The Most Common Reasons for Blocked Drains

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  • Author Lucas Cook
  • Published August 17, 2021
  • Word count 592

Having a blocked drain is an extremely common plumbing problem and is one of the main requests that plumbers are often called out to resolve. This is why we have decided to detail the main reasons as to why drains get blocked to hopefully make you aware of ways to avoid this issue from occurring in the future!

Tree Roots

Tree roots blocking drains is one of the most common causes for drains becoming blocked. When they look for water they will break and enter pipes to then block them. Older and damaged pipes are more prone to break from the invading pipes and become clogged from the situation.

Wipes and Hygiene Products

Wipes and other hygiene products, such as diapers, that are flushed down toilets can create serious blockages. When they cannot flow down the pipe correctly they can become stuck inside the pipes and create clogs. These will not dissolve and prevent water and waste from properly flowing through the piping system.

Fat, Oil and Grease

When these enter plumbing systems they can easily become stuck, stick to the walls of the pipe and block the insides. Fats, oils and grease that are often leftover from food and poured down the sink is not a good way to dispose of them. This is because of the nature of the three to build up and clog the piping network.


Within bathroom and shower drains hair is one of the more common causes of blockages. The hair can become stuck and build up inside the bathroom drain to prevent water from flowing through correctly. Hair can also catch soap, oil and more to create larger and more difficult to deal with blockages.


Food scraps, chunks and leftovers can easily become stuck in the plumbing and create a blockage. When people dispose of food down the sink instead of the garbage or other means of disposal this can create larger clogs. The food chunks and bits can become stuck in the pipes, not flowing down and lead to other food being stuck as well from this.


Besides from tree roots, sticks, leaves and other vegetation can flow inside drainage and become stuck. Often from storms leading the items into the drains, nature often becomes stuck in sewage or stormwater systems. Ensuring the ground is clean of leaves and debris and they are removed properly will help prevent them from entering plumbing systems and blocking them.

Toiletry Objects

Other objects can enter drains, not flow correctly down the system and cause the pipes to be blocked. Dental floss, jewellery, toys to soap can accidentally or incorrectly enter the drainage system and block them. This is why it is important to know what should and should not enter the pipe to prevent blockages



When there are leaks in the plumbing system underground the ground around it can become weakened. When this happens the pipes may fall, sag or change the position which could lead to soil entering the pipes and clogging the system. The pipe may also break from this issue which can cause clogs and other issues to form.

Pipe Problems

From plumbing overload, pipes being too small or big, or pipes sloping or in the wrong position. These can all cause pipes to be blocked.

Blocked drains are a problem that we will all experience. So if you have one, it is best to get it resolved immediately before it turns into a bigger problem. Contacting your local plumber is the best way to have this issue resolved efficiently.

Lucas Cook is a Content Marketing Specialist at Optimised Plumbing Services, a specialist blocked drain plumber. He enjoys writing about home improvement and plumbing topics and is an advocate for environmental sustainability

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