A blocked drain is a common and frustrating issue to come across. No one wants to have to deal with a backed up sink or toilet drain, much less handle the mess that happens when an overflow occurs. There are many things that can cause a blockage in your drain pipes, but most of these issues are easy to prevent. Find out more about the ten things that don’t belong in your drain and prevent the need for blocked drain cleaning services.  


Usually, we don’t notice or would rather not think about how the human body sheds hair. When those hairs go into our drainage system, they can wreak havoc on our pipes, causing frequent blockages. Problems mainly crop up in our showers and sinks, particularly if there are multiple people using them on a regular basis. Sometimes, you can clear the blockage  from the drain by simply removing the hair around the opening of the drain. Nut often, the clog is further down in the drain. There are many preventative measures you can take to avoid a hair clog. For instance, drain covers keep out hair. If you do have a clog, you should never hesitate to contact a professional.

Grease, Oil and Fat

A very common blockage in drainage systems is oil, fats, and grease that flushes down the drain. This can originate from many sources, such as cooking oils, food byproducts, and some fat-based soaps. You should never allow fats from cooking to make their way down the drain. Fats, oils and grease coagulate and stick to the sides of pipes, accumulating over time and restricting the flow of wastewater. As a result, your home could have major backups and overflows. To prevent these issues, never rinse out fatty cooking utensils and pans into your sink. Be sure to clean out any pans or skillets of any grease before you rinse or place them in your dishwasher.

Excess Toilet Paper

Though it is specifically designed to be flushed down drain pipes, toilet paper may be the cause of your toilet blockages. Your drain pipes can only handle so much volume at a time, and toilet paper is no exception. When you use too much toilet paper, it can easily bunch up and cause a clog in your toilet’s drainage system. Be aware of how much toilet paper you use at any given time, particularly if you use the higher end multi-ply paper. If possible, use smaller amounts spread over multiple flushes to prevent a clog.


Wet wipes are a great tool to help clean up messes that might otherwise require rinsing or washing. Many of these wipes even market themselves as “flushable” or “biodegradable.” Despite having this title, these wipes should never be flushed down a toilet. They cause blockages constantly and can become a real concern for the health and long term function of your drainage and sewer system. These wipes are not only hefty in themselves, but they have a nasty tendency to stick to each other and many other objects. If you use wipes, put them in the trash.

Feminine Products and Cotton Swabs

As with wet wipes, feminine products and cotton swabs never belong in a toilet. Not only do they not degrade, they absorb and hold moisture. When they go down a toilet, they collect water and swell in size.

Foreign Objects

If you have kids, some foreign object may “accidentally” find itself in your drain or toilet. Unfortunately, it may be very difficult to remove an object from your drain. You should do your best to keep foreign objects away from the toilet, and call a plumber if it’s too late.

Food Waste

Leftover food might be biodegradable, but it can still clog your drain. Although a garbage disposal system may help break up the larger chunks of food, it doesn’t fully protect your plumbing.

Soap and Bath Salts

Yes, you read that right – soaps and bath salts may cause blockages in your drainage system. The most common reason for this is that many soaps are fat based. Like oil and fat, soap can clog your drains. To avoid a clog, try using liquid soap and schedule routine drain cleaning services in Stewartstown.

Mineral Buildup

Depending on the source of your home’s water supply, your drainage and sewer system may be subject to various contaminants. Untreated water coming into your house can cause mineral and scale buildup within your pipes, drains, and fixtures. To prevent this, you can install a water softener. If you still have trouble, call a plumber.

Root Systems

Underground pipes have their own issues from the root systems of nearby bushes, shrubs, and trees. The roots seek sources of water and sometimes break through old pipes. If you have large trees near your plumbing, you might experience this common issue and need plumbing repair services.  

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the main cause of blocked drains?

In most residences, there are two main causes of blocked drains: human hair and excessive toilet paper. Most people don’t realize how much hair ends up in a drain. It accumulates  and causes blockages that are both inconvenient and problematic. People also  are not aware of how much toilet paper they use at any given time.  If you use too much toilet paper, you can cause a problem in your home’s drainage system and cause major toilet backups.

How do you know if the drain is blocked?

You can easily identify a blockage in a number of ways. The most obvious sign is a backup of wastewater coming out of the drain. At other times, you might notice an odor coming from around sinks, tubs, and toilets. It’s a sign that you need plumbing repair in Stewartstown. If you suspect an issue, you need blocked drain cleaning services. Call Us at Reliability Home Services and we can assist you with all your plumbing needs.