Common Causes Of Blocked Drains

Blocked drains can be an inconvenience and they can cause damage to your plumbing system due to the build-up of pressure at the site of a blockage. Partial blockages can quickly turn into complete blockages and leave you with standing water in your sink or unable to shower or use your toilet. Common signs of a blocked drain include slow draining water, raised water levels in the toilets or a foul smell coming from the drains, which often occurs due to food debris being stuck in the pipes. Your drains may also make a gurgling sound, which is caused by trapped air that results when dirt and grease build-up in a pipe and impede airflow. Read on to learn about the common causes of blocked drains.

Food Scraps

You don't have to be scraping all your leftovers into your sink for food to cause a blockage in your drain. An odd piece of fibrous vegetable or pasta can expand in your drainage pipe and get stuck. If this keeps happening, a complete blockage can occur. You can avoid this problem by ensuring no food scraps make their way into your sink and by using a plughole cover. These are designed to catch small pieces of debris as the water drains away.


Pouring fat down the plughole seems like a quick solution when cleaning pans, but it's a bad habit and can cause significant damage to your drains and the sewer system. Fat will coat the inside of your drainpipes and make it easier for other debris to stick to the inside walls of your drains. Over time, the build-up of fat gets thicker until the drains are completely blocked and store-bought drain cleaners don't tend to break down fat. You can prevent fat clogging your drains by scraping fat from pans and roasting trays into a metal can. Once the fat hardens it can usually be popped into your food recycling caddy, but you should check recycling rules in your local area to confirm this.


You're likely aware that each time you shower and wash your hair a significant amount of hair can shed and go down your shower's plughole. This hair can quickly clog up your drain, particularly when combined with soap and hair care products that can cause hair to clump in your drains and stick to drain walls. Brushing your hair before you shower can remove loose hairs and reduce the amount of hair going down the drain. You can also use a plug cover to catch loose hair.

If you have noticed signs of a slow-moving or blocked drain, contact a plumber and get the problem sorted to avoid damage to your plumbing system. They can provide further information regarding blocked drains.