How to Deal with Blocked Drains

An un blocked drain with water flowing into it

Blocked drains are a genuine nuisance. They’re messy, annoying, inconvenient and usually problematic. But they can never be ignored.

You have to deal with it.

Now, it’s one thing to bring out the plunger or pour chemicals down the drain. Maybe it’ll work. But it’s an entirely different ball game to thoroughly remove the clog. Unblocking a drain is just one of those jobs that has to be done right.

But what is the right way? And really, what is the best solution? Well, before answering that, first it’s necessary to know what the signs of a blocked drain are.

How Do I Know If I Have A Blocked Drain?

Firstly, for a touch of clarification, your home has two drainage systems, stormwater and sewerage. Anything that goes down a drain inside the home ends up in the sewer system, and eventually at a treatment plant. Stormwater, meanwhile, isn’t treated and flows back into local outlets.

Now, back to blocked drains. Here’s what you need to look out for.

Bad Smells

When you’re washing the dishes and get a whiff of something funky, it could be food in the drain. You should never wash leftovers down a drain, no matter what! Food scraps, oil and grease can all get stuck. And that means you’re stuck with rotting food where it shouldn’t be.

Slow Draining Water

Once you start noticing water draining away slowly you can certainly blame a blockage. It could be something solid like food scraps or hair, or just a build up of grease and soap. Either way, it’ll only get worse.

Blocked Toilet

Your toilet is a major villain when it comes to clogged drains. Think of it like the Joker. No matter how many times Batman wins, the Joker keeps coming back. And with the sheer amount of material that’s flushed down a toilet, a blockage will rarely be a one-off. Especially when it’s not cleared up properly first time around.

Noisy Pipes and Drains

Gurgling sounds are both good and bad. On the plus side, it means the blockage is moving and the air is being forced to move around in the water. What’s the negative? Well, you have a blockage. Even if that mass is moving, there’s a good chance the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t big enough for it to escape through, either.


Once your drains start flooding, it’s bad. Water has absolutely no way through the blockage and your drains are the only exit point on offer. Bad news for your flooring and foundations.

So, What’s the Solution to Blocked Pipes?

There are a few ways you can clear out your blocked drains. Some are kind of easy, but are they effective? That’s the question. When it’s a softer blockage like toilet paper, simply pouring boiling water down the drain can help. The heat breaks up the paper. You could even follow it up with a cup of bicarb and vinegar!

But what if the blockage is stubborn? Bicarb and vinegar won’t break up tree roots. In that case, the big guns are needed.

Electric Drain Cleaning

Maybe you know it as an electric eel or electric drain snake, but there’s nothing shocking about this tool. It’s actually a flexible cable with a cutting tool at the tip. The tool chops up challenging obstacles like hair, garden matter and toilet paper. It can get into all the hard to reach places your plunger only dreams of.

Sometimes, though, it can’t get the job done. That’s why the electric eel has fallen out of favour for…

Hydro Jet Drain Cleaning

Hold up. Just go back and read hydro jet drain cleaning a second time, and as you do imagine the sound of trumpets and cheering. That’s how good it is for blocked drains! The hydro jet uses streams of highly pressurised water to shred roots and clogs. The water comes out of a specialised nozzle called a root rat. And rest assured, this is one rodent you do want in your pipes. Spearing out at all angles, nothing can withstand the pressure of the hydro jet.

Congratulations! No More Blocked Drains. Is That All?

A clear drain isn’t always the end of the story. A CCTV drain camera will be sent down to inspect any lasting issues. Hopefully, there are none. Hopefully, the pipes are not damaged. Any damage means pipe relining or drainage excavation.

Pipe relining is a non-invasive repair job. A special resin-coated tube is fed down, inflated, and set in place thanks to the resin sticking to the existing pipe. Then the tube is deflated, and a strong, new lining remains!

In a last case scenario drainage excavation has to occur. Just imagine a crowd going oooh here. It’s not bad, but it can be quite invasive. Basically, heavy machinery has to dig up trenches surrounding the pipes, so they can be replaced. But this only happens when pipe relining cannot be completed because the pipes are too far gone, or the blockage is unbreakable.

Who Do I Call For Blocked Drain Help?

If you’re faced with blocked drains you want the best in the business. You want Upside Down! Our plumbers know how to face any challenge. They’re always armed with the latest equipment and knowledge for your benefit. To find out more, check out our blocked drains page, or any other page on the website! You can also reach us directly over the phone, or by clicking on Book Now.

Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.

Last Edited on: 15th July 2020