In the pipeline - Information Blog #37 - Sewer Drain Blockages

August 18 2015

If the water in your bath, sink or toilet isn’t draining away properly it’s likely to be the result of a blocked drain. Whether you live in Caulfield, St Kilda or South Yarra the solution to the drainage problem will be the same. 

How to unblock a drain


It may seem obvious, but don’t empty any more water into the drain! This will only make the problem worse and more difficult to resolve.

Safety first

Before tackling the blockage, make sure you stay safe by wearing full protective clothing (this includes gloves, goggles and overalls). Always remember to remove and wash your protective clothing after you’ve finished work.

How to unblock a drain

Before you begin, make sure you have a set of drain rods; drain rods can be hired or purchased at most DIY stores. Once you’ve put on your protective clothing, follow the steps below:

Remove the cover 

Lift the inspection cover on the drain. If the cover is rusted shut, use a screwdriver to scrape away the rust and then prise the cover off. If your drain cover has a handle, tie some string or wire to it, then pull the cover open.

Clear the obstruction 

Use a rod with a plunger attachment to dislodge the blockage – this can take several minutes of twisting and turning. Alternatively, try using a standard kitchen mop handle although this is unlikely to be as flexible as a purpose-made drain rod.

Flush with water 

Once you’ve dislodged the blockage, flush the drain thoroughly with water to remove any remaining debris.

Preventing future blockages: Monitor your drains 

If you inspect your drains regularly, you should be able to catch the start of any minor blockages before they get worse.

Dispose of waste correctly 

Remember to dispose of rubbish in the correct manner. Never flush away items such as face wipes, nappies or cotton wool, as these are likely to block your drains.

Keep your drains clear of plants 

If possible, try to keep drains clear of flowers and plants. If your garden’s particularly leafy, try fitting drain guards to help prevent plant matter from falling in and causing blockages.

Rinse before loading your dishwasher 

Always rinse plates and cutlery before loading your dishwasher. Any excess food will end up in your drains and could build up to cause a blockage.

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