs and drain backups
Inability to use certain plumbing systems/appliances
Finding and accessing the blockage source
Daily routine disruption and inconvenience


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Luis M., Alberton
Promina Inc
I’d just like to send a little thank you note. After months of a variety of plumbing problems, you saved my pipes. After the team you sent was done with their work, sure enough, my drains were draining perfectly. I’m very grateful and I’ll certainly be recommending your plumbing services to my friends!
Helen A., Highbury
Promina Inc
Here’s my honest feedback; Royal Flush Plumbing has saved me thousands of dollars in repair costs in my business. Water from the sink and toilets is no longer leaking and is holding up well.

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Promina Inc
Very honest and professional service at a great price. Matt and the team were called to fix another plumbers dodgy (& expensive) job and completed on time with minimal fuss. Would definitely go directly to Matt first and would recommend others to do too – you wont be disappointed!
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Promina Inc
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Promina Inc
I have used Royal Flush plumbing on three separate occasions at various premises. They have been professional, responsive and thorough on each occasion and leave the jobsite tidy and clean. I would highly recommend Matt and his team. Well done guys.
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Promina Inc
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Promina Inc
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Dillon Chang
Promina Inc
I had issues with my toilet drain blocking up at my place of business, Royal Flush came out and saved the day on a Sunday morning before an event I had planned Later on in the evening. I had a chat to Matt about renovating the toilet and adding on an additional toilet and a new shower/bathroom and to my amazement he made this happen and I couldn’t be happier. Royal Flush, nit only provided the plumbing removal and install of this little project….
Phuc Nguyen
Promina Inc


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Every single one of Royal Flush plumbing licensed plumbers are skilled with a variety of services, ranging from emergency hot water repairs and blocked drains, to leak detection and gas heater services. Additionally, they will arrive fully outfitted with the most cutting-edge equipment to guarantee that the service is done properly and swiftly.

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