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Home Home-improvement 7 Causes of Blocked Drains & Ways to Fix Them

7 Causes of Blocked Drains & Ways to Fix Them

Blocked drains are frustrating but luckily they are usually easy enough to take care of yourself with some simple solutions like using drain covers or an auger/snake tool.

A blocked drain can be an annoying and messy problem, but it can be fixed easily most of the time. The first step to finding a way to unblock a drain is understanding what caused it in the first place.

In this blog post, we explore the most common causes of blocked drains and some solutions you use to unblock them.

1. Hair

Hair often accumulates in drains over time, leading to clogs and blockages. One way to prevent this is to use drain covers in all your sinks and showers to catch hair before it goes down the drain.

When your drains get blocked due to hair buildup, you have a few tools to unclog it yourself: A plunger, a drain snake, or an auger. Make sure you always have these tools at home so you can control the situation before it worsens.

Refrain from using a chemical drain cleaner right away as they damage the pipelines. Save it as the last and final resort. However, you can try a homemade drain cleaner, which is a blend of baking soda, vinegar, and hot water.

2. Soap Scum and Grease

Soap scum and grease are the two most common causes of blocked drains. They stick to the sides of pipes over time, blocking them completely.

To avert this, avoid pouring grease down your sink or bathtub and clean out any soap residue regularly with a homemade baking soda scrub or commercial cleaner designed specifically for this purpose.

If your drains have already become blocked due to soap scum or grease buildup, you may try pressure cleaning; or jetting boiling water down the drain. If both don’t work, you may have to use a chemical cleaner to remove them.

3. Clogged Pipes

Clogged pipes are another common cause of blocked drains, as debris, such as leaves and dirt, accumulate inside them over time.

You can prevent it by making sure all outdoor pipes have covers on them, so the debris doesn’t have access to them.

If your pipes have already become clogged with debris, you need to hire a professional plumber with more specialised resources like cameras and hydraulic equipment to clear the blockage.

4. Tree Roots

Tree roots tearing into underground drainage systems is another issue most homes with landscapes face. If you have large trees in your yard, it is only a matter of time before they penetrate into your pipe system. They get drawn to the pipes for water and nutrients.

The damage tree roots can cause to your plumbing system is more significant than any other. It leads to serious blockages that need professional intervention to resolve them.

As a preventive measure, first of all, ensure your trees have a considerable distance from the sewer lines. But if the intrusion has already happened, chemical tree root removal is one method used to clear the block. There are several in the market, and you can get any chemical with good reviews.

We suggest you don’t DIY if it is not your cup of tea. Ask for a professional’s help. They know how to handle this, ensuring no further damage happens.

5. Wet Wipes and Cotton Swabs

Waste such as wet wipes, shredded paper, and cotton swabs do not belong in toilets. These foreign materials can get stuck inside, leading to severe blocks. So, leave the habit of flushing down all kinds of waste in the toilet.

The fix is simple here; use a plunger.

6. Mineral Build-up

Apart from all the waste from the outside, minerals built-up inside the pipes can also potentially create clogs. If your area has hard water, the minerals build up over time and cause blocks eventually. Sometimes, it can be partial, while other times, it can be a severe block, driving you crazy.

Usually, this situation needs the attention of a professional. You cannot fix this on your own. Although, you can take a preventive measure by installing a water softener at home. It turns your hard water into soft water eliminating its mineral contents.

But if you are facing a blocked drain in Clayton already, simply give your plumber a call.

7. Broken Pipes

Damaged pipes are yet another cause of blocked drains as pieces of debris enter through the cracks causing blocks further down the line.

Fixing broken pipes, however, is always a job for experienced professionals. They assess the situation correctly before advising on what needs replacing along with how best to proceed.


Blocked drains are frustrating but luckily they are usually easy enough to take care of yourself with some simple solutions like using drain covers or an auger/snake tool.

But when faced with more difficult issues, such as root intrusions or broken pipework, you should always call a professional to handle it effectively without causing more damage.

Hopefully, now you are armed with the necessary knowledge about blocked drains and their fixes. Once you get a hint about what caused the block, your best bet is to try a plunger or an auger. If this does not work, you may then call for a plumbing expert.

Just to be sure, you are better off keeping multiple contacts of plumbers in your area. If one can’t make it, you always have someone to take care of the issue. As you know, some plumbing issues can be quite pressing that can’t be postponed for more than 24 hours.

Adding to your resources, Doyle Plumbing is a worthy resource to bear in mind. Give them a call whenever you have blocked drains in Clayton.

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