How To Prevent Blocked Drains

There is little more annoying than a blocked drain to ruin your day. We rely on our amenities to run like clockwork and it seriously disrupts our routine when we can’t flush the toilet or empty the sink. It’s pretty gross having dirty standing water and even worse if there’s food waste or sewage coming back up through your pipes. Blocked drains can often be avoided by not putting anything down the drain or toilet that you shouldn’t. Plumbers are forever finding things in drains that should not be there, so here’s a reminder of those things that should go in the bin and not down the toilet:


Would you believe that people try to flush nappies away and down the toilet? They are definitely not designed for this as they do not degrade in water. More likely, they will absorb water, making them bigger and blocking the pipe for good.


Hair is one of the top issues blocking shower drains and sinks. Those with long hair tend to lose a lot when showering and it doesn’t take long for the amount to accumulate and block the drain. This can be easily avoided by installing a plug guard or trap that catches the hair before it washes away into the drain.

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Baby and Facial Wipes

Wipes should never be flushed down the toilet as they do not break down in water and can cause bad blockages. They might seem small and harmless but the only place they should go when you’re done with them, is in the bin. If you or someone else in your household has blocked the drain, you’ll need Emergency plumbers Dublin.


Plumbers often find a build-up of oils or fat in u-bends. As both these substances are heavier than water, it will flush and will go down the drain but will get stuck when it hits a bend and solidifies. As it hardens and builds up, it will cause a complete blockage. The best thing to do with old cooking oil is collect it in a sealed container and dispose in the bin.

Feminine Products

From sanitary towels and cotton pads to make-up wipes a cotton buds, whatever personal products are being used, they have no place being flushed in the toilet. They are not designed to be disposed of this way, will cause severe blockages and put plastic into the water system. Keep a bin near the sink specifically for such items and put them in the normal household waste.


This is a major no-no. Many plumbers report finding that someone has tipped paint into a drain hoping to wash it away. Paint is too thick to be flushed through pipes, not to mention full of harmful chemicals. Any leftover paint should be sealed in the tin and taken to the local tip for correct disposal.

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Food waste sits at the number one spot for being the cause of most blocked drains. When scraping leftovers off plates, it’s easy to think the small bits will just go down the drain. However, when you do this over time, the food accumulates in your pipes and can cause complete and smelly blockages. Have a special food bin for leftovers which you can dispose of in the food recycling waste or add to your compost. Alternatively, get a waste disposal unit for your sink. You shouldn’t be letting food bits go down the drain.