Every homeowner has experienced it at one point or another: the water in the sink takes forever to drain, the shower floor is covered in water, or worse, the toilet won’t flush. Drain clogs are a common yet highly inconvenient reality that can disrupt our daily routines and lead to costly plumbing repairs if not addressed promptly.

Understanding the major causes of drain clogs is the first step toward prevention and maintaining a smoothly running plumbing system. In this blog, we’ll review the common culprits behind clogged drains, offering insights and solutions to keep your water flowing freely.

The Culprits Behind Clogged Drains

Drain clogs are silent culprits that sneak up on us, often at inconvenient times. If the thought of a clogged drain secretly undermining your plumbing system is causing concern, you probably want to know which factors can contribute to their development. Whether it’s in the kitchen sink where we wash our dishes or the sink drain that should whisk water away effortlessly, understanding what leads to these blockages is key to maintaining a smooth and efficient plumbing system.


One of the most common causes of clogged drains, especially in the shower drain and bathroom sink, is hair. Human hair, along with pet fur, binds with soap residue to form a sticky, tangled mass that traps other debris, leading to slow drainage or complete blockage.

Cooking Grease and Oil

Another major cause of drain clogs is the disposal of cooking grease, oil, and fat down kitchen sinks. These substances solidify inside sewer pipes, creating a stubborn blockage that’s difficult to clear without professional help. It’s crucial to dispose of drain-clogging cooking oil and grease in the trash rather than down the sink.

Food Waste

Even with a garbage disposal, certain food waste like coffee grounds, eggshells, and vegetable peels can cause clogs. These materials don’t break down easily and can accumulate in your plumbing, leading to major clogged drains.

Soap Scum

Traditional bar soaps contain fat that combines with minerals in water to form soap scum, a hard residue that sticks to pipes and narrows their diameter, causing slow and clogged drains over time.

Flushable Wipes and Feminine Hygiene Products

There are several major causes of drain clogs, and some might surprise you. Despite what the packaging says, flushable wipes, feminine hygiene products, and other non-biodegradable items are leading causes of clogged drains. These products do not dissolve like toilet paper and can quickly lead to sewage backups.

Lesser-Known Causes of Drain Clogs

Clogged pipes can happen for numerous reasons — including some you might never suspect. Exploring these lesser-known causes of clogged drains can shed light on how to better protect and maintain the efficiency of your drain system.

Hard Water Build-Up

Hard water contains high levels of minerals like calcium and magnesium, which can accumulate in your pipes, reducing water flow and leading to soap scum build-up. This is a more insidious cause of clogged drains, often overlooked until problems become apparent.

Small Objects

Small toys, toothbrushes, and other foreign objects accidentally dropped down drains can cause immediate blockages. It’s important to have drain covers in place, especially in homes with young children.

Tree Roots

Tree roots, which are attracted to the moisture in sewer lines, can infiltrate and block pipes, leading to significant drainage problems and even sewage backup. This issue requires immediate attention from a professional plumber.

Proactive Measures to Prevent Drain Clogs

Preventing drain clogs starts with mindfulness about what goes down your drains. Regularly cleaning drain covers, properly disposing of grease and food scraps, and using a hair catcher in showers can make a big difference. For hard water issues, consider installing a water softener to reduce mineral build-up.

When to Consider Calling an Expert

While DIY methods like using baking soda and vinegar or boiling water can address minor clogs, persistent and serious drainage problems require professional intervention. Plumbers use specialized equipment and techniques to safely and effectively clear clogs.

Universal Home Experts: Your Go-To for Drain Cleaning

Experiencing slow drainage, sewage backup, or other signs of clogged drains? Don’t let the problem escalate. Universal Home Experts offers professional drain cleaning in Houston, TX, and we’re equipped to tackle even the most stubborn clogs. Our team uses the latest methods to clear your drains, restoring peace and functionality to your home.

Contact Us Today to Maintain a Clog-Free Home!

Understanding the major causes of drain clogs is essential for any homeowner. By taking preventive measures and seeking professional help when necessary, you can maintain a healthy plumbing system and avoid the inconvenience and expense of clogged drains. Remember, the key to a clog-free home is vigilance and timely action.

If you’re facing persistent drain clogs or just want to prevent future issues, Universal Home Experts is here to help. Our experienced plumbers have a wide range of specialties, from top-notch drain cleaning services to tankless water heaters in Houston, guaranteeing your home’s plumbing remains in the best possible condition.

Now that you know the causes of clogged drains, why delay addressing the problem until it becomes more severe? Contact us today to schedule your service and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a fully functional plumbing system!

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