drain blocked with wet wipes

What to do about a blocked drain

Blocked pipes and drains can cause sewer flooding in and around your home. It’s important you get it cleared as soon as possible.


Most of the time, drains and sewers that only take waste from your home are private, and it's the homeowner's responsibility to clear them. Shared drains and sewers are usually our responsibility, but there are some exceptions.


If you're unsure who is responsible, find out more about sewer pipe responsibility, or call 0345 717 1100. We'll give you advice on the next steps to take.

Found a blocked drain or sewer in, or on, your property? 

If it’s a private drain, you'll need to unblock it. There are simple ways to do this.


You can find unblocking liquids in supermarkets, and regularly cleaning your sink, toilet, shower, and bath can help prevent build-up.


You can also hire a WaterSafe approved plumber (opens new window) or a drainage company to investigate it for you.

What if the blockage is in a public sewer?

Please let us know about it by calling 0345 717 1100 so we can get it fixed as soon as possible. We aim to arrive at blocked sewers within four hours.

What causes blocked pipes and drains?

The biggest cause of blockages are wet wipes that are flushed down the toilet. They contain plastic and don’t break down like toilet roll.


Also, cooking oils and fats poured down the sink sticks and hardens to the inside the pipes. The more you pour down the plughole, the more it builds up. 

How to prevent blocked pipes and drains

Here are some simple things you can do to stop blocked pipes and drains:

  • Only flush toilet paper, pee and poo down the toilet. Bin everything else.
  • Use a bin in your bathroom for all types of wet wipes, sanitary products, nappies, and cotton buds.
  • Allow oil and fats to cool. Scrape oils them from your pots, pans, and plates into the bin before you wash them. 

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