This property owner called us out to unblock their drain and we found it was full of baby wipes blocking the plumbing.





Baby wipes can block your drain and sewer pipes and shouldn't be put down your toilet

This property owner was experiencing regular drain blockages in their bathroom. They were getting a mixture of water pooling, a slow draining sink, the shower would fill up and sometimes they could hear water gurgling. What it indicated to us was a blockage somewhere in their sewer piping.



We initially tried a simple plunge to try and remedy the problem but it persisted which meant there was debris or some other underlying issue in the sewer piping that was causing the water to not drain easily. 



We did a CCTV Camera Inspection of the piping and found a large blockage in the main sewer line. It was hard to tell exactly what it was but we knew that baby wipes can block your drain and that’s what it looked like. Using our hot and cold high pressure jet blasting equipment we began our work to clear the sewer pipe and unblock the drains.



As we quickly discovered it was baby wipes and other material that was built up in the pipe that was causing the drain to be blocked, so a $500+ cost to get the sewer pipes repaired for a simple action that could be avoided. While a lot of baby wipe manufacturers may claim to have disposable products that are safe for the environment, all we know is that baby wipes can block your drain and sewer pipes when they are flushed down the toilet and mixed with other debris.



If the materials don’t break down quickly enough they can get caught in twists and bends in the underground piping then capture debris as it flows through the pipes. Eventually it builds up like a small dam and stops water from flowing normally. 



5 common reasons your drains are blocked

Nu-Trend is a local plumber that can fix blocked drains in Sydney. Over the years we have seen lots of interesting things blocking drains, but here are the top five things that block drains across Sydney.


  1. Hair blocks drains; from the shower or bath tub hair can make its way into the drains as you shower or wash your scalp. This can be especially true for households with women or men who have longer hair. Hair falling off the body in the shower or while getting ready over the sink and in the bathroom is one of the most common causes of blocked drains.  The combination of hair and soap scum attracts other debris and blocks the drain over time.

  2. Grease and cooking oil; many people will pour the oil from their frypan down the sink. Initially, this seems like a good idea, but the oil eventually cools down and hardens, when it does this it can block your drain. Any grease or fatty substance that is washed down the sink will stick to the inside of the pipes and eventually build up to a point no liquid can pass through.

  3. Toiletries – we see people put everything down their toilet from tissues to nappies to make up pads. All of these items should be disposed off in the normal rubbish and not be put into Sydney’s sewage systems.

  4. Foreign objects – kids or even adults are known to try flush household items or toys down the toilet either for fun or to avoid using a rubbish bin. These items can easily block plumbing systems quickly.

  5. Trees and roots – nature has a funny way and trees or plants can quickly find water sources in the ground. Older clay pipes can be good targets for roots to infiltrate small cracks to get water from the sewage flow. Over time these can block and even crack pipes as they get larger.

To fix a blocked sewer or get a drain unblocked you need to hire a professional licensed plumber that has the right expertise and equipment to fix it quickly. Nu-Trend is a plumber based in Hurstville that services all suburbs of Sydney with professional equipment like our CCTV Digital Camera for inspecting pipes or our hot water high pressure jet blasting machine that can clean plumbing blockages quickly.


5 things you should never put down your drain

Nu-Trend is a licensed plumber that can help with all types of bathroom plumbing renovations or fixing simple things like a leaking tap.  From our experience here are five things you should never put down your drain;



1. Flushable Kitty Litter
Yes most of the companies will say it is ‘flushable’ but maybe it is for certain quantities or if it has been broken down completely. Although in our experience people try putting the whole tray down the toilet and the litter soaks up moisture in the pipes and forms clumps. They can even cause problems for septic systems. Not to mention cat litter can pick up bacteria from your animal’s feces. This bacteria can resist the chemicals used to treat water, which means it can eventually find its way into the water supply.


2. Coffee grounds
Most people assume that coffee grounds are tiny & won’t stick around in pipes, but that’s not true. In fact, most plumbers say that coffee grounds are one of the most likely sources of a clog in your kitchen pipes. They are so fine that they can easily clump or attach to other debris in the pipes. This builds up quickly to block the drain.



3. Eggshells
Eggshells themselves might seem harmless, but when you put them down a drain the small bits can get stuck in grease, fat or other oily substances to create a thick mess that can easily clog your pipes. You’re better off disposing of your eggshells in the bin or into the garden.



5. Produce Stickers
The small stickers on fruit or vegetables have a little bit of adhesive that can be enough to cause them to stick to the insides of the pipes & then catch other debris. If they make it past your pipes, they can also get caught in wastewater treatment pipes and filters, causing problems with the equipment designed to treat your water. If somehow they make it past both of these barriers, they can end up in the water supply. 


6. Cotton Balls and Paper Towels
Just because paper towels and cotton balls are biodegradable doesn’t mean they’ll dissolve instantly. They’re designed to be absorbent, which actually makes them the perfect culprit to clog pipes. If you have to use them, throw them in the bin when you’re done. 



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Rick Karagiannis - Plumber & Bathroom Renovator

Rick Karagiannis - Plumber & Bathroom Renovator

Rick Karagiannis is a licensed Plumber, Building Renovator and Director of Nu-Trend, a Sydney Plumber and Bathroom Renovations contractor. Nu-Trend has been operating since 2009 as an independent sole trader in Sydney. Rick provides all types of services for small bathroom renovations, leaking tap repairs, hot water high-pressure jet blasting and more.