When we use our toilets, sinks, and showers, we often don't expect to experience any issues. However, at one point or another, you may experience blocked drains. Blocked drains can lead to water not running down the sink, toilets being unable to flush, or waste water backing up into your home.

When you experience blocked drains, it is important to consult a licensed plumber in order to rectify the situation as soon as possible. Blocked drains can paralyze activities within your home such as washing dishes, taking a shower or visiting the bathroom. 

What causes blocked drains?

There are many items within your home that can lead to blockages. Remember that your sewer system is only designed to accept wastewater from toilets, bathrooms and sinks. Other foreign items can lead to your drainage system getting clogged. These items include:

Food items, fats and oils

The kitchen sink is a regular location for blocked drains. This is because people mistakenly dispose of solid food items and oils/fats down the drain. These items solidify and accumulate within drainage pipes, causing the system to get clogged.

Sanitary items

Sanitary items such as towels and tampons also clog up the drainage system due to their relatively larger size. In addition, they don't break down in water like tissues do, leading to blockages.


Chemicals such as paint, solvents and acidic materials are not flushed away by water. They thus end up accumulating and clogging the pipes. Even worse, chemicals can lead to the corrosion of your pipes and cause further, more costly damages.

How plumbers clear blocked drains

When you experience drainage problems, a plumber can identify the cause of the drainage issues and unblock your drains if necessary. Plumbers typically use the following techniques for unblocking drains:

Use of Chemical cleaners

When your pipes are blocked from the interior, the debris may need to be dissolved and washed away from the blocked area. Plumbers can introduce chemical drainage cleaners into your pipes so as to dissolve the debris. In addition, licensed plumbers are aware of the right mixtures of chemicals to use in order to properly consume the blocking materials.

Use of a power auger

Plumbers also use power augers to physically remove blockages from drains. This electrical device provides physical force within the pipe to upset debris that has settled within the drainage system. Breaking up the debris can allow it to be washed away in smaller chunks.

Physically accessing the pipes

A plumber may need to physically access the blocked pipe in order to remove the debris that has accumulated. This is often the case with blocked drains that occur deep within the drainage system.