Top 7 Causes for a Blocked Drain & What You Need to Know

Blocked drains are a common and frustrating issue that plagues us all. These blocked drains can disrupt daily life, cause property damage and can lead to expensive drain repairs or replacements. Understanding the reasons behind your blocked drain can help you take preventive measures and maintain a functional drainage system. In this explanatory guide, we’ll explore the most common culprits behind blocked drains and provide tips on the easiest ways to keep your drains clear and stress free.

1. Hair: The Gradual Choker

Hair in drain
Hair is one of the primary offenders when it comes to blocked drains, especially in the bathroom. Over time, hair can bind with soap scum and other debris, creating a mass that’ll blocks your drains.

Why It Happens
• Hair naturally sheds during showers and washing.
• Long hair is especially prone to tangling and causing clogs.

Prevention Tips
• Install a drain guard to catch hair before it goes down the drain.
• Regularly clean the drain guard and dispose of any trapped hair.

2. Soap Scum: The Silent Clogger

Soap Scum in drain
Soap may seem harmless, but over time, it can cause significant drain blockages. Soap scum forms when soap combines with minerals in water, leaving a hard residue inside your drain pipes.

Why It Happens
• Use of traditional bar soap.
• Hard water exacerbates soap scum buildup.

Prevention Tips
• Switch to liquid soap or body wash.
• Regularly clean your drains with hot water and vinegar to break down soap scum.

3. Food Waste: The Kitchen Culprit

Food in drain
Food waste, grease, and oil are notorious for causing kitchen drain blockages. Even small scraps can build up and create major blockages over time.

Why It Happens
• Improper disposal of food waste.
• Pouring grease and oil down the drain which when it cools, solidifies and blocks the drain.

Prevention Tips
• Use a sink strainer to catch food from going down the drain.
• Dispose of grease and oil in a separate container and bin it instead of pouring it down your drain.

4. Foreign Objects: The Unexpected Obstructions

Foreign objects in the toilet
Accidental flushing of foreign objects, such as sanitary products, wipes, toys, and even small pieces of jewellery can cause significant blockages in your drains.

Why It Happens
• Flushing non-biodegradable items.
• Accidentally dropping small objects down the toilet and flushing them.

Prevention Tips
• Only flush toilet paper and bodily waste.
• Teach other members of your household on what can and cannot be flushed.

5. Tree Roots: The Invisible Invaders

Tree roots in drain
Tree roots are a less obvious threat to your drains but they’re highly destructive. Roots can infiltrate your pipes through small cracks, seeking moisture, and over time, they can cause severe blockages and damage.

Why It Happens
• Trees naturally seek out moisture in the soil.
• Older, deteriorating pipes are more susceptible.

Prevention Tips
• Regularly inspect your pipes for signs of root intrusion or call us to provide a CCTV drain survey.
• Call us to replace your old pipes with our modern, root-resistant drain pipes!

6. Mineral Buildup: The Sneaky Buildup

Mineral Build up in drain
Hard water contains minerals that can accumulate inside your pipes, leading to reduced water flow and eventually, blockages.

Why It Happens
• High mineral content in water supply.
• Long-term accumulation of mineral deposits.

Prevention Tips
• Install a water softener to reduce mineral content.
• Regularly flush your pipes with a descaling solution.

7. Toilet Paper Overload: The Surprising Suspect

Toilet paper in the toilet
While toilet paper is designed to break down in water, using too much at once can create blockages in your drains, especially in older, lower flow toilets.

Why It Happens
• Excessive use of toilet paper.
• Low-flow toilets struggle with large amounts.

Prevention Tips
• Use toilet paper sparingly.
• Consider upgrading to a modern, more efficient toilet.

Still need help?

While we’re always happy to provide information on how to get the most out of your drains, we understand that sometimes DIY options aren’t enough and you need expert assistance. We are available 24/7 for any and all of your drainage service needs. Let it be a drain unblock or a brand new replacement drainage system, we’re always here to help. If you’re having any of these issues and find that the DIY options aren’t enough, call us today on 0333 344 6702 and we’ll be there for you.

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