Where does the coffee grounds go?

For some of us, the morning ritual is a hot shower.  For others it is a good cup of tea.  And for a lot of residents in Glasgow (and the World let’s be honest), a morning cup of joe is the essential first steps to a good day.

We are of course talking about coffee.  Now while some of us use instant coffee for our caffeine boost, others prefer something closer to the real thing that you would get in a coffee shop.  Whether that involves filter ground coffee or a bean to cup machine – there are a lot of options out there.

coffee grounds block drain

But when the coffee has been made and the precious caffeine been consumed, what do you do with the coffee grounds?

Some of us flush it down the toilet, others scoop it into the bin.  And others pour it down the sink.

Guess who is going to get a blocked drain at some point?

In the past, many home owners assumed that it was absolutely fine to pour coffee grounds down the sink drain.  There were some who assumed that the granules of coffee actually helped clean the drain of other obstructions (as if it was sandpaper or something).  But as many wise people will have noticed, coffee grounds are actually quite sticky and tough and do not simply degrade like some other waste that gets poured down the sink.  And because of this, coffee grounds can all too often create a fairly impressive blockage in a drain that takes some real effort to unblock.

And that is exactly what happened this week for a customer in the West End of Glasgow.   With so many people still working from home as part of a hybrid working model, the amount of coffee consumed at home has naturally gone up.  And for this customer, it finally caught up with them as they drain became blocked.  It is not obvious that coffee grounds will block a drain so they tried to use drain unblocking chemicals which are pretty nasty things anyway but are also pretty useless for any blockage more than just below the main drain sink hole (which is exactly where a normal plunger would work wonders anyway).

So after trying and failing with this method, they turned to google and who should they find but one of the best drainage companies in Glasgow (if we do say so ourselves (and backed by hundreds of 5 star reviews)), JSL Drainage.

Local, reliable blocked drain repairs since 2006. At JSL, we have become one of the top Glasgow drainage companies for workmanship, timekeeping, courtesy and tidiness. With no call out charge and all our drainage work and parts guaranteed, our reputation and quality workmanship has seen us constantly grow through the years to become one of the leading drainage experts in the area and we are more than equipped to deal with your burst pipes and blocked drain emergencies.

So if you have been pouring coffee grounds down the kitchen sink and have noticed the water draining slowly recently then give us a call.

Image by Elias Shariff Falla Mardini from Pixabay

Common reasons for a blocked drain

A blocked drain is a pain in the backside.  There is no such thing as a convenient blockage.

And while we are very good at unblocking a drain, knowing how drains get blocked can really help you to make sure the drain doesn’t get blocked in the first place.

So here is some of the top things that can cause a blocked drain so that you can try and ensure it doesn’t block yours.

1 – Body hair

Loose hair can easily be washed of our bodies as we have a bath or shower.  It binds with grease, bubbles etc to bond together and form blockages.  If you want to make sure you don’t get a blocked drain because of loose hairs then add a drain guard on your shower or bath sink hole.

2 – Soap

Traditional soap bars are made with fats (have you seen the movie Fight Club?).  The fats in the soap mix with the water to create soap scum which can clog bathroom drains. A way to avoid this is to switch the body gels though they do use a lot more plastic packaging which is not good for the environment.

3 – Food waste

Moving away from bathroom drains and into the kitchen, food waste should never go down the drain. Coffee grinds for example do not break down.  Other foods contain fats and oils, so a bit like the above soap, can create blockages.

4 – Toiler Paper

We don’t mean wet wipes etc.  We mean actual toilet paper.  Too much of it at one time can block your toilet and stop it from flushing.  A lot of the time, this can be fixed with a plunger but be cautious when using too much toilet paper.

5 – Tree roots

Across Glasgow, there are some very old trees (and a lot of new ones) with underground root networks that are constantly looking to expand.  So the drain pipe can be blocked because a root has entered the drain and grown and grown to block the whole thing.  We spend a lot of time fixing blocked drains because of tree roots and the size of some of the roots that we pull out are very impressive.

6 – Dirt

If you ever look at the inner curve of a river, you will see the smooth silt/dirt deposits caused by slower moving water.  All of that dirt has built up over time.  Now imaging washing some dirt off your clothes in the washing machine or a sink. The dirt goes into the drain and can begin to deposit and collect forming a blockage.

7 – Small things

This is a fairly broad category but long story short, small things can fall down the sink hole and get washed away.  Sometimes you are lucky and they make it all the way into the main sewer system.  Other times, you can catch them in the u-bend trap pipe. But other times, they get caught somewhere between the two and create a blockage.

In conclusion

Sometimes a blocked drain can be fixed by yourselves.  Other times you need a professional drainage contractor to help you.

Local, reliable blocked drain repair experts since 2006. At JSL, we have grown to become one of the top Glasgow drainage companies for workmanship, timekeeping, courtesy and tidiness.

With no call out charge and all our drainage work and parts guaranteed, our reputation and quality workmanship has seen us constantly grow through the years to become one of the leading drainage experts in Glasgow and the surrounding Towns and Villages to deal with your burst pipes and blocked drain emergencies.

Call us today for all your drainage needs.

Can you flush food down the toilet?

It is a question that has led to countless pub arguments, political tension and hours of marriage counselling.  We are of course talking about the age old question – can you flush food down the toilet?

We are of course joking about the amount of disagreements that it can cause but it is a good question nonetheless.

And the answer is that you SHOULD NOT flush food waste down the toilet.  The simply reason is that the toilet drain pipes in your home are designed to carry human paste (aka poo) and are simply not wide enough to transport food waste.  A toilet is for human waste and water as well as biodegradable toilet paper.  Food waste can block your toilet and does not easily disintegrate.

Obviously food is a very broad category.  If you flushed a liquid soup down the toilet for example, you can get away with it.  And other smaller, more delicate foods can be flushed with only a minor chance of catastrophe.

But if you want to ensure that you don’t get a blocked drain from your toilet, don’t flush food down the drain pipe.

Here is a list of food that should 100% NOT be flushed down the toilet:

So what can I do instead?

Simple – use the food recycling bin if you have one and if not, use the general bin.  If things can be composted, do that in the garden.  Fats, and oils can be put into used containers and leak proof bags before being put in the bin. There are other options than simply flushing it down the toilet.

What if I have ignored your advise, flushed food down the toilet and now have a blocked drain?

The simply answer is that you need to call a drainage contractor.  Luckily, if you are reading this, you have already found one.  We are JSL Drainage.  One of the leading local drainage companies in Glasgow.  Call us today for all your blocked drain solutions.

do you call a plumber or drainage contractor

Heavy rain can easily create blockages in toilets

Did you see the rain in Glasgow yesterday?  It was intense.

And it wasn’t a 2 minute downpour.  It lasted for quite a while.  And while you may now be thinking what condition your homes roof is in, you should also keep your eyes peeled for potential blocked drain issues.

You see your homes drainage system connects the toilets, sinks and bathtubs of your home and carries it away to the nearest treatment facility.  However, when heavy rain like we had yesterday falls, it can create blockages or slow the drainage process either through gaps in the system or because your homes drainage system is actually very very old.

Newer drainage systems are a lot better at keeping waste water and rain water away from each other.  So the rain that collects in your roof, gutters and downpipe goes into a different drainage system than the wastewater in your home.  However it is not always the case and we have experienced a lot of older style homes where the gutters flow into a drain pipe which flows into a main drain pipe that also connects with downstairs toilets.  So when all the rain comes flooding down, the makes the waste water from the toilet harder to flush away.

We bring this up because, while you may not have suffered from a blocked toilet yet, if over the next few days you notice that the toilet in your home is flushing slowly ie. the water in the toilet basin is filling up quite high before then flushing away then you have the beginnings of a blocked toilet.

You may be thinking ‘hey it still works’ and carry on with your day.  But the problem will not go away and it is only going to get worse.  So act now, call the local drainage professionals and make sure your homes toilet doesn’t become backed up with a weeks worth of poo because you didn’t do anything about it sooner.

They thought the smell was the bins – they were wrong

Incase you didn’t notice, Glasgow City Council changed the collection days for Green coloured wheelie bins earlier this year.  It meant that rather than a bin collection every two weeks, it went up to three weeks.

The reason for this – studies conducted by the council suggested that if used correctly, a green wheelie bin provided enough space for up to three weeks worth of rubbish.

But this change in collection date, combined with a summer holiday meant that a customer has been living with quite the stench the last wee while.  They missed their bin collection because they were away on Summer Holiday. So when they started smelling a ‘bad smell’ in their garden, they naturally assumed that it was the bins which by this point had been sitting there for five weeks.  But when the bins were collected, the smell did not go away.

What could be causing the bad smell?

Another week went by and the smell was getting worse.  And at around the same time, they noticed that their downstair toilet was draining slowly.  They tried the plunger but that didn’t work and like so many people, simply assumed that they needed to live the rest of their lives with a slow draining toilet. But then one day, the toilet would simply not flush.  And that is when they needed to call JSL Drainage.

Why not call a plumber?

As you can see from this illustration…

plumber or drainage contractor

…the waste water that leaves your home is a drainage issue (whereas the water that comes into your home is plumbing).

What was the problem?

We arrived at the home and conducted an initial inspection.  We sourced the main drain pipe in the garden which was under a patio slab and found a very obvious blockage.  Using our pressure jet blaster, we pushed through the obstruction and as soon as it was clear, weeks or poo began to flow through the drain.  We then ran the toilets through some test flushes to confirm that everything was working properly (the toilet now flushed properly and did not drain slowly.

The cause of the problem was a simple obstruction.  Not big enough to completely stop the flow of waste water leaving the property but big enough that is stopped larger objects (mainly poo) from draining properly.  Overtime, this built up and eventually caused the toilet to drain slowly as the nature drainage system was no longer operating at a consistent level.

Blocked drains can happen to anyone.  Sometimes it is because we flush the wrong thing down the toilet and other times it is because a heavy rain storm simply overwhelms a drainage system and creates a blockage.

And wouldn’t you know, as soon as the drain was unblocked, the bad smell that the owners through was the bins, but was actually the blocked drain, went away.

So if you notice a bad smell building up in your garden and know where your homes external drain pipe is, have a check to make sure it is flowing properly.

Whatever the reason for your blocked drain, we are just a phone call away for all our drainage needs.

Autumn is coming

Schools in Glasgow have now gone back and the Summer holidays are over.

And without sounding too bleak – Autumn is coming!!!

The heavy downpour of rain that hit Glasgow last weekend saw a lot of calls coming into to our team as drains got flooded with the heavy heavy rain that hit.  They needed a drainage company to fix the blockages and fix them we did.  But that was a one-off rain storm?  Yes it was but that kind of heavy rain can drag all sorts of debris down into your drainage system.  So when the real rain begins in Autumn and the days get shorter, your homes drainage system is really going to be tested.

So what would you suggest?

We would suggest a drainage service to help clear your drains before the Autumn and Winter weather comes in. We can use pressure jetting systems and CCTV camera to inspect your homes drains and make sure that there are no blockages.

If you suffered from a blacked drain during the thunder storm then you will know how inconvenient and damaging a blocked drain can be.  Don’t wait until it is too late – call your local drainage company JSL today.

With over 15 years of experience in drain unblocking across Glasgow, we are one of the leading contractors in the area.

With a near perfect 100% rating on multiple directory/review sites, you can call JSL in the knowledge that you will be getting a reliable, recommended and trusted drainage contractor who will get the got done and guarantee all of their work.

So call us today and get your homes drainage system cleaned out.

Heavy rain blocks drains

Whether you live in the centre of Glasgow or the outskirts, the rain at the weekend was heavy to say the least. And when we get hit with rain like that, it is difficult for your homes drainage system to handle it.  Drains are designed to cope with a certain amount of water but when it goes beyond that, the drains are in trouble and it can lead to damage in your home.

But when heavy rain hits, it can wash a lot of debris down your drain. Mud, dust, leaves, moss, litter and even stones and pebbles can all be washed down a garden drain or a roof gutter and cause a blockage.  Now with so much rain, you might just assume that everyone has the same issue and when the rain goes away and the sun comes out, everything dries up and the flood is over.  But all that junk that gets washed down the drain is still there.  And the next time it rains, you could actually be dealing with a worse problem.

Too much heavy rain can saturate the soil and can even impact the foundations of your home.  This is called subsidence and is caused by too much water.  Excess water caused by heavy rain needs to be removed as quickly as possible to allow the ground time to dry.

Have a drain inspection on your new home

The property market has been going crazy this year. The ‘race for space’ combined with stamp duty benefits has seen a mad rush for new property purchases. And a lot of these properties have been ones with garden space (thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic).

And while purchasing a property has many exciting aspects to it, there are various steps that home buyers should always remember. And one of them is seldom done. And that is drain inspection.

A homes drainage system is used every single day yet unless their is a problem with it, we rarely give it a second thought. Yet while we get our cars serviced every year and have our boilers serviced as well (or at least should have), when was the last time you had your drains serviced?
An in-depth inspection of your homes drainage system can identify a potential problem before it causes damage to your new property.

While most drainage issues are simply affairs, tree roots can easily crack a garden drain and may require several days worth of digging, excavation and tree surgery work. With a JSL drainage report, you can consult with the appropriate gardening contractors to deal with the problem before you move in.

We can conduct a drain cleaning and CCTV inspection service to help ensure that your homes drainage system is in tip top condition.

What is a CCTV Drain Survey?

A CCTV drain survey is a type of visual inspection of your homes full drainage system. An in-depth drainage inspection like this will allow us to find any problems in your homes drainage system quickly and put forward a plan to fix it.

This could be a drain jetting to remove a basic blockage of require excavation to remove tree roots from a drain. Rat infestations have become more of a problem in Glasgow in the last couple of years and easy access to drainage systems have seen more than a few drains becoming blocked because of rodents.

We have even had to dead with a blocked drain because of a bat a few years ago. Thankfully that Bat was okay in the end.

While it isn’t a requirement to have a CCTV drain survey when you buy a new house in Glasgow, we would always recommend it. In the same way that we recommend that a home owner has a boiler serviced once a year A home report surveyor will not conduct a thorough inspection of a properties drains or pipework. It means that you won’t know if you have a developing drainage problem until after you move in.

Reasons to consider a CCTV Drain Survey before you move in:

If you would like to know more about our drainage work and how a CCTV drain inspection job can benefit you before you move into your new home, please call us today.

A child’s sand pit blocks the garden drain

Sand pits are a great play thing for young children.  It can occupy them for hours (sometimes) and doesn’t require batteries.

But it is important to keep your sand pit covered to stop local cats, foxes etc using it as a private bathroom.  But that is exactly what one customer forgot to do.  The sandpit was used over the course of a long weekend by local wildlife and the sand pit sand was not salvageable.  So what did they do?  Carefully transport it into bags and dispose of it properly?  No.  They messily scooped most of it into the main wheelie bin and then used the garden hose to wash the rest away assuming that it would all flow away down the drain.


They were half right.  It did go down the drain but flow it did not.  The drain blocked with sand and the only way that it was going to get fixed was with a local drainage contractor.


Enter JSL.  We have worked for this customer in the West End of Glasgow through our JSL Heating division. We have provided a boiler repair job for them when other boiler contractors had failed and were impressed at the quality of our work and the whole processing of booking us through a time slot system.  So when their drain blocked, they knew who to call.


And of course, we fixed it.  And now they know that they need to be more careful the next time they have to dispose of their used sand.


Why is my toilet gurgling?

A gurgling toilet is not a sign that it is about to explode so don’t panic.  It is a very common drainage problem that we deal with all of the time.

Typically a gurgling sound in your toilet comes just after you have flushed the toilet.  It is a clear sign that there is a problem with the drainage system connected to the toilet and it needs to be dealt with.

Is a toilet issue not a plumbers job?

The easiest way to think of it is this.  All the water that flows into your home is plumbing.  So the pipes that connect water to the bath, a leaking tap and if the toilet doesn’t flush.  But all the waste water that leaves your home is drainage.

And that is our speciality.

Now a gurgling toilet can often be fixed by yourself using good old DIY methods.  But if the problem either doesn’t go away or comes back quite quickly afterwards then you need to call your local drainage experts JSL.

So what causes a gurgling gargling toilet?

A gurgling toilet is because there is a blockage in the drain system.  It stops the air flowing through the drain pipe and instead pushes it backwards – and that is what causes the gurgling and gargling noises.

There are a few possible reasons for this:

If the blockage is close to the toilet then we can simply plunge the toilet with the plunger (using a proper commercial grade plunger).  If this doesn’t fix the problem then we can jet blast the pipe to clear blockages further down the drain then use CCTV so inspect the pipe and confirm that the drain has been properly cleared.

If the problem is caused because of the vent pipe that has become blocked or clogged then we need to clear that and possibly install a vent terminal to stop it happening again.

If the main drain pipe is causing the issue then it may have to be dealt with by the local water authority but we can advise on this once we have diagnosed the problem.

Find out more

If you would like to find out more about our drainage work and how we go about fixing a gurgling toilet then call us today.

Where we cover:

G1, G2, G4 City Centre | G3 Finnieston, Kelvingrove, Woodlands, Park Circus | G5 Gorbals, New Gorbals | G11 Broomhill, Thornwood, Partick | G12 Hyndland, Hillhead, Kelvinside, Kelvindale | G13 Knightswood, Anniesland | G14 Jordanhill, Yoker, Scotstoun | G15 Drumchapel | G20 Firhill, Kelvinside, Maryhill | G31 East End, Dennistoun, Alexandra Park | G32 Tollcross, Mount Vernon | G33 Stepps | G40 East End, Bridgeton | G41 Pollockshields | G42 Govanhill, Queens Park | G43 Shawlands | G44 Cathcart, Croftfoot | G45 Castlemilk | G46 Giffnock | G51 Govan | G52 Hillington | G53 Silverburn, Darnley | G60 Bowling, Old Kilpatrick | G61 Bearsden | G62 Milngavie | G63 Balfron, Strathblane, Kilearn, Blanefield | G64 Bishopbriggs, Torrance, Balmore | G65 Kilsyth | G66 Kirkintilloch, Lenzie, Milton of Campsie, Lennoxtown | G67, G68 Cumbernauld | G69 Moodiesburn, Baillieston | G71 Uddingston, Bothwell | G72 Blantyre, Cambuslang | G73 Rutherglen | G74, G75 East Kilbride | G76 Clarkston | G77 Newton Mearns | G78 Barrhead, Neilston | G81 Clydebank | G82 Dunbarton | G83 Balloch, Alexandria | G84 Helensburgh | ML1 Motherwell | ML2 Wishaw, Newmains | ML3 Hamilton, Ferniegair, Quarter, South Lanarkshire, Limekilnburn | ML4 Bellshill | ML5 Coatbridge | ML6 Airdrie | ML8 Carluke | ML9 Larkhall | PA1, PA2, PA3 Paisley | PA4 Renfrew | PA5 Johnstone | PA7 Bishopton | PA8 Erskine | PA11 Bridge of Weir | PA13 Kilmacolm | PA14 Langbank |

Call us today for all your blocked drain services in Glasgow: 0141 406 1658

JSL Drainage Glasgow

A reliable, professional and trusted drainage firm covering Glasgow and the surrounding areas. For quotations, emergency call outs and commercial contracts please call our head office on 0141 406 1658.

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