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Signs of a Blocked Drain and How to Address It

June 6th, 2024

Last updated: June 6th, 2024

Today we’re discussing common signs of a blocked drain, how to identify if you are experiencing a blockage, and the benefits of regular drain cleaning to avoid issues with your drains in a commercial setting.

In your business, a blocked drain can cause a lot of issues and complications, and waiting for a blockage rather than getting the drain cleaned beforehand can prevent some huge costs down the line.

Signs of Blocked Drains

Blocked drains usually give off several warning signs before they become completely obstructed. It is a good idea to get them repaired or unblocked before it becomes a more serious issue. Here are some of the most common indicators.

Slow Draining Water

One of the first signs of a blocked drain is water draining slowly. If you notice that water is taking longer than usual to drain, it could be a sign of a partial blockage in the pipes or in the drain that you’ll need to address, like when you get clogged gutters.

Bad Smells

A blocked drain can produce foul odours, often caused by trapped food particles, grease, or other debris that start to decompose in the pipes. If you detect a persistent, unpleasant smell near your drains, it’s likely due to a blockage.

Gurgling Sounds

Gurgling sounds coming from your drains when water is running are another indication of a blockage. These noises occur when air is trapped in the pipes by the blockage and is forced through the water.

Clogged Fixtures

Experiencing blockages in multiple fixtures simultaneously, such as sinks, toilets, and showers, suggests a blockage in the main sewer line. This is a more serious issue that often requires professional help.

Water Backing Up or Draining Slowly

Water backing up into sinks or other fixings when you use them is a clear sign of a blocked drain. For example, water rising in the shower when you flush the toilet suggests a blockage in the main drain line.

Visible Signs

You may also be able to physically see that the drain has a blockage, or that there are things stuck or even growing in the drain. A quick inspection can be worthwhile to show whether you are likely to need help and building maintenance to deal with the drain issues.

How to Tell if You Are Getting a Blockage

If you suspect your commercial building has a drain blockage then there is every chance you’ll call the professionals straight away. There are a few ways to work out whether or not you are getting a blockage for sure, and a drain service or handyman may use these methods.

If you suspect a blockage, try using a plunger to see if it improves the drainage. If plunging temporarily resolves the issue but the problem recurs, it’s likely a sign of a more stubborn blockage further down the drain.

Performing regular checks on your plumbing system can help you catch potential blockages early. Look for any signs of slow drainage, unpleasant odours, or unusual noises when using your plumbing fixtures.

For a more thorough inspection, consider using a drain camera. These devices can be inserted into the drain to provide a visual assessment of the condition of your pipes and identify any blockages or damage.

Drain Cleaning to Prevent Blockages and Damage

Regular drain cleaning can form part of your building maintenance, and offers several benefits that can help prevent blockages and maintain the health of your plumbing system. Cleaning your drains regularly helps eliminate the foul odours caused by decomposing debris. This keeps your building smelling fresh and clean.

Regular cleaning also removes buildup and debris from your pipes, preventing blockages from forming. This proactive approach can save you from the inconvenience and expense of dealing with a major blockage.


Spotting the signs of a blocked drain early and addressing them promptly can prevent more severe plumbing issues and costly repairs.

For professional and reliable commercial drain cleaning and unblocking, contact Robinsons Facilities Services. With decades of experience working with businesses across Yorkshire and nationwide, we’ll quickly identify and solve any commercial drainage issues.

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