What Are Blocked Drains And Why Are They A Problem?

Simple illustration of a blocked drain with visible hair and grease, against a minimal background, for a UK plumbing blog post.

Blocked drains are a common plumbing issue that can cause a range of problems in your home. A blocked drain is a pipe that is partially or completely blocked, preventing water and waste from flowing through it properly.

Blocked drains can be caused by a variety of things, including hair, soap scum, grease, and even tree roots. They can occur in any type of drain, including those in the kitchen, bathroom, or basement.

The Consequences of Blocked Drains

Blocked drains can lead to a range of problems, including:

  • Slow-draining or clogged sinks, showers, and toilets
  • Water backing up into the home, leading to flooding and water damage
  • Foul odors emanating from the drain
  • Damage to the pipes due to the pressure of backed-up water

In addition to being inconvenient, blocked drains can also be costly to fix. That’s why it’s so important to prevent them from happening in the first place.

Common Causes of Blocked Drains

There are several common causes of blocked drains. Here are a few to be aware of:

  • Hair: Hair is one of the most common causes of blocked drains, especially in the bathroom. It can easily accumulate in the drain and create a blockage over time.
  • Soap scum and grease: These substances can build up in your pipes and create a blockage. Grease can harden as it cools, making it particularly difficult to remove.
  • Tree roots: Tree roots can grow into and block your drain pipes, especially if they are damaged or cracked.
  • Flushing inappropriate items down the toilet: Only human waste and toilet paper should be flushed down the toilet. Flushing other items, such as feminine hygiene products, baby wipes, and paper towels, can lead to blocked drains.

How to Prevent Blocked Drains

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to prevent blocked drains in your home. Here are a few simple tips:

  • Use a hair catcher in the shower or bath: A hair catcher is a small device that fits over the drain and catches hair before it can go down the drain. This can help prevent clogs and save you the hassle of having to clean out the drain regularly.
  • Properly dispose of grease and oil: Instead of pouring grease and oil down the drain, let it cool and solidify in a container before disposing of it in the trash.
  • Keep trees trimmed away from your drain pipes: Overgrown tree roots can cause damage to your drain pipes and lead to blockages. Be sure to keep your trees trimmed and away from your pipes to prevent this issue.
  • Only flush toilet paper and human waste down the toilet: Be sure to only flush toilet paper and human waste down the toilet to prevent blockages.


Blocked drains can be a major inconvenience and can lead to costly repairs. By being aware of the common causes of blocked drains and taking steps to prevent them, you can save yourself the hassle and expense of dealing with this common plumbing issue.

If you are experiencing problems with blocked drains Heat Quick Direct can help

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