Blocked Drains: What You Need to Know

Blocked drain issues may appear trivial at first, but they can escalate and result in problems like flooding, delayed water drainage, corrosion, and subsidence if left unattended. Moreover, if your house is connected to the external drainage system, water collection in the pipe can quickly spread to surrounding floors, causing seepage and structural damage.
The situation can worsen in harsh weather conditions like strong winds, and heavy rainfall as standing water in outside drain poses a threat to your family’s health, exposing you to several bacterial-prone infections. So it’s crucial that blocked drain problems are solved at the right time to prevent the issue from escalating.
When it comes to complex drain blockages, DIY solutions don’t always work. Though you might be tempted to remove the drain blockage yourself, issues like waste build-up, tree roots, and broken pipes necessitate professional assistance.

However, there are certain tips that will help you avoid major blockages in your drains and keep them clean.

Let’s walk through them-

Soap remnants

One of the most common causes of drain blockage is soap. While liquid soap can easily pass on through the drains, solid soap can lead to serious drainage problems. Furthermore, soap bars are formed of fat and grease, which react with water minerals, leaving scum in the drain.

Tip: Using a mesh wire guard for your bathroom’s plug holes is one approach to prevent the collection of such waste. This keeps the fat from collecting in the pipeline and keeps it intact.


Hair is the most common cause of shower clogs. Hair build-up combined with shampoos and conditioners can produce a slurry at the drain’s bottom, thus clogging it.

Tip: One way to avoid hair blockages is when you wash your hair, don’t force it down the drain. Instead, place the strands in the trashcan after collecting them. Alternatively, you can also add a shower hair filter to the floor grate.

Oils and Fats

When used for cooking, oils and fats take on a liquidized form. Due to this, people often assume that they can be poured down the sink. On the other hand, Oil and fats do not flow along the pipe as water does; instead, they settle in the pipes. As they cool down, they will solidify into a solid mass and result in drain clogs.

Tip: The best way to prevent such clogs is to avoid disposing of oils and fats in the sink or toilet, place them in a proper container, and dispose of them with the rest of your garbage.


Just because the paint is a liquid when it’s applied, this doesn’t mean it can be disposed of down drains or toilets. Though you might think it is an effective way to dispose of unused paint, it can cause a whole lot of problems. As the paint is thicker than water, it won’t flow through the drainage system effectively. Over time the paint will remain stuck in the pipes, thus leading to drain clogs.
Tip: It’s better not to flush out paint remnants down the drains and instead directly dispose of them along with garbage.

How To Unblock A Drain Pipe Outside?

As you can see, certain internal factors lead to drain blockages that you can avoid; external elements like heavy rains, snowfall, wind, and flooding need proper treatment.
Fortunately, there are plenty of methods to get rid of drain blockage.

Solution 1: The plunger approach

Tools required

  1. Plunger
  2. Damp cloth wipe

If the waste pipe is blocked, fill up the space and position the plunger’s cup on the drain hole. To keep the pressure up, stuff the damp towel into the water overflow. Then forcefully pump up and down for a few minutes to see if the water level has dropped. It’s possible that you’ll have to repeat the technique several times to see positive outcomes.

Solution 2: The natural treatment

 Materials required

  1. One cup baking soda
  2. Half cup vinegar 
  3. Protective gloves
  4. Safety goggles

Start the process by pouring a cup full of baking soda into the blocked drain, followed by half cup of vinegar. After this, cover the drain entirely and let the concentrate sit for 30 minutes or so. Next, boil water and pour hot water down the drain for at least 2-3 mins. Check if the blockage got cleared; if not, follow the process a few times for optimum clearance. 

Note– If the blockage occurs in a PVC pipe, refrain from pouring hot water because the heat can loosen up the fixtures.

Solution 3: Other easy tricks

While these might not give you results every time, these easy tricks can do wonders too. 

  1. Borax- Take 2 cups of boiling water and add half a cup of borax; pour this concentrate in the blocked drain. Let the mixture work for 15-20 minutes, then run the water to clear any remaining debris. 
  2. Alka Seltzer- Take four pills, drop them into the drain, and add a cup full of white vinegar. Let the concoction stay for 10-15 minutes, and then flush it with boiling water. This also helps to remove the foul smell of the drains. 

Get Expert Assistance!

Outside drainage concerns are typically more complicated than a clogged sink. While you can use DIY measures for minor drainage issues, they aren’t always effective when there is a major blockage. If these don’t work, we advise you to stay away from more harsh methods. You risk causing damage to your external drainage system and worsening the situation.

A trusted drainage contractor like FS Drainage can be an excellent external drain unblocker and resolve your drainage problems. We work with 2 hour response time and will be there with you in case of emergencies as well.

Reach out to our FS Drainage engineers now by calling on 0800 689 3497 or email us at