Have you ever wondered what’s lurking in London’s drains? Find out some of the more unusual causes of blocked drains, from mobile phones to intact pint glasses!

Drain blockages occur for any number of reasons. From our experience, the most common causes of blockages are fat and grease/scale build-up, sanitary products, wet wipes, and root intrusion. However, over the years some more unusual objects have been the cause of backed up drains and emergency drain cleaning jobs in and around London and the Home Counties. Here are just some of the most unusual:


Mobile Phones

whats-lurking-in-london-drainsThis one is becoming a lot more common as people spend more time on their phones.The size of the average handset is also decreasing. It’s surprisingly easy to drop a phone down the sink of toilet and it’s almost guaranteed to cause problems for your piping.


DIY jobs are complicated and it’s great when people have the enthusiasm to give them a go, but some amateur builders will end up doing more harm than good and sometimes, that means ruining the entire drainage system of the house they’re trying to improve! While cement can be used to close up drains that are not in use, it’s also easy for it to end up in a working pipe. Cement’s job is to solidify and be difficult to move, so it will wreak havoc on pipe systems and lead to an extremely costly repair job.


Stolen Goods

Incredibly, drains can be used by criminals as a quick and easy hiding place to hide stolen loot. Police have found a huge range of stolen items in drains across London and the Home Counties, from bags of cameras and jewellery, to three-piece suites and even motorbikes.



We probably all did it when we were kids – accidentally or even deliberately flushed things down the toilet, just to see what happened. Lego blocks, Barbie dolls, toy cars and even the odd item of clothing are actually common causes of blocked drains. If you’re lucky and you act quickly enough, a plunger or domestic drain rods will sort out the problem and remove the blockage.


Pint Glasses

whats-lurking-in-lond-drains2Its last orders at the bar! However, what do you do with your empty beer glasses? In one case, someone decided to throw theirs away down a drain and amazingly too, it was able to remain in one piece.



Given the price of drugs, they definitely qualify as an unusual drain clogger. However, situations do arise where someone who is in possession of large quantities of drugs may want to dispose of them quickly, for example when the police are knocking down their door. Flushing too many bags of marijuana, cocaine or heroin down the toilet too quickly can leave drug dealers with plumbing problems on top of their legal troubles.

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