12 Common Causes of Drain Clogs Every Homeowner Should Know

Unhappy young woman with plunger near clogged drain in bathroom. MidCity Plumbers

Are you experiencing a clogged drain more frequently? Most homeowners are familiar with clogging issues and have run into them at least once or twice. And while a clogged drain may be common, it can be prevented with proper knowledge and cleaning. Here are 12 common causes of drain clogs you should know and what you can do to prevent them. Read on! 

1. Dirt and debris causing clogged drain

More often than not, we carry dirt and small debris inside the shower. When you’re out all day and coming in for a warm shower, dirt and debris will also come in and slowly make their way down the drain. Of course, there will be dirt that can’t easily be removed by simple soap and water.

Keep in mind that when you allow large amounts of dirt and debris down the drain, you’ll eventually have a clogged drain. The next time you shower or wash your hands in the sink, make sure you don’t allow large amounts of dirt or debris to accumulate down the drain. They can cause a major blockage that will eventually stop water from running through your pipes. 

Clogged drain caused by dirt and debris. MidCity Plumbers

Clean your showers and drains frequently and remove as much dirt and debris as you can to avoid a clogged drain. 

2. Paper towels causing clogged drain

Paper towels are a classic cause of a clogged drain. While it may seem thinner than any regular paper, paper towels are slow to dissolve. Some may even cause clogging issues that you will surely regret. 

Throw paper towels in your garbage and stop the habit of flushing them down the toilet drain. Remember that these paper towels also expand, taking up more space in the pipe than you would normally think.

3. Hair can cause a clogged drain

Ah yes, another classic, the hair. You’ll most likely end up cleaning a lot of hair in the bathroom than you would have expected. Hair, or the accumulation of hair, is a major culprit in a clogged drain.

Once you’re done showering, keep in mind that even small amounts of hair can lead to a clogged drain. Make sure to clean your shower drain catcher as soon as you finish. 

Hand in glove cleaning a clogged drain in the sink or bathtub from hair. MidCity Plumbers

4. Food particles leading to clogged drain

Food particles are another common cause why most homeowners are experiencing a clogged drain, and having a garbage disposal doesn’t mean you can just pour anything down. We get it. 

You want to just put anything down the drain after a long busy day. But you must resist the urge to do it otherwise you’ll end up spending too much repair costs on a clogged kitchen sink drain

Here is a brief list of food particles that you should never put down in the sink:

  • Eggshells
  • Food scraps
  • Fruit or vegetable peels 
  • Coffee grounds  
  • Used cooking oil

There are also other ways in which you can avoid throwing huge amounts of waste. Some even make a compost to put their food scraps to reduce the impact of wasted food, while others opt for a garbage disposal system. Either way, make sure that you don’t randomly throw anything down your sink to avoid a clogged kitchen sink drain 

Fresh water flushing food particles causing a clogged drain. MidCity Plumbers

5. Used oil and grease will cause a clogged drain

Do you always use oil for cooking meals? Take note that fats and oils are also causing a major clogged drain in most homes. While it may seem okay to dump them in their liquid form while they are hot, fats and oils harden. The solidifying process usually happens once they enter the drain when they cool down. 

As fats and oils harden into a solid mass, they clump in your drain and cause water flow to stop or at least flow slowly. Lucky enough, preventing this is easy. One of the practical ways to avoid pouring used oil down the drain is to simply pour your used cooking oil into a melt-proof container. Once they harden, you can now throw them in the garbage. Easy peasy! No clogged kitchen sink drain either. 

6. Soap residue can leave a clogged drain

So you think soap also easily dissolves? Think again! While it’s true that we don’t talk about the soap itself, instead we’re talking about the scum that builds up in your drain from soap residue. 

You might be shocked to know that soap residue can also be the cause of a clogged drain in your toilet or sink. 

If you use bar soaps, they often leave a thin film behind on pipes that can build up over time. Want to know the best remedy for this? Change your soaps. Liquid soaps, for example, flow more easily through your plumbing. They also don’t create scum on your bathroom counters or showers.

So, if you are frequently experiencing a clogged drain, there’s a high chance that soap residue is causing this. 

7. Tree roots will cause a clogged drain

Tree roots also pose a great risk. Especially when there are leaks in the pipes that attract tree roots, which can lead to a clogged drain. Tree roots love moist areas, and if your pipes are always moist, they can grow inside these pipes. This results in pipe damage that needs replacement.

Clogged drains caused by tree roots leading to split drainage pipe. MidCity Plumbers

This does not only affect your water consumption, but you’ll also end up spending a lot of money on pipe replacement or cleaning services. In worst cases, you may even need excavation or jet cleaning. You can avoid all of these if you take proper care of your pipes. 

You can do so by being mindful of the stuff that you put down the drain. Some items may lead to cracking or scratching your pipes, leading to leaking and growth of tree roots. 

8. Feminine products will cause a clogged drain

If you’ve made it past 6th grade without someone telling you it’s a bad idea to flush used feminine products down the toilet, it’s time to learn. If paper towels and tissues are too thick for toilets, feminine products are a definite no-no. Products like tampons are made to expand when there is moisture. This is especially bad for your drains. 

Follow the usage directions on the box for disposing of feminine products. But never put them down yours or anyone else’s toilet. It will eventually lead to a clogged toilet.

Just be sure to call a plumbing specialist right away to make sure your clogged drain doesn’t cause more severe damage like leaks.

9. Flushable wipes can cause a clogged drain

Flushable wipes are not really that flushable. You might be surprised with this, but they’re not meant to be flushed. Although this bears the label of “flushable”, they can easily cause a clogged toilet or drain since they also dissolve slowly in water. 

So, it is recommended not to use flushable wipes, or at least flush them down the toilet. Not only does this give you a clogged toilet, but these wipes may also lead to problems in the septic system. Instead, throw them properly in the garbage can. 

Close up hand throwing flushable wipe into toilet causing clogged drain. MidCity Plumbers

10. Pipe disintegration can lead to a clogged drain

Pipe disintegration, no matter how simple or complex it is, can also lead to a clogged drain if left untreated. This may be in the form of severely damaged pipes or sagging sewer lines. 

For obvious reasons, pipe disintegration leads to many problems, and one of the common ones is clogs. So make sure that your pipes are working well by having them checked regularly by plumbing experts

11. Foreign objects will cause a clogged drain

Foreign objects also always make it to the cut when it comes to a clogged drain. Sinks, toilets, and drains are often susceptible to clogs once foreign objects come into play. From a small bouncy ball to a Lego piece, any of these could potentially clog your toilets or any other drains. 

To help you out, here are some effective ways to prevent clogging by foreign objects: 

  • Teach your kids what the toilet is used for. It’s practical to let them know that flushing down their toys or any other objects could lead to clogging. Just casually have a little talk with them about that. 
  • It’s also ideal to buy drain covers. When you’re not around, your kids may not mess with the toilet or sinks. With drain covers, you get to prevent foreign objects from flushing down the drain. 

12. Medication can cause a clogged drain

Did you know that medications can also cause a clogged drain? Yes, even if they’re small! There are tablets or syrups that can contribute to the clumping with other food waste that you flush down the drain.  

To avoid clogging issues from medications, you can try diluting thick syrups. On the other hand, crushed tablets can be dissolved in water for 15 minutes, at least in some cases. 

Better yet, don’t flush down medications as these do not only lead to clogging, they can also affect water quality as some dissolve slower than other medications. 

Medication and tablets causing a clogged drain on white background. MidCity Plumbers

How can MidCity Plumbers help? 

MidCity Plumbers is a reliable plumbing company with an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau. We are always ready to provide plumbing services for both residential and commercial settings. With our team of certified experts, your tough plumbing issues and any clogged drain will be resolved in the shortest amount of time. 

MidCity Plumbers offers professional and reliable plumbing services. Our services are done right from the initial inspection all the way through to the final process. If you have stubborn clogs at home even in emergency situations, MidCity Plumbers will be there right away. Just give us a call today on 📞 (778) 772-8676 or contact us today!

Recent Post

How to Check and Fix a Water Leak in Your Home

How to Check and Fix a Water Leak in Your Home

As a homeowner, you might have encountered some kind of plumbing leak or problem before. Some might have experienced leaks, frozen pipes, or pipe clogging which are more obvious and easy to detect. However, there are also plumbing problems like loose connections which...

5 DIYs to Avoid in Custom Home Renovations in 2022

5 DIYs to Avoid in Custom Home Renovations in 2022

With the housing market continuing to increase, Vancouver real estate saw sales up 25.3 percent in the 10-year January average last month. The increase in competition for a limited amount of homes has driven up prices to record numbers. The short supply causes older...

4 Reasons Shower Drain Cleaning is Essential

4 Reasons Shower Drain Cleaning is Essential

Did you consider regular cleaning when it comes to your shower drain? While most people don’t realize how important this is, we’re here to tell you why. Regular shower drain cleaning has many more benefits than you might think.  One of the best reasons is you get to...

Prevent Plumbing Problems During Heavy Rainfall in Vancouver

Prevent Plumbing Problems During Heavy Rainfall in Vancouver

Are you looking for ways to prevent plumbing problems especially during heavy rainfalls in Vancouver? We can help you! It’s a known fact that heavy rainfall is a friend to no one, especially to your plumbing system. It’s always important to assess if your plumbing can...

How to Fix a Clogged Toilet and Prevent Future Clogs

How to Fix a Clogged Toilet and Prevent Future Clogs

For sure, all of us experience clogged toilets. This is not only annoying, but it can also greatly affect the way we prepare our routines every day. While these issues are usually resolved with just a plunger, most problems just can’t be fixed. Fortunately, you can...