Blocked drains: What can’t go down, must come up

Wherever there are taps in your home, there is also a complex system of drains and pipes to direct all the water into the depths of your sewer system. It might not be pretty, but it works. Well… that is, until it doesn’t.

If you notice water starting to rise in your kitchen sink, toilet, basin or shower, then you’ve got yourself a blocked pipe somewhere. And quite likely the beginnings of a pretty epic headache.

Blocked basins and clogged toilets: Diagnosis, cure and prevention

Where the blockage is close to a fixture, a blocked toilet, clogged sink, or even a flooding shower is relatively easy to fix. You can even try some easy DIY solutions:

Unclog a blocked toilet

  • Early warning signs: changes in the ‘flush’ – you might notice that the water level in your toilet rises a little before draining away. This will get worse over time
  • The cure: Using a funnel cup plunger, make sure you get a good seal around the draining hole. Gently plunge the air out of the plunger and then plunge vigorously up and down for around 15-20 pumps. At this stage you could try flushing the toilet to see if the blocked pipe has cleared
    Pro tip: try soaking the plunger in hot water first to make it more flexible and pour some hot soapy water into the toilet before you begin – it can help break up the blockage.
  • Prevention: Don’t flush anything down a toilet other than waste and toilet paper. Even so-called ‘flushable’ wipes have been known to cause major issues. If you’ve got a pint-sized ‘flusher’ in the family, you may want to keep the toilet door closed – toys are one of the main culprits for blocked toilets

Clear a
blocked shower, sink or basin

  • Early warning signs: fixtures are slow to drain, emitting a bad smell or making gurgling sounds
  • The cure: Try this safe, chemical-free solution – pour one cup of baking soda, followed by ½ cup of vinegar down your blocked sink or shower. Put a plug in the sink and let it sit for half an hour. You can try repeating a few times. If this fails, a plunger may also come in handy
  • Prevention: Don’t pour oil or grease down your kitchen sink and use a sink strainer to stop bits of food going down the drain. Also, remove hair from the shower or basin before it goes down the plughole

If these easy fixes don’t do the trick, then you’ll need to call your local plumber. It could be that your blockage is further down the system.

How to know when a blocked drain is likely something more serious

If you are noticing multiple blocked fixtures (eg your shower, toilet and basin are all backed up) then it’s probably not a coincidence. The blockage is likely somewhere deeper in your sewer line.

This is a ‘call in the experts’ type scenario. Sewage pipe work can only be carried out by a licensed plumber in Australia, so you’re safest to play by the book and leave it to the professionals.

Your local plumber: the blocked drain specialists

No matter where the blocked pipe or clogged drain is on your property, we’ve got the right tools and expertise to put an end to all your draining dramas.

First, we do some detective work. We’ll give you a proper diagnosis, lay out the scope of the work and let you know how much it’s going to cost to sort it out.

There are a few methods we can use to fix a blocked drain or pipe – they all come down to clearing out an obstruction or a repair to damaged sewer line. These might include:

  • Using pressurised water jets to blast out any tree roots, debris, grease or build up from the blocked pipe or drain
  • Installing new pipe lining – this mess-free method allows us to seal off leaks with a sleeve – no digging required
  • Using pipe bursting hydraulics, we can open up crushed and misshapen pipes, allowing us to replace the damaged sections

Stormwater Drains
Many people don’t know much about looking after their stormwater drains – the system that takes rain and surface water (along with any debris) away from your property. Unfortunately, something as simple as forgetting to regularly clear your gutters can result in a blocked stormwater drain. This, in turn, can cause flooding, leaks, and structural damage to your home or premises.

If you’re concerned that you might have a blocked stormwater drain, or you need advice on creating a stormwater plan for your new build, your local plumber has the answers you need.


For blocked drains, clogged toilets, backed-up basins, a flooding shower, a congested pipe or a stopped-up stormwater system, contact Franklin Plumbing today. Because we service all locations from Geelong, Torquay, Anglesea and Jan Juc, through to Aireys inlet, Fairhaven and Lorne, no matter where you are on the Surf Coast, you can be sure that a Franklin plumber is never far away.

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