Signs, Causes, and Prevention for Commercial Blocked Drains

A blocked drain can overflow and lead to flooding and water damage. Bacteria can also build up, causing a nasty smell. This can be very off-putting to customers or guests. Over time, it can also cause serious health hazards. 

There are a few common reasons for blocked drains in commercial kitchens and bathrooms. In this article, we’ll show you how to spot, fix, and prevent them.

Early Signs of a Blocked Drain

Below are some early signs that you have a blocked drain:

  • Foul odour accumulated over time caused by decomposing solids, bacteria build-up, and stagnant water. 
  • Gurgling in your basin or tubs when you drain another simultaneously. 
  • Abrupt changes in water pressure.
  • Sudden increase of toilet water levels or drain it of water. You may also see drips, puddles, and wet floors, often because of an overflow, pressure built up in one spot or a leak. 
  • Slow-draining basins/toilet bowls. 

By familiarizing yourself with the symptoms of common problems, you can catch and fix issues before they become serious.

Problems a Blocked Drain Can Cause

Clogged outdoor, kitchen and bathroom drains can cause a lot of problems, including:

  • Increased water bills caused by leaks
  • Overflow of water from mains if pipes are connected
  • Stagnant water, which attracts insects, pests 
  • Foul odours
  • Flooding
  • Water stains on your walls and ceilings
  • Broken or burst pipes
  • Sewage discharge on your property

How to Prevent Blocked Drains

You can avoid many drainage problems with regular preventative maintenance. This all starts with unlearning your habits with your drain.

Here are the three leading causes of blocked drains and the best ways to prevent them.

1. Oil and Grease

This can be a problem in commercial and residential settings, as people often pour used cooking oil down the drain without realizing the consequences. 

Commercial kitchens can build grease in the pipes, which can eventually cause a clog. For residential homes, this can lead to a slow drain or water backup. Either way, it is crucial to be aware of the potential problems that can arise from pouring cooking oil down the drain.

To prevent this, avoid pouring oil down the drain. Instead, pour it into a receptacle and throw it away. Boil 2–3 litres of water and pour it down the drain at least once a week. Clean it every 4–6 weeks if you own a grease trap.

2. Toilet Paper and Baby Wipes

This can cause problems like overflowing toilets or toilets that won’t flush properly. If your bathroom is starting to clog, you should try to use less paper or switch to thinner paper.

You can attach a string to the dispenser in the children’s toilets to show kids how much they should use. As for baby wipes, these should always be disposed of in a rubbish bin as the thicker material can clog the drains.

3. Food Scraps

Carelessly disposing of food scraps down the drain can cause blockage. They also provide a breeding ground for bacteria and mould, which produces a sewage-like smell. 

To avoid these problems, use a sink strainer to catch large residue and debris that could contribute to a blockage. Scrape food and other causes of blockages, like seeds and coffee grains, off plates into a bin or compost before rinsing in the sink. 


Blocked drains can cause a domino effect of problems, which can be very costly if not fixed. We hope the tips mentioned can help you prevent rather than fix problems later.

Need a Quick, Transparent & High-Quality Service from a commercial plumber? Bromac has a team of experts that can get your plumbing back up and running in no time! We service both the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley, including Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Langley, Vancouver, Richmond, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta, Surrey and Maple Ridge. Call us at 604-360-2710 now! 

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