How do blockages occur and how can I prevent them?

Blockages can occur when foreign materials are disposed of incorrectly or trees have been planted too close to underground pipes.  Unless by mistake, try avoiding disposing of these commonly found objects:


  • Baby wipes of any material                         
  • Cotton buds, cotton balls in toilet or sink
  • Sanitary products
  • Condoms
  • Small toys or objects
  • Excessive amount of toilet paper
  • Strands of hair and/or left over bits of soap in the shower or bath


  • Excess fats and oils from cooking
  • Food scraps
  • Ground coffee
  • Bits of sponge that have broken off


  • Pet hair from washing dogs
  • Dirt/small stones
  • Grit and grime from cleaning out buckets or shoes
  • Washing out glue containers, paint pots or mixed cement leftovers


  • Tree roots interfering with underground pipes.
  • Leaves and twigs are a common cause of blocked downpipes/stormwater pipes.
Prevent Blockages

The solution to these problems is to contact Robert Garbers who will source the cause and unblock your pipes, or follow some of his ‘common sense’ rules of thumb to avoid blockages in the first place:

Dispose of oils and fats in containers through your local council waste service

Wipe out pots and pans of excess oil and stuck on food before washing and/or rinsing

After having a shower, run your fingers over the drain and pull up any hair cut in the entrance – you’d be surprised the amount of gunk that will come with them.

Be mindful of the amount of toilet paper you use.  If you think you are being a bit heavy handed, flush the first lot of paper before continuing.

Just stick to what the toilet is made for!

When you notice a problem with your taps (dripping/leaking) arrange a tap service straight away to prevent the whole tap requiring replacement costing you more.

Clean out gutters on a regular basis, especially if you have trees around your property.  Investing in a gutter protection device is also an option to prevent blocked downpipes.

Outside drain grate covers are installed to prevent any foreign materials/objects entering pipes.  Keep children away from these grates – they can be an interesting place to throw rocks/stones and toys down.

A consideration not many people think of when planting young small trees is how far away from the sewer pipes they will be located.  We don’t see what is happening underground over time, so check how close to the house you are planting them and where on your property any pipes are located.

If you are having trouble dealing with the blockages and are looking for drainers in Woolgoolga and nearby area, check out Garbers Plumbing Woolgoolga. We are always ready to rush to the aid of our clients for any plumbing needs.