You wake up in the morning, step into the bathroom, hoping to rush in and rush out, then you turn on the shower. Just about a few seconds later, you see a pool of water stuck in and around the drain and almost flowing back towards you.

Out of shock, you put off the shower, and you ask yourself: what the heck is happening?

Nothing supernatural, my friend! You drain just got clogged.

And it happens with almost every drain in a house, from the kitchen to laundry, bathroom to the restroom, and every other place with a hole in your house.

In this guide, we’re going to tell you what the possible causes are, as well as what you can do to fix your emergency drainage issue.

Possible Causes of Blocked Drains and What to Do About Them - toilet drain blockage, toilet, home, bathroom

Hair, soap, and grease

For blocked drain issues involving the bathroom, human hair, soap, and grease are the number one suspects.

A build-up of human hair, as well as pet hair, has a habit of knotting up and attacking drain holes. When combined with other drain-unfriendly substances like soap and grease, then you have an even bigger problem on your hands.

And with the bathroom being what it is, it’s almost unlikely that one will be able to keep out these three factors from getting into their drains!

So what can you do to make your drain work again?

You can use a plunger to plunge the drain. If that doesn’t work, you can use a commercially available drain cleaner or prepare your own drain cleaner using baking soda and vinegar. But if all that doesn’t work, you may want to try a plumber’s snake.


Once your drain is clear again, you should install a hair strainer drain guard to prevent hair from ever going through the drain again.

Food waste

Food wastes are the biggest culprit in a kitchen drain blockage issue. Even if you have a garbage disposal installed with your drain system, it’s not uncommon to see food items like pasta, food noodles, tea leaves, eggshells, food product wrappers, and the likes clogging water pathway in a kitchen drain system.

So what can you do to make your drain work again?

The same fixes as described for bathroom drains, can work here, too. However, it is important to note that the problem could be from the garbage disposal. So, you may want to detach that from the system, inspect and clear it.


Stop disposing of food wastes directly through the drain. And if possible, set up a compost bin for food waste.

Wipes, diapers, kid’s toys, and feminine products

The above-listed items are the usual suspects in a toilet drain issue. Feminine products and diapers, in particular, have a habit of growing to multiple times their size once they absorb fluid, leading to a blockage in the toilet drain.

So what can you do to make your drain work again?

A plunger or an auger can often help with a toilet drain blockage issue. But due to the complex nature of toilet systems, it may be best to call in a professional drain plumber.


Avoid flushing anything other than lightweight toilet paper and human waste through your toilets.

Too Much Toilet Paper

Toilet papers are not supposed to cause clogging in toilets, but when used excessively or disposed of in lumps, they tend to create a build-up, leading to blockage. This is particularly true of quilted toilet papers.

So what can you do to make your drain work again?

In most cases, clogs caused by toilet paper can be fixed by using a plunger, a toilet auger, or drain cleaners.


Limit your usage of toilet paper to the barest minimum and avoiding squeezing toilet paper into lumps before disposing of.

Tree roots

Sometimes the cause of a drain block may not be from the inside. It may be from outside. And in most cases, the biggest culprit is usually tree roots.

Tree roots grow and travel in the direction of the home’s pipeline system in a bid to access water.

And once they get close enough, they find a way to work their way inside the pipes (usually through cracks and leaks in pipes). Gradually, they grow larger and larger, obstructing the water pathway and eventually creating a blockage.

So what can you do to make your drain work again?

More often than not, you will need to call in a professional because tree roots problems are usually too complicated and may sometimes require excavation and other complex plumbing works.


Be mindful of the distance between your home’s pipeline system and planted trees. Always ensure trees are planted far away from the pipeline system and vice versa.