What Causes a Drain Block?

woman plunging a kitchen sink

A drain block is one of the problems that homeowners will face at one time or another. With some simple steps, it is possible to successfully get rid of the drain block without damaging the pipes. However, one of the best ways to stop blockage of your drain is to know how they are caused so you can prevent them.


The biggest cause of blocked drains is a buildup of hair. Old hair that falls into the sink, or the tub drain, will accumulate into a ball. This ball can stop the water from penetrating it, causing a back-up.

Grease and Fat

In a kitchen sink, the biggest problem is with grease and fat that goes down the drain when cleaning dishes. The problem with grease is that when it cools it congeals into a solid. As it builds up in your drain it will block it off causing the water to back up into the sink.

Hard Water Deposits

Over a long period of time, calcium and lime found in hard water can build up in your pipes. A water softener is used in the water supply line to protect against this.

Tree Roots

If there is not a problem with drain pipes in your home, then the problems is most likely caused by tree roots that grow outside of your foundation walls. Roots can severely damage pipes and block them off from any type of water flow.