4 Reasons for Blocked Drains

Blocked Drains

Blocked drains are not only no fun, they can cause a cascade of harmful outcomes for homeowners and residents. Whether they happen as the result of a slow drain that eventually just stops or they’re sudden and out of nowhere, the problem posed is the same: you have water that needs somewhere to go but it just can’t.

While the reasons you might have a blocked drain can vary, ultimately your plumbing professional will know whether your situation requires something like an emergency drain cleaning or something a bit more involved like jetting. Regardless of the fundamental rain problem, once it’s resolved, knowing the biggest reasons behind most blocked drains can allow you to prevent these issues from arising again in the future.

With that in mind, today, we’ll address four of the most common reasons that you might experience a blocked drain that requires a superior drain cleaning from your local Charlotte drain cleaning experts at Superior Plumbing and Drains, LLC!


Humans shed hair frequently. In the shower, it’s to be even more true! Dermatologist Wilma Bergfeld, MD, says, “Finding clumps of hair in the shower or on your hair brush is actually pretty normal.” She adds, “Most hair shedding should happen in the shower.”

It’s important to do what you can to attempt to prevent that shed hair from entering your drain system using things like drain screens or simply being diligent about collecting the hair from your drain after every shower. However, eventually, it’s all but inevitable that your shower drain will have some sort of hair related blockage. While you might be tempted to turn to a chemical drain opener when that hair does block up your drain, you should fight that urge, because chemical drain cleaners pose often invisible risks to you, risks to your pipes, and your future plumbing professional who, if your chemical cleaners fail, will now have to contend with caustic and dangerous chemicals in order to provide your emergency drain cleaning service.

Plant Roots

The silent and sneaky threat to your drains and plumbing systems is the one you have nothing to do with and can’t see without some special camera equipment: plant roots. Plant roots are constantly looking for water, and when your pipes aren’t stopped up, they’re full of what plants crave. So it makes sense then that over time, your pipes become a prime ground for the propagation of root growth for plants, so much so that they may even grow up into your home!

A professional has the tools of the trade that make it possible to diagnose and treat root problems that grow otherwise unabated in your pipes. When it comes to a root issue, there isn’t much you can do without professional assistance for a sewer and drain cleaning, so this problem is one where you’ll want to be vigilant about being attentive to the telltale signs of root growth: slow drains, gurgling sounds coming from your blocked drains, your DIY drain clearing efforts work but only temporarily, etc. When you start to notice a broader issue with your blocked drains, it is time to seek out drain cleaning and plumbing experts to assuage your fears and concerns.

Grease and Food Waste

The things that wash down our drains don’t simply disappear! So when we put things like cooking grease into our drains or food waste into our garbage disposals, they can wreak havoc in the lines in relatively easy to address within our homes or potentially in much more expensive parts of the sewer line out near the city hookups.

Regardless of where the issues may arise in your drains or sewers, a grease or food waste blockage will require drain cleaning and plumbing service. The folks at the Water – Use It Wisely conservation campaign explain, “Because the sewers get water from thousands of kitchens, the smallest amount of grease and oil can build up and completely clog a pipe as the fats and grease cling to the inside of drains and sewer pipes.” If you encounter a grease or food waste blockage, it’s critical to consult a professional to assess the threat that blockage poses to your system.

And make no mistake, using a garbage disposal does not eliminate potential issues for a food waste blockage! Water – Use It Wisely continues: “Garbage disposals only shred solids and do not prevent grease from food from building up again. Hot water or a dishwasher might melt the grease and push it further down the drain, but it will only solidify again once it cools, causing a build-up in the main sewer system.

Chemicals that claim to dissolve grease will only temporarily push the grease, affecting neighboring lines.” Because a chemical drain cleaner product will often void your disposal warranty, it’s important to avoid putting anything greasy or any kind of food waste into your drain or disposal intentionally, but should something happen where you find yourself in need of plumbing drain service, you should look for “emergency drain service near me” and contact us at Superior Plumbing and Drains, LLC!

Foreign Objects and Other Unflushables

If grease and food waste are punch one in the combo, anything else that enters your drain that shouldn’t is the second punch! Erika Engelhaupt of National Geographic writes, “Huge blobs of fat and trash are filling the world’s sewers.” She explains that when one house puts grease into their drain and another house flushes something that’s not really supposed to be disposed of by the sewer, those two forces combine to create “fatbergs” in the main lines which cause havoc for everyone in the area around that enormous blockage.

Looking at a more micro view to the individual home, flushing things that aren’t actually intended for sewer disposal such as supposedly flushable baby wipes or paper towels can cause serious disruptions to your normal sewer system function and create an emergency need for plumbing and drain cleaning services. The Denver Post reported that as Americans faced the toilet paper shortages that marked the on-set of the Coronavirus pandemic in the United States, many people turned to items such as paper towels or napkins to meet their personal care needs. Unfortunately, because those products are not meant to dissolve or break down in sewers or septic systems, they gum up and eventually block your drainage pipes!

Additionally, for folks with children, there are often occasional oopsies where coins or toys or other non-toilet items find themselves flushed into the system anyway. There isn’t much to be done to prevent these emergencies really, because after all, kids will be kids. So when worst comes to worst and you find yourself fishing for G.I. Joes, step aside and let the pros do your residential drain cleaning!

What Do I Do When I Encounter A Blocked Drain?

Contact us at Superior Plumbing and Drains, LLC, and we’ll take care of your drain problems today! We are the 24 hour plumber for the Charlotte area, and when you need drain and sewer cleaning services, we’d love to help. Superior Plumbing and Drains, LLC is your superior choice for plumbing and drain cleaning service in the Charlotte, NC area!

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