RACV shines a light on blocked toilets drains and pipes

19 May 2016


Residents in St Kilda East need the most help with blocked toilets, drains and pipes, an assessment of RACV’s 30,000 annual home emergency call-outs has revealed. One in three residents subscribing to RACV Emergency Home Assist called for assistance with blockages.

With a call-out rate of one in five EHA members needing assistance, Reservoir was RACV’s second busiest suburb for blockages, based on the number of members using Emergency Home Assist and the number of incidents.

Suburbs in Melbourne’s outer east needed the least help with blocked toilets, drains and pipes, but made more requests for help with damaged roofs, gutters or downpipes than the average.

RACV Home Services General Manager Aaron Flavell said that blockages are more common in St Kilda, Reservoir, Box Hill, Burwood, Balwyn, Caulfield and other well established areas, partly because sewers are older than in newer suburbs.

Mr Flavell said RACV EHA plumbers attend blocked toilets pipes and drains on a daily basis.

“The main causes of the blockages in toilets are so-called “flushable wipes”, sanitary products and over use of toilet paper while kitchen sink blockages are usually as a result of food scraps, fats and oils. These sorts of items really should be disposed of in an appropriate bin,” he said.

 “Cooking by-products like fat and grease are very harmful. They can solidify and block drains. It’s best to be vigilant about what goes down the drain and act quickly if there are signs of blockage.

“Using a high-pressure water jet to clear out the sewer will go a long way in the preservation of the drain, but should always be undertaken by a licensed professional,” he said.

Other blockage causes could be old and poorly maintained pipework, as well as tree roots.




Percentage of EHA subscribers with blockages on their property

1. St Kilda East


2. Reservoir


3. Box Hill


4. Burwood


5. Balwyn North


6. Heathmont


7. Caulfield North


8. Carrum Downs


9. Tarneit


10. Blackburn


State-wide average:



Written by Liselotte Geary, RACV Public Affairs on 03 9790 2849
May 19, 2016