Blocked drains can lead to a swathe of problems relevant to odour, safety and cost. There are many causes of blocked drains and to fix them it can be as simple as replacing a section of piping, flushing the pipes so that they are no longer blocked and more extreme measures such as replacing whole sections of piping (depending on the severity of the blockage). If the problem has arisen because of something quite extraordinary then it may require the pipes to be dug out of the earth and a removal of what has actually caused the blockage. Some of the common causes of blocked pipes are as follow.
Tree roots are one of the most common causes of blocked or damaged pipes. A tree that didn’t look like a threat to the pipes when the pipes were laid can end up growing so large that its roots start eating into the pipe work. In this instance it may not only cause a blockage – it may also shatter, bend or completely destroy the pipes. This can be the most difficult type of blockage to repair because you will need to actually dig the tree out to avoid the problem happening again. You will then probably need to replace a large section of piping and to do so you will need to remove a lot of earth to get access to the pipes a few metres before and after the blockage to ensure the damage is not widespread. Tree roots have a lot more power than people give them credit for and because the damage is probably done gradually, the damage can be quite severe before it is noticed.
Besides the environmental effect of pouring hot oil down the sink there is another reason why it shouldn’t be done – it can actually cause a blockage in the S bend of the pipe below the sink. When you pour hot oil down the sink it is in its most liquid form. Once oil cools it solidifies (I think you can see where I am going with this). So if you pour hot oil down the sink, then decide to rinse it down with some cold water, as the oil hits the S bend with a heap of cold water and take its time overcoming this obstacle it will cool and possibly block the pipe. I am not advocating pouring hot oil down the sink, but you should actually use hot water to flush it down the sink if you are left with no other option (however, always dispose of oil properly; put it in a container and put it in the bin instead).
Stuffing food down the plug hole is another way to block pipes. Sometimes it might not be because you have actually forced food down the plug hole, there was just some extra food built up in the dishwater. Whatever the reason, it can cause a blockage in your pipes. Use a strainer over the plug hole in order to catch this food and it will avoid the blockage. You can tip the strainer out when you have done the dishes.