Down the Drain: 3 Common Causes of Plumbing Emergencies

If a drainage pipe becomes clogged or if your toilet becomes blocked, this can cause a real mess in your home and could lead to you having to call out an emergency plumber. Even though an emergency plumber will be able to fix the problem, you could still be left with costly repairs. For this reason, it is best if you can understand the potential causes of plumbing emergencies so that you can prevent them from occurring:

Cooking Oil

While draining a pan of oil before it cools can be a useful way of cleaning up, you should be very careful about where you place the oil. If you pour the oil down your kitchen sink, you could be creating a plumbing emergency for yourself. When the pipe rapidly cools the hot liquid hot, it will solidify and form a gooey substance. This material will collect other food debris which enters the drain and eventually create a blockage. Instead, you should pour any excess cooking oil into a sealable container and dispose of it in your household waste. If your kitchen sink becomes blocked, you should call in an emergency plumber.

Wet Wipes

Increasing numbers of people are deciding to use wet wipes to clean themselves off after using the toilet. While wet wipes might feel great, they may not be so good for your toilet. Standard toilet tissue is designed to break down soon after coming into contact with water. However, a wet wipe isn't designed to do this. If you flush enough wet wipes down the toilet, they can become stuck in the drainage pipe, creating a blockage. When the waste pipe from your toilet becomes blocked, this could result in sewerage backing up and flooding your home. Unless they are the specially designed 'flushable' wet wipes, you should avoid flushing wet wipes down the toilet. If wet wipes have blocked your toilet, you should contact an emergency plumber who will be able to clear the blockage.


The average person has around 100,000 hairs on their head and will lose approximately 100 - 125 hairs every single day. These hairs have to end up somewhere. Unfortunately, hair which has fallen out often ends up entering the plumbing system via the sink, shower or the toilet. Human hair is extremely strong which means it isn't easily broken down. Once hair enters the plumbing system, it can easily become caught on sludge and debris already in a pipe. Over time, a lot of air can collect, and this will eventually lead to the pipe becoming completely blocked. To prevent this from happening you should place covers over the drains on your sinks and showers, and avoid placing hair into the toilet bowl. If hair has blocked your pipes, an emergency plumber will be able to use powerful chemicals to clear the problem.

Click here for more information on keeping your drainage system in good shape.