How To Know If A Drain Is Blocked And What To Do If It Is

Having a blocked drain is a common household problem that many Australians experience every day. While some blockages are easy to fix without the use of a professional, don't be alarmed at the thought of calling one in if you simply cannot fix the problem yourself. Plumbers are very experienced in all things related to blocked drains, from simple solutions like a plunger to complex removal and replacement of different lengths of pipe. While it can be a cost you had not budgeted for, living with a blocked drain is simply not sustainable, and the problem will only get worse if not fixed immediately.

Identifying A Blocked Drain

First of all you have to figure out if you do indeed have a blocked drain or if it is something else. The biggest sign of a blocked drain will be the water in your sink or shower simply not draining at all, or draining very, very slowly. Sometimes you will hear a blocked drain before you will see it, as the water that does go through will make weird noises that you do not recognise. A blocked drain should also be localised to one room; it is very rare for a single drain blockage to affect the kitchen and bathroom, as those are two completely different set of pipes. If you are seeing a blockage across your bathrooms and sinks, then it is unlikely to be a blockage problem you can fix and you should call a plumber, like those at P1 Plumbing & Electrical, immediately.

Simple Fixes

The shower drain is usually the easiest to unblock, as it normally has a wider entrance that you can fit your arm into after you remove the grate or covering. After you remove the grate, you should get an elbow-length glove (a plastic bag can work as well) and slowly lower your hand into the drain, feeling for any objects blocking the path. The water can be rancid by this point, which is why it is important to wear gloves. Common objects that block shower drains, namely hair and other bits of body waste, can be a harbor bacteria. If you can feel the blockage without stretching too far or getting stuck, then try dislodge it and pull it up before disposing of it. You should then ensure there are no little bits that are left behind before rinsing the area off, getting rid of any grey water that may have been displaced when you put your hand down the drain. For sinks, it is much harder to fix given the smaller area to try and enter. If you cannot see the blockage, you can try and use some chemical drain cleaner, but this can make the problem worse if it does not work, so be careful. A plunger is also a good solution, but this often will not work on bigger objects. If you have a garbage disposal unit attached to your sink, do not try and fix the blocked drain by yourself; call a plumber. 


If you have tried all the simple fixes but are finding no luck, then there really is no other option but to call in a plumber to have a look at your blockage. The simple truth is that there are a myriad of different things that could be blocking your drain, and if it is not the most obvious ones, then you have no chance of fixing it by yourself. Plumbers will be able to identify where the problem is and what needs to be done to fix it very quickly, which will help you know the cost and the total time to then fix the blockage. If the solution is an easy one, they will be able to do it the same day, and the cost will be cheaper. In the event they find a major problem, it is still better to know sooner rather than later and they will help evaluate your options. Whatever the case, a plumber is often the only solution to a blocked drain.