Slow draining sinks, strange sounds and unpleasant odours are all potential signs of a drain blockage somewhere in your home or office. And while some of these issues call for a simple fix, others should only be attempted by a licensed plumber who can properly investigate the problem.

To help you separate the DIY jobs from the ones that definitely require a professional, our plumbers have compiled a list of hints and tips for common concerns you’re likely to encounter at some point in your life.


When water seems to be draining slowly from sinks or bathtubs, many people turn to liquid drain cleaners or other similar solutions. Unfortunately, these chemicals aren’t always successful at breaking down a blockage and provide only a temporary fix. Aside from this, the chemicals used in these types of drain cleaning solutions often cause damage to pipes by eating away at the lining. Our number one tip: if it’s becoming a problem, call a professional plumber to take a look.


Garbage disposals have the potential to become quite smelly if they’re clogged or not cleaned out properly, especially when waste begins to rot. If you’re noticing a foul odour coming from your garbage disposal, grab a hand-full of ice-cubes and drop them down as you would your food waste. Run the blades for around 30 seconds to help dislodge any caked-on waste and then rinse off with water to remove any remaining scraps. If you’re still noticing an unpleasant odour after a day, call in your local plumber to investigate the problem.


Gurgling or strange sounds coming from your sinks can often be an indication that there is a ventilation problem or a blockage before the drain is vented. If you’re noticing a gurgling sound in your sink, bathtub or shower when the toilet is flushed, it’s time to call in a plumber. These signs suggest you’ve got an issue with your drainage systems that require further investigation by a professional.


To ensure your drains and pipes remain clear, we recommend following these simple tips.


Every sink and drain in your home should have a strainer fitted to the opening. This will prevent hair and other foreign objects from making their way down the pipes and causing a blockage. This one is pretty basic, but as homes get older, strainers can break or disintegrate. If this is the case, make sure to get a new one installed ASAP.

Garbage Disposals

Garbage disposals are a great thing to have in the kitchen, as long as you’re using them properly. Not everything can just be chucked down the disposal and it’s important to remember certain things that should be avoided. Things like fibrous fruit and vegetables, oil and grease, pasta or rice, egg shells, fruit seeds or ground coffee should be disposed of in your garbage bin. Why? These things are all likely to cause clogging and can create a rancid smell if left uncleaned.


There are only two things that should ever go down the toilet: human waste and toilet paper. Everything else, including ‘flushable’ wipes, need to be disposed of in a waste bag. It’s also especially important to avoid flushing feminine hygiene products down the toilet as these will almost certainly create a blockage as they swell. Nobody likes dealing with a blocked toilet, so remember this next time you’re tempted to flush away a foreign object!

If you’re noticing any of these common plumbing issues in your home or business, get in touch with Jeff Macdonald Plumbing today on 1300 025 116 or text 0438 104 510 for an obligation-free quote.