5 Reasons Your Pipes Get Blocked

13/05/19

5 reasons your pipes get blocked

Natural debris is an extremely common cause of pipe and drain blockages in Queensland, roots, in particular, are an extremely common culprit of blockages due to the high abundance of water seeking native plants like figs, bottlebrushes and paperbarks that are used to decorate residential and recreation areas.


Water seeking trees have what is commonly known as invasive root systems which means that they actively grow in search of water. These roots often find themselves in plumbing and sewage systems in their search for water; however, when they find water, they swell and grow in order to absorb it more water and in the process block the pipe. Root systems blockages aren’t something that can be cleared using a DIY job, they require specialty tools to break apart and a professional to examine the pipes afterwards to ensure that they aren’t damaged.


Other common natural causes of pipe blockages include leaves, dirt, silt, sticks and even rocks.

5.    Roots and natural debris

From soaps to lotions, even toilet paper, the products that we use can affect our plumbing systems. Traditional soap bars, for example, are commonly made using grease or fat, while this doesn’t change the cleaning ability when the fat in the soap joins with minerals in the water it leaves a hard residue on the pipes commonly known as soap scum.


Over time layers of soap scum can build up blocking the pipe and stopping water from getting through. When it comes to choosing your personal hygiene products and toiletries, use a soap-free alternative when possible and use other products sparingly.

4.    Product Build-up

3.    Grease Build-up 

Just like if you don’t brush your hair for a while knots will form, loose hairs in pipelines can cause serious blockages. While individual hairs may seem too fine and delicate to create a clog, when they combine with the other by-products such as oils and grease, formidable blockages can form. To prevent hairball blockage ensure that there is a drain guard or catcher in place and make sure it is emptied regularly. Removing a pile of hair from the guard may seem gross now, but it is far better than the alternative blocked drain.

This is probably the main cause of pipe blockages that we find in both residential and industrial drains. When people finish cooking they frequently pour the residual hot oils and grease down the drain. While this may seem harmless in the short term when the oils cool they solidify and form the equivalent of cement that is a challenge to remove.


Most forms of drain clearing such as drain snakes aren’t effective on these kinds of clogs as the build ups separate when the snake runs through, and reforms immediately after it is removed. Because of this, a professional is needed to break up the blockage using alternative methods of clearing such as jet rodding.

2.    Hair  

Pipe blocked by root

1.    Foreign Objects

From kids toys to underwear and even shower curtains we have pulled a multitude of random items out of blocked pipes. Items are accidentally (or purposely) flushed down the drains and get stuck in them due to an incompatible size or shape. To clear these blockages you might be able to flush them out using water or drain snakes, but if that doesn’t get the job done, you may need the help of the professionals to clear it entirely.


Pipe blockages are one of the most common call-outs we receive all year round. From a toilet that is clogged up and flooding over, to a foul smell that just won’t go away, blocked pipes can cause huge amounts of inconvenience and damage in a short period. This is why it is so important to act on getting them unblocked quickly as well as take steps to reduce potential causes of blockages before they occur.


There are 5 main blockage causes that we regularly encounter, foreign objects, hair, grease, product build-up, and natural blockages.

The team at WJS Plumbing Services are Brisbane based plumbers specialising in drain and pipe care. From our home in Caboolture, we deal with plumbing jobs and emergencies across Brisbane, North Lakes, Strathpine, Redcliffe, Aspley, Nundah and the Sunshine Coast.


With a 24/7 emergency response service, we can get your plumbing emergency solved quickly and with little fuss. Whether you discover you drains are blocked in the middle of the day or the middle of the night we can have a qualified plumber on site fast.


No matter your blocked pipe issue, contact the team at WJS Plumbing Services, we can solve your plumbing problems.

About WJS Plumbing Services

If you need a plumber, we’re the guys to call.  Alternatively, send us an enquiry here and we’ll get back to you.

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