5 Common Causes of Drain Stoppage and How to Eliminate Them

Clear drains are essential for properly functioning your home’s plumbing system. They ensure that water flows freely from sinks, showers, and toilets and that sewage is disposed of correctly. However, if your drains become clogged, you may experience problems like slow drainage or sewage backups, which can be costly and inconvenient to fix.

If your drains become clogged, you may experience a variety of problems. Slow drainage is one of the most common symptoms of clogged drains, as water may take longer to drain from your sink, shower, or toilet, which can be frustrating. In severe cases, sewage backups can occur, which can be hazardous to your health and require professional assistance. Drains can be damaged if clogged, leading to costly repairs or replacement.

For this reason, one must know the common causes of drain stoppage and how to eliminate them. These include:

#1 – Soap Scum

Soap scum is a common cause of clogged drains in bathrooms. When soap mixes with hard water, it forms a sticky substance that can build up in your drain pipes over time. This can cause slow drainage and blockages, which are frustrating and expensive to fix.

To prevent soap scum buildup in your drains, you can use a drain cover to catch hair and other debris before it enters your pipes. You can also try mixing vinegar and baking soda to break down the soap scum and clear your drains. Simply pour the baking soda down the drain, followed by the vinegar, and let it sit for a few minutes before flushing it with hot water.

Another option is to switch to a liquid soap that is less likely to form soap scum. Look for soaps labeled “low suds” or “soap scum-free” to help prevent buildup in your drains.

#2 – Grease and Oil

Grease and oil are common causes of clogged drains, especially in kitchen sinks. When hot grease and oil are poured down the drain, they can solidify and stick to the inside of your pipes, causing blockages and slow drainage. For this reason, you must never pour hot grease or oil down the drain. Instead, let it cool and solidify before disposing it in the trash. You can also use a paper towel to wipe excess grease and oil off dishes and cookware before washing them in the sink.

If you experience a grease or oil buildup clog, pour boiling water down the drain to loosen and flush away the grease. You can also use baking soda and vinegar to break the grease and clear your pipes. To prevent future clogs, consider installing a grease trap in your kitchen sink. These traps are designed to catch grease and oil before they enter your drain pipes, helping to prevent buildup and clogs.

#3 – Dirt

Dirt can also cause clogged drains, especially in outdoor drains or basements and garages. Dirt can accumulate over time and create a blockage, resulting in slow or backed-up drainage. To keep the area around outdoor drains clean and free of debris, you must regularly sweep and remove any dirt or debris that may have accumulated. You can also install a drain grate or cover to prevent dirt and other debris from entering the drain.

If you experience a dirt buildup clog, you can use a plumbing snake to remove the blockage. You can also use baking soda and vinegar to break down the dirt and clear the drain. Regular maintenance and cleaning of outdoor drains can help prevent future clogs.

#4 – Clumps of Hair

In any bathroom sink, shower, or tub, clumps of hair are bound to accumulate over time, leading to clogged drains. Hair can easily get caught in the drain, especially if there is already a buildup of soap scum and other debris. To prevent hair from going down the drain, use a drain strainer or hair catcher to catch any loose hair before it can cause a clog, or you can try using a plunger to push the blockage through the drain. Alternatively, you can use a drain snake or a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to break down the hair and clear the drain.

#5 – Unflushable Objects

Sometimes, people may accidentally or intentionally flush objects that shouldn’t be flushed, such as baby wipes, paper towels, feminine hygiene products, and toys. These objects can easily get stuck in the pipes, causing a clog. To prevent this, you can use a plunger or a plumbing snake to remove the blockage. You must never use chemicals or harsh cleaners to try and dissolve the objects, as this can damage your plumbing system.


Clogged drains are frustrating and can cause damage to your plumbing system if not addressed promptly. For this reason, you must always be mindful of what you are flushing down your toilet and sink, especially if you have an older plumbing system. This way, your drains can function properly, and you can avoid costly repairs.

Wooten Knockout Plumbing can help if you’re looking for plumbers in Tulsa, OK. Our professional plumbing contractors will ensure your drains and pipes are clear, even in an emergency. Call us today at 918-367-8887 to request a service!


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