News & Updates

How To Clear A Blocked Drain: Why Professional Drain Maintenance Is Crucial

PBR Plumbing
Published November 6, 2023

Blocked drains are a common headache in both commercial properties and strata residences. These issues can lead to disruptions, inconvenience, and even costly repairs if not addressed promptly and effectively. Understanding the causes of drain blockages, tenant responsibilities, and when it’s necessary to call in a professional commercial plumber like PBR Plumbing is crucial for maintaining smooth operations in your property.

In this month’s blog, we’ll explore the various aspects of dealing with blocked drains in commercial settings and provide valuable insights to help you mitigate this issue.

Common causes of drain blockages

Blocked drains can be caused by a variety of factors, and it’s essential to understand these common culprits to prevent future issues. Among the most prevalent causes are:

  • Foreign Objects: Items like toys, jewellary, sanitary products, and small objects can accidentally find their way into drains and cause blockages.
  • Hair: Can hair block drains? Hair can accumulate in shower and bathroom drains over time, reducing water flow and causing blockages.
  • Food Debris: In kitchen sinks, food particles, grease, and cooking oil can build up and form blockages.
  • Soap Scum: Can soap block drains? Soap residue can combine with other debris and mineral deposits to create clogs in bathroom sinks and shower drains.
  • Mineral Deposits: Over time, minerals in hard water can accumulate and narrow the pipes, leading to blockages.
  • Collapsed or Damaged Pipes: Aging or damaged pipes can collapse or develop cracks, leading to blockages as debris gets caught in these damaged areas.
  • Toilet Paper and Hygiene Products: Excessive use of toilet paper or flushing hygiene products can lead to toilet drain blockages.
  • Buildup of Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG): Can oil block drains? In commercial kitchens, FOG can solidify in pipes and create stubborn blockages.
  • Incorrect Pipe Slope: Poorly installed or improperly sloped pipes can impede the natural flow of water, leading to blockages.
  • Corrosion: Over time, pipes made of certain materials can corrode, creating rough surfaces where debris can accumulate.
  • Coffee Grounds: Can coffee grounds block drains? Many people dispose of coffee grounds down the sink, which can accumulate and form stubborn blockages.

Addressing tree roots in pipes

Tree roots can make their way into the pipes in your plumbing system and cause blockages. This is more common in properties with older clay pipes. Tree roots are attracted to the moisture and nutrients found within pipes, and over time, they can grow into the pipes, causing blockages and potentially damaging the plumbing system. It’s a common issue that property owners with older plumbing infrastructure should be aware of and monitor to prevent costly plumbing problems.

In these cases, we often advise the pipes to be updated to modern materials such as PVC or HDPE (high-density polyethylene). These modern pipe materials are more resistant to root intrusion and offer improved durability, reducing the risk of future blockages caused by tree roots. Upgrading your plumbing system to these materials can provide a long-term solution and peace of mind, ensuring that your property’s plumbing remains free from tree root-related issues.

Addressing tree roots in pipes

Are tenants responsible for blocked drains?

One common question is who is responsible for clearing blocked drains in commercial properties and strata residences. In most cases, it falls on the tenant or resident to take initial action when they encounter a blocked drain. It’s essential to educate tenants, employees and residents about their responsibilities and encourage them to act promptly. Early intervention can prevent minor issues from escalating into major problems.

Preventive measures

To minimise the risk of drain blockages, consider implementing these preventive measures:

  • Install Drain Guards: Place drain guards in sinks and showers to catch hair and debris before they enter the pipes. Drain guards can also be installed in gutters on the roof to prevent downpipe blockages. 
  • Proper Disposal: Educate tenants, employees and residents about the correct disposal of items like coffee grounds, food scraps, and cooking oil.
  • Regular Maintenance: Schedule regular drain cleaning and maintenance to prevent the buildup of blockage-causing materials.
  • Educate Tenants: Provide information to tenants, employees and residents on how to recognise early signs of blockages and what steps they should take.

Preventive measures

Signs and situations requiring professional intervention

While many minor blockages can be cleared with DIY methods, some situations demand the expertise of a professional commercial plumber. Signs and situations that indicate the need for expert intervention include:

  • Recurring Blockages: If blockages keep happening despite tenant interventions, there may be a more significant issue within the plumbing system.
  • Foul Odours: Unpleasant odours emanating from drains could signify a more serious problem.
  • Slow Drainage: Persistent slow drainage in multiple areas could be a sign of a more extensive blockage.

If a drain blockage requires professional intervention it is up to the commercial property manager or strata manager to organise professional plumbing services to properly address the issue.

At PBR Plumbing, we prioritise building strong partnerships with commercial and strata property managers in Perth. We aim to establish ourselves as your trusted and dependable go-to resource for all your plumbing repair and maintenance requirements.

Signs and situations requiring professional intervention

Industries prone to blocked drains

Blocked drains are not exclusive to certain types of properties. They can affect a wide range of commercial industries, including:

  • Restaurants: Kitchen drains can become clogged with grease and food debris.
  • Hotels: Guest rooms and bathrooms can frequently encounter drain issues.
  • Apartment Complexes: Multiple units can strain the drainage system.
  • Office Buildings: Common areas like kitchens and restrooms are susceptible to blockages.

Industries prone to blocked drains

Mitigation strategies and preventive maintenance tips

To keep your commercial property or strata residence free from drain blockages, consider these strategies and tips:

  • Regular Inspections: Conduct routine inspections of drainage systems.
  • Educate and Communicate: Provide guidelines to tenants and residents on drain maintenance.
  • Professional Maintenance: Schedule periodic professional drain cleaning and maintenance by a professional commercial plumber.
  • Proper Disposal: Encourage responsible disposal practices.

PBR Plumbing: your partner in resolving blocked drain issues

When it comes to addressing complex or recurring drain blockages in commercial settings, PBR Plumbing is your trusted partner.

We have extensive expertise in clearing blocked drains in Perth, and our track record speaks for itself. Here are some benefits of choosing us:

  • Expertise: Our team of professional commercial plumbers has the knowledge and experience to tackle even the most challenging drain blockages.
  • Advanced Equipment: We use state-of-the-art CCTV camera equipment to diagnose the root cause of the blockage and resolve drain issues efficiently.
  • Preventive Maintenance: PBR Plumbing offers preventive maintenance plans to keep your drains in top condition, minimising the risk of future blockages.
  • Prompt Service: We understand the importance of timely solutions in commercial properties, and we respond quickly to your plumbing needs.

PBR Plumbing: your partner in resolving blocked drain issues

Contact PBR Plumbing for expert assistance

If you’re dealing with a persistent or complex drain blockage issue in your commercial property or strata residence, don’t hesitate to contact PBR Plumbing. 

Our team of commercial plumbing experts proudly service the hospitality, real estate, strata, retail, warehousing, office and industrial industries. 

If you are experiencing a blocked drain at your commercial property, we arrive ready to assess the situation, provide efficient solutions, and help you maintain a smoothly running plumbing system. Don’t let drain blockages disrupt your operations – reach out to us today for professional assistance.



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