The Common Causes of Clogged Drains

clogged drains in Charlotte, NC

1 in 10 adults needed a plumber in the last year. Over 1 million needed them over 10 times!

One of the most common plumbing problems is a clogged drain. It may seem like a small issue, but leaving it alone to fester into a major problem can be a costly mistake.

Read our guide to learn the most common causes of clogged drains and how to troubleshoot them.

Mineral Buildup

Hard water is full of minerals and is notorious for causing plumbing problems. Mineral deposits can block your drain and be difficult to get out.

Try hydro jetting or installing a water softener. You may also need to hire a professional to descale your pipes.

Oil, Fat, and Food Waste

Putting a small amount of cooking fat or grease down the sink is one of the most common causes of clogged drains. They coat and combine with other substances in your pipes.

Wiping the excess oils off of food can prevent blockages. Avoid putting large items down your sink such as:

  • Coffee grounds
  • Eggshells
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Fibrous fruits and vegetables

Garbage disposals are only meant to handle small bits of food. These items are too large for them to grind up.

Hair and Fur

Humans lose at least 50-100 hairs every day, and pets shed even more. Those hairs build up and cause plumbing clogs.

A drain guard or hair strainer can catch them before they bunch up if you clean it regularly. Plungers and snakes can get remove the clog if it gets stubborn.


Yes, even soap can create plumbing issues. It’s made of fats and minerals that solidify into soap scum and clog your drain.

Go for a liquid soap made without animal fat and clean any soap scum you see. You can also use a pressure cleaner.

Toilet Paper Buildup

Excessive amounts of toilet paper will clog your drains and keep your toilet from flushing. Quilted paper is even worse.

It can be easier to unclog a drain in this instance. You’ll only need a plunger or toilet auger. Get helps if your toilet fills without draining.

Cotton Products

Anything made of cotton should never go down your drain. A few examples include:

  • Wipes
  • Cotton swabs
  • Diapers
  • Feminine hygiene products

They don’t break down easily and absorb liquid. This makes them a perfect combination for creating clogs.

Small Objects

Pets and cats love to throw objects into your drains. They can go down and get lodged in a pipe’s u-bend.

Use a sink guard or drain cover to prevent the issue. Call a professional if the objects get firmly stuck.

Tree Roots

A small crack in a pipe can let a tree root start to come in and grow within a pipe. It causes clogs that can affect more than one pipe or even your entire drainage system.

Try to keep track of where all the trees on your property are. Look for any invasive roots and any plants or leaves you can clean out.

Large roots are an issue best left to the professionals. It’s complicated and costly and may even require excavation.

Where to Get Help for Clogged Drains

Minerals and fats cause clogged drains. They can come from hard water, food waste, or even animal-fat-based soaps.

You may also have objects lodged in the drain. This includes hair, toys, and cotton products. Tree roots are one of the more serious issues and require professional plumbing help.

Pathmaker Plumbing is an experienced company that’s willing to share our knowledge with you. Contact us today for all your plumbing problems.

Friday, December 30th, 2022 ( No Comments )



John was absolutely the best plumber I have ever had any where I have ever lived (IA, CA, FL, OH and now NC). I am so happy to finally have met such an informative, professional and helpful plumber. He took care of everything that I expected and then some!!! Thank you John!!!

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Pathmaker Plumbing

5676 Underwood Ave, Charlotte, NC 28213

Phone: 704-733-7507