Blocked Drain Causes: Common Culprits and How to Prevent Them

Blocked drains are a common household problem that can cause significant inconvenience, health hazards, and costly repairs. Identifying the cause of the blockage is essential in preventing future blockages. There are several reasons why drains become blocked, and it is crucial to understand them to prevent blockages from happening. 

This article explores the most common causes of blocked drains and provides tips on how to prevent them. By following these recommendations, homeowners can avoid the frustration and expense of a blocked drain and maintain a healthy plumbing system.

1. Hair and Soap Scum Build-Up

Hair and soap scum accumulate over time and can cause blockages in the bathroom and shower drains. This build-up can be prevented by installing drain covers that catch hair and debris. Regular cleaning of the drains with hot water and vinegar can also help prevent blockages.

2. Food Waste

Kitchen drains are often blocked by food waste that has been washed down the sink. Grease, oil, and fats can solidify in the pipe and cause a blockage. To prevent this, avoid pouring cooking oil or grease down the sink. Instead, let it cool and dispose of it in the bin. Use a strainer to catch food scraps and dispose of them in the bin or compost.

3. Foreign Objects

Foreign objects such as toys, sanitary products, and wet wipes can cause blockages in the toilet and drain pipes. These items should never be flushed down the toilet as they can cause significant blockages. It is essential to educate children on the correct disposal of these items. Installing a childproof toilet seat can also prevent foreign objects from entering the toilet.

4. Tree Roots

Tree roots can grow into the drain and cause blockages. This is a common problem in older homes with clay pipes. They can penetrate the pipes and cause them to crack or break. To prevent this, ensure that trees and shrubs are planted at a safe distance from the drain pipes. 

Regular maintenance of the pipes can also detect tree root intrusion before it causes significant damage.

5. Broken Pipes

Broken pipes are a severe cause of blocked drains. Pipes can break due to age, corrosion, or damage from construction work. Broken pipes can cause water damage to the property and require professional repair. Regular maintenance of the pipes can detect any signs of damage before it causes significant blockages or damage to the property.

6. Mineral Build-Up 

Mineral build-up is a common cause of blockages in bathroom and kitchen sinks. Minerals such as calcium and magnesium can accumulate over time and create a blockage. To prevent mineral build-up, use a water softener, which will remove minerals from the water. Regular cleaning of the sink with a solution of vinegar and water can also help prevent blockages.

7. Flushed Medications 

Flushing medications down the toilet can cause blockages in the drain pipes. Medications can combine with other chemicals in the water and create a solid mass that can block the pipes. To prevent this, dispose of medications in the bin or take them to a pharmacy for proper disposal.


Blocked drains are a common household problem that can be prevented by taking simple steps. Hair and soap scum build-up, food waste, foreign objects, tree roots, broken pipes, mineral build-up, and flushed medications are the most common causes of blocked drains. 

Preventing blockages involves regular maintenance of the plumbing system, proper disposal of waste and medications, and the installation of drain covers, strainers, leaf guards, and gutter meshes. 

By implementing these preventive measures, homeowners can avoid the inconvenience and cost of a blocked drain and ensure a healthy plumbing system for their homes.

Looking for reliable drainage services in London? Look no further than Jensen Property Maintenance. Our team of experienced plumbers can help you with all your drainage needs, from unblocking drains to repairing broken pipes. Contact us today to schedule your next drainage service and ensure a healthy plumbing system for your property!