Full Flow Plumbing & Drainage

when to call a plumber for a clogged drain

When to Call a Plumber for a Clogged Drain

Experiencing a clogged drain is an inconvenience we all face at some point. It’s important to understand when to call a plumber for a clogged drain and when a DIY solution is appropriate. While some clogs can be easily handled with a household plunger or a DIY drain cleaner, there are instances where these methods are ineffective or could even worsen the situation.

At Full Flow Plumbing and Drainage, we encounter clogged drains almost daily. The three most common signs you need to call a plumber for a clogged drain are:

  • Your drains are repeatedly blocked despite using chemical or DIY drain cleaners or plunging.
  • Water backs up in odd places when you use your sink or toilet.
  • Your toilet is overflowing, or your drains smell like sewage continuously.

Such symptoms often indicate a blockage that poses hygiene risks and could potentially cause extensive damage to your property if not addressed promptly by a professional. Assessing the situation carefully and acting swiftly can save you time and money, ensuring your plumbing system remains in good working order.

Common Causes of Clogged Drains

call a plumber for a clogged toilet

We’ve all faced the inconvenience of a clogged drain at some point. Here are some common causes that lead to blockages in various parts of the household drainage system.

Kitchen Sink

Avoid disposing of oil, grease, and certain food items like rice and pasta that expand with water. These can create a stubborn mass that blocks the sink. If you have a kitchen sink waste disposal, do not overload it with too much waste at once to prevent jams and potential clogs.

Bathroom Drains

The bathroom sink, bathtub, and shower are frequent victims of clogging due to an accumulation of hair, soap scum, and small objects. To maintain clear bathroom drains, regularly remove any build-up of hair and soap from the surfaces and strainers.

In showers and bathtubs, a combination of hair and product residue is often responsible for reduced water flow.

Blocked Toilets

Our toilets are designed to dispose of human waste and toilet paper. However, excessive toilet paper or items not meant for flushing—such as sanitary products, wipes, and cotton swabs—can cause significant blockages.

Remember, even if products are labelled as flushable (like flushable wipes), they may not disintegrate properly and are better placed in the bin to avoid issues with our toilets.

When to Call a Plumber for a Clogged Drain – Signs of Serious Plumbing Issues

Sometimes, signs that suggest a minor blockage might be a symptom of more severe underlying problems. If you’re experiencing any of these signs, please give us a call asap and our expert plumbers will help:

Gurgling Noises and Water Leaks

If you hear gurgling noises from pipes or fixtures, it’s a warning that air is trapped in the plumbing system due to a blockage. This sound may be particularly noticeable after flushing the toilet or using the sink. Ignoring this could lead to further complications, such as water leaks, which could cause significant damage to your home.

  • Common indicators include:
    • Banging or clanking noises
    • Gurgling after water is drained
    • Unexplained moisture around floors or walls

Stinky Drains

If your drains smell bad, that’s usually a result of waste materials clogging drains and failing to move through the system correctly. This health hazard signifies a serious problem with your sewage line that could affect our entire water supply.

  • What to sniff for:
    • Persistent, unpleasant sewage smells
    • Odours emanating from drains or toilets

Benefits of Hiring a Full Flow Plumbing and Drainage to Unclog Your Drain

When we face drainage issues, we must consider the array of tools and expertise that professional plumbers bring to the job. These benefits can save us time, prevent damage, and ensure our plumbing issues are completely resolved.

Use of Drain Snakes and Cameras


  • Precision: We use specialised equipment like drain snakes to navigate your pipes, locating and dislodging clogs out of reach.
  • Clarity: With camera inspections, we can visually inspect the state of your pipes, identifying the root cause of a blockage without invasive methods.

Excavation for Major Blockages


  1. Determine necessity through camera inspection
  2. Mark the affected area and plan the excavation
  3. Excavate with minimal disruption to the property
  4. Repair or replace the damaged section of the pipe

When Required:

  • Major blockages that cannot be resolved with drain snakes
  • Issues located in sections of pipe that are collapsed or severely damaged

By using our expertise, we can determine if excavation is required, performing it efficiently and effectively. This ensures that major issues are addressed, preventing potential future complications.

Maintenance Tips to Prevent Clogged Drains

In our homes, we often encounter clogged drains, leading to larger plumbing issues if not addressed. We can avoid these nuisances by following a few maintenance tips.

In the Kitchen:

  • Be mindful of the garbage disposal: Only dispose of biodegradable food items that won’t harm the blades or create blockages.
  • Use strainers: These handy devices catch large food particles, preventing them from clogging kitchen sinks.
  • Regularly run hot water: After washing up, flush your sink with hot water to dissolve and dislodge grease and soap residue, or pour boiling water down your drains.

In the Bathroom:

  • Install drain guards: These prevent hair and soap scum from blocking the bathroom drain.
  • Reduce soap buildup: Soap bars can re-solidify in drains, leading to sticky clumps. Opt for liquid soaps that are less likely to solidify in pipes.

General Tips:

  • Do not flush heavy paper products: Items other than toilet paper may not disintegrate, leading to a clogged toilet.
  • Flush drains with a mixture of vinegar and baking soda: This simple, non-corrosive solution can help maintain clean drains without harsh chemicals.
  • Check for slow draining: This can be an early sign of a blockage, and attending to it can prevent a full-scale clog.

Frequently Asked Questions

plunging a clogged kitchen drain
Is a blocked drain an emergency?

It can be an emergency if the blockage is severe and causes water to back up, potentially leading to water damage or hygiene issues. If you notice signs like water not draining or foul odours, it’s best to call us straight away.

How long does it take to unclog a drain?

The time to unclog a drain varies depending on the severity and location of the blockage. Simple clogs can often be cleared within minutes, but more stubborn blockages may take a couple of hours.

Is a tenant or landlord responsible for blocked drains?

Both. Landlords are responsible for repairing drains impacted by fair wear and tear. For example, tree roots grow through a drain. Tenants are responsible for any blockages they cause. For example, flushing wipes down the toilet. Contact the residential tenancies authority in QLD for specific advice.