5 Clogged drainages common reasons and how to fix them

Having to deal with clogged drains is one problem you’ll experience at one point in your life as a homeowner. Most of the drainage issues start as minor issues, which aren’t as hectic and frustrating to repair. However, these problems often worsen if you choose to turn a blind eye. As a result, you’ll end up spending a significant sum of money and time to have the issue resolved.

Ignoring a clogged drainage issue can adversely impact your home as it can cause corrosion, low pressure, flooding, slow water drainage, and sewage backups in extreme scenarios. The best way to avoid these plumbing issues is by identifying the most common reasons for drainage issues and fixing such problems.

Let’s get started and look at the different reasons for blocked drains you need to know:

1. Tree roots

The tiniest crack on a pipe can causes water to start seeping, which then draws tree roots. Once the tree roots find their way into the pipes, they’ll begin to grow quickly. Over time, they’ll become too big, so much so that they can block water from passing through and eventually destroying the pipes.

If you suspect tree roots have invaded your drainage pipes, you should listen to whether there’s a gurgling sound being produced. When such sounds are evident, you should contact expert blocked drain plumbers, as removing tree roots is a complicated process best left to professionals.

Other signs that tree roots might be behind your drainage issues include:

  • A sudden increase in your home’s water usage
  • Drastic changes in water pressure
  • Puddles all over your yard

You should leave the task of repairing a clogging issue due to tree roots to a professional plumber because the entire water system needs to be inspected. These experts do this inspection by conducting a CCTV drain survey using a tiny and flexible tube with a camera attached to its end.

The CCTV survey allows the plumbers to assess the health of your drainage system to confirm if the pipes are broken or cracked. If any issue is identified, the plumbers will quickly troubleshoot it to ensure your drainage system is working again before things get any worse.

2. Hair and soap scum 

Hair and soap scum 

Your hair is one of the main causes of clogged drainage, more so in the shower. This happens because the average individual loses hair each day while taking a bath or washing the face and eventually gets into the drainage. After a couple of years, the hair in the drainage that has already started decomposing becomes too much, causing a blockage.

If your drainage has lots of hair blocking the smooth water flow, you should use long tweezers or needle-nose pliers to pull out the hair. When unclogging the shower drain, you can use a DIY drain cleaning solution, which is pouring one cup of baking soda and following this up with a cup of white vinegar. A fizzing reaction will take place for around five minutes and once it settles down, follow this up by pouring two quartzes of hot water. Repeat this process until the drainage doesn’t have any clogging.

Another way of removing hair from the drain is by using drain cleaning gadgets such as drain spiders. But despite the many effective ways you can easily remove clogging from the drain, it’s best to prevent hair from going down the drain in the first place. You can do this by using drain screens which make the task of removing hair a lot simpler.

3. Toiletries

The last thing you’d want to deal with as a homeowner is a blocked toilet. But if you’re not careful, this is an issue that’ll undoubtedly arise, especially if you’re using too much toilet paper. In addition, this may occur if you constantly keep flushing items such as;

  • Dental floss
  • Paper towels
  • Wet pipes and baby wipes
  • Cotton pads or balls
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Cotton swabs

Flushing these items down the toilet causes blockages because they’re made from cotton and other fibres, which are non-biodegradable and attract other clogging agents. When your toilet blocks due to any of these reasons, you can fix the issue using a plunger. If this doesn’t work, contact a qualified plumber right away to repair the problem to prevent causing further damage, such as leaks.

4. Soap

There’s a high likelihood you’re surprised to see the inclusion of soap as one of the items that are notorious for causing clogged drains. However, you shouldn’t be that soap is usually made with fat or grease that combine with minerals in the water, forming a hard residue known as scum.

Soaps also block drains as they’re very slippery and easily find their way into the pipes. When they subsequently come into contact with animal hair, they’ll gradually become bigger, leading to blockage.

You should pressure clean the pipes to remove the soap build-up using a pressure washer to address this issue. You can also take a preventative approach of using soap-free body wash rather than soap and using drain guards.

5. Food waste

Food waste

You should never let food waste find its way into your drain, be it in the laundry drains, sinks or bathtub. You must do this because some food waste, such as coffee grounds and tea leaves, don’t break down and, because the drains aren’t designed to handle the food wastes, it can lead to a blockage. In addition, foods rich in fats or grease solidify in the pipes, hampering the flow in the tubes.

Washing food down the drain is also not ideal, even if you’re using a garbage disposal system. You shouldn’t do this as the blades of the garbage disposal usually don’t have the power to cut the food waste into small pieces to ensure they can seamlessly pass through the drainage pipes.

To prevent the drainage system from blocking due to food waste, you shouldn’t dispose of items down the drain. Instead, the food chunks and bits should be disposed of in the garbage when you’re cleaning the dishes. This is the only way you can address this issue of your clogged drains due to food waste.


Your home’s drainage needs to work correctly. Otherwise, you might experience issues, such as pipe deterioration and water damage. To avoid such nasty outcomes, which other than being repulsive can cause you great inconvenience, you’ll need to repair a drainage issue right away after realizing it. This guide has sort to help out on this matter by detailing the common causes of blocked drainages you need to know and the best techniques to fix such issues.

Samantha Rigby
Samantha Rigby
Samantha is the head of content, lifestyle and entrepreneurial columnist for Best in Australia. She is also a contributor to Forbes and SH. Prior to joining the Best in Au, she was a reporter and business journalist for local newspapers.
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