Help! My Drains Are Blocked

Portrait Of An Young African Woman Looking At Water Leaking From Sink Pipe

Blocked drains are pretty disgusting. There might even be a very unpleasant odour wafting up and perfuming your home with its stench.

For now, you’ll have to put on your handyman hat or call a plumber to deal with the blockage. But, for the future, what causes blocked drains and what can you do to avoid them? Let’s find out.

Common Causes of Blocked Drains

Many of the common causes of blocked drains are actually avoidable if you know what to look for.

Clumps of Hair

This is a big one in the shower, especially those used by people with long or thick hair. Bits of hair go down the drain but get stuck in the pipe. Over time, the hair builds up and catches more hair until there is a not-so-nice clump.

Soap Scum

Hair isn’t the only thing that gets stuck in your shower drain. Soap scum is another common culprit that often mixes with hair and other small debris to make clogs.

Tree Roots

The sludge that runs through your drain pipes seems pretty disgusting to us, but trees love it! They are attracted to the rich buffet of water and nutrients that can be found inside the pipes.

If there is even the slightest crack in your pipes, tree roots will seek it out. As they grow, they can widen the crack and eventually break and block the pipe.

Severely damaged pipes may need replacing and you’ll need someone who knows what they’re doing.


The only thing that should be going down the toilet drain is toilet paper and…you know…the other stuff. Feminine hygiene products and other toiletries do not belong in the toilet. They can just end up causing a real problem with a blocked drain.

Foreign Objects

We assume that most of you reading this should know not to flush foreign objects down the toilet or drop them in the drain. Timmy the toddler should be the only one still learning this concept. It’s easy for those objects to get hung up in the pipe and create a blockage.

Cat Litter

Cat litter is designed to clump up when it touches liquid. The whole point is to capture and retain liquid as much as possible. Imagine what a clump of that stuff would do in your drain? Don’t dump cat waste down the toilet!

Food Scraps

Are you good about using your garbage disposal or not allowing food waste to wash down the drain? Even if you are very careful, eventually a few food scraps will wash down the sink. If the scraps get stuck, they can grab other debris and begin to form a clump in the pipe.

Getting Your Drains Clear

Sometimes DIY solutions work to clear a drain. For example, plunging the sink or pouring cleaner down the drain.

Other clogs will require more drastic measures before they can be cleared. Always call a licenced plumber to help.