Common Causes of Clogged Pipes

Drain Pipe Blockage

If you are a homeowner and have lived there for any good amount of time, you have more than likely experienced some form of drain pipe blockage. When we wash our hair, wash dishes, wash our clothes, mop the floors, do yard work, etc., we could be inviting lots of unwanted material into our drain pipes.

You may get a good idea to use a plunger to try and fix the problem on your end and save some money, but, in most cases, you only fix the problem temporarily. On the other hand, there are those who have no problem forking out the cash for a professional plumber just so that they can have the peace of mind to know that their drain system is in top working condition once again. While we know some of the everyday things that may build up in our drains over time, these are some of the things that cause the most drain blockage:

Fat and Grease Products

Believe it or not, this is the most common of all causes of blockage in pipes, yet it’s also the easiest one to prevent. Fatty matter that is washed down the sink tends to stick to the inside of pipes. This will, over time, build up so much that there will be no liquids able to pass through the pipe. You can prevent this from happening if you keep a careful watch over the liquids that you decide you want to send down the drain. Pouring something fatty down the drain should be followed immediately by really hot water and a little dish soap to break it up.

Tree and Leaf Matter

In the fall when you are racking leaves, think about removing the leaves that are heading towards the outside drainage systems on the edge of your home. Also, pick up and throw away as much debris as possible.

Tree roots will also cause havoc on your pipes if the roots get caught around them. They can squeeze and tighten themselves and crack pipes over time, because their roots can become so large. If you have a hairline crack in a pipe, the root will manage to get inside the pipe and widen the crack, eventually blocking the pipe.


Hair buildup is a very big problem for pipes. If not cleared out on a regular basis, hair, over time, will accumulate and clog your drain. This will stop any liquid from passing through. Use a hair catching device in the drain before it gets into the pipes, yet, still keep a close eye on this situation. It is a problem that can be avoided.

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Article Summary

Quick question & answer: Is there a common cause of drain blockages?

Fat and grease products, tree and leaf matter, and hair commonly cause drain blockages. Fat and grease is most common, but can be prevented by pouring really hot water and dish soap down the drain after something greasy to break it up. Try to remove leaves near outdoor drainage systems. Use a hair catching device in your showers.


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