6 Causes of Blocked Drains

How unpleasant! The sink is full of dirty water and it is flowing away at an agonizingly slow pace.

How could this happen? 

We’re so glad you asked! There are many things that can cause a blocked drain. Let’s look at some of the most common causes of block drains. 

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1. Toiletries

Of course, you know you’re not supposed to put anything down the toilet. However, there are lots of little things on the bathroom vanity that can get bumped and end up in the toilet. 

To find these types of blockages, special cameras are used by plumbers to inspect blocked drains. Once they can pinpoint what and where the blockage is, they can figure out how to fix it. 

Pro-Tip: get in the habit of always closing the toilet seat lid to avoid these accidents. 

2. Soap Scum

Every day you use soap in the bathroom for a variety of purposes. That soap is constantly washing down the drain. 

Though the scum by itself normally won’t do much, it does make a perfect net for capturing hair and other debris on the way down. It also attaches to the inside of the pipe, constricting the flow and creating a bottleneck that will easily accumulate debris. 

3. Scraps of Food

Scraps of food after dinner go in the dog’s bowl, not down the drain. This is true even if you own a garbage disposal.

Even tiny bits of food that you would think are harmless, can get stuck and cause a stinky problem. Of particular concern are items like coffee grounds or tea leaves that don’t break down very well. 

4.  Minerals

Do you have hard water? This term is used to indicate the abundance of minerals in the water. Harder water has more minerals flowing through the pipes. 

These minerals on their own probably wouldn’t cause too much trouble. However, they coat the inside of the pipe. As the minerals build up, they constrict the flow of water in the pipe, making it more likely that bits of debris will get stuck. Eventually, the opening can narrow enough that the pipe is blocked.

5. Hair

Long hair is luscious and lovely on someone’s head. Unfortunately, it isn’t so luscious or lovely when it gets stuck in the drain. Those long locks get tangled easily and act as a web to catch soap scum and other bits of debris.

Before long, a thick clog is keeping the water from draining as it should.

6. Tree Roots

We wouldn’t think of the sludge in the drain pipes as anything but disgusting, but to tree roots, it’s a delicious buffet. 

Thus, they will find any tiny crack they can to sneak into the pipe and slurp up that nutritious sludge. Unfortunately, that means you could end up with a blocked (and broken) pipe. 

Struggling with a Blocked Drain?

Knowing common causes of blocked drains can help you figure out what to do when faced with this problem. Sometimes you can clear them yourself relatively easily, other times you’ll need a professional. 

Regardless, rest easy because clear drains are within reach!

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