Home Improvement

10 Causes of Blocked Drains

Blocked drains might be the most unpleasant thing to deal with. It can seem like a never-ending process that can be extremely frustrating and very costly. We’re here to help clear things up and offer some advice so that, hopefully, you’ll have a fully functioning drain again in no time.

In this article, we will list ten causes of blocked drains and explain how to avoid these sorts of blockages from occurring in the first place.  

Causes of Blocked Drains

There are many causes of blocked drains. Let’s look at some of the most common causes so you can try your best to avoid these sorts of blockages from occurring in your home or business.

Tree Roots 

Tree roots are one of the most common causes of blocked drains in residential properties. They can cause a clogged drain by growing into the pipes, blocking them and causing water backup, or by actually breaking through the pipes themselves, causing a leak.


Toiletries like feminine hygiene products and facial tissues can easily get flushed down the toilet, but they’re not meant to be flushed down toilets because they don’t break down in water. These items will get stuck in your pipes and cause clogs.

Foreign Objects 

Foreign objects like hairballs can also cause clogs in your plumbing system because they build up over time until, eventually, there’s enough debris for water to no longer flow through properly, resulting in a blockage.

Cooking Oil 

Cooking oil and grease build up in the pipe, causing it to clog and fill with wastewater. This is especially common in kitchen sinks because even if you are using a garbage disposal device, the food scraps will continue to flow down into the drain.

Food Scraps

Food scraps can also cause your drain to clog up and fill with wastewater. This is especially common when people don’t use their garbage disposal or trash cans correctly. Fortunately, due to the cost of fixing the issue, most people only make this mistake once. 

Mineral Build Up 

Mineral build-up is often caused by hard water deposits building up on pipe walls over time. To prevent this from happening, ensure that all water used in your home is softened before using it, as this will prevent mineral buildups from blocking your drains.


Soap is an extremely common cause of blocked drains because it can build up on the sides of pipes and form clumps that eventually block the flow of water. You would be surprised by how often professional plumbers need to come out and repair drains plugged up with soap. 


Hair gets washed down your drain every day, and over time those strands build up into a solid mass that blocks water from flowing through your pipes. If you have long hair, this could very well be why your drain is clogged.

Natural Debris

Natural debris can actually be just as harmful as tree roots when it comes to blocking your drains. If you live near water or in an area prone to flooding, it’s important to keep an eye out for any debris that could be washed into your drains during storms and floods.

Cat Litter 

If you have cats, you know that litter can be a real pain to get out of your drains. Cat litter is made up of a combination of clay and sand, so it can clog up your drain and cause a backup in your pipes.


Sometimes commercial cleaning products can help unclog a blocked drain, but if the blockage is deep and unreachable, you may not have success with these sorts of products. When the blockage is particularly hard to locate, special cameras are used by plumbers to inspect blocked drains. This helps the plumbers locate the blockage so that they can fix your drain as soon as possible. 


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