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Drainage Problems: Common Causes


Blocked drains, blocked pipes, blocked toilets and leaks are a common problem that at some point in our lives we all have to deal with. This is why JWC Plumbing & Heating have put together this blog post to outline a typical household drainage system and how you could possibly avoid or fix common drainage problems.

What is Plumbing?

Simply put plumbing is controlling and containing the flow of the water supply around your home. Water to your home enters through a mains supply line and is then distributed to fixtures such as taps, toilets, showers through the pipes running throughout your property.

What is Drainage?

Once you have used water in your property it travels through the pipes in your to a sewage system, this is known as drainage.

Drainage systems are not powered by water pressure therefore rely on gravity to work. This is why it is important for the drainage pipes carrying water away to be angled to allow water to constantly flow through to the sewer.

As you can imagine smaller the angle of a pipe the slower the water travels through. Horizontal sections of pipe cause most drainage problems as they carry water away slower than the vertical pipes, due to this a gradual build up of grease and soap residue build up in the horizontal pipes which can eventually cause water to drain slower and even lead to a complete blockage.


U-Bends, sometimes known as traps are ‘ U ‘ shaped pipes that force water travelling through the drainage pipes to momentarily travel upwards. This only works when water from a higher pipe pushing it through. When there is no waste water travelling through the drainage system then some water is left in the U-bend this blocks the pipe so that sewer gases are not able come up through the pipes and escape into your property.

Leaking Pipes

As water stays in the pipework sometimes the U-bend sections can cause drainage problems if they start to corrode and leak. The U-bend is always found under the sink for the above reason. In most cases a leak under the sink can be fixed by replacing the U-bend section of the pipe if this isn’t the origin of the leak or you are unsure of how to replace the U-bend then it is best to call out a local emergency plumber to come and fix the leak for you.

Blocked Pipes

Blocked Pipes are usually the result of a build up of grease, food, hair and other waste products building up in pipes. If a plunger doesn’t resolve the drainage problem then you will probably require an emergency plumber to come and fix the issue.

Unblocking and cleaning blocked pipes and drains isn’t always straight forward and will more than likely require a professional plumber as they have specialist knowledge of the pipes and connections so they can take apart and replace anything that’s faulty and make sure everything is watertight again.

If you have any issues with your drainage then feel free to contact us

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