10 Most Likely Causes of a Clogged Drain

It usually isn’t until after we call for help, and after the plumbing crisis that we ask why is my sink backing up and what can I do about it? The good news is that we can be proactive, and even if we aren’t, we can prevent clogs from reoccurring.

The key is understanding the problem, like what causes a shower drain to get clogged or what causes issues in my kitchen sink. Once we have figured out the likely culprits, then we can also get to work handling the problem too. Here is a look at the most common reasons for clogs and backups in your sinks and drains.


If you are asking what causes a shower drain to get clogged versus another drain, hair is not only a likely suspect but the leading cause of most bathroom clogs too.


If you have ever had to clean soap scum off the walls of your shower, then imagine it on the inside of your drains. Enough said?


Dirt can act as an effective cohesive source, and collected dirt can attract and collect hair, grease, and other small particles that cause clogs and sink backups.

Mineral Buildup

Hard water is infamous for causing plumbing issues, like being the cause of the collection of insoluble residue that results in blockages and clogs.


Uneaten food and food waste often find their way into our drains. Sometimes larger pieces can create a chain effect, akin to a beaver building a dam, leading to obvious plumbing problems.

Small Objects

Have you ever dropped the lid of your toothpaste, the cap for your razor, or the top cover of your eyeliner down the sink? That can cause a problem, namely clogs and blockages.


Yes, toilet paper is what we should use in the commode, but too much and you risk clogs and blockages. Fortunately, these are typically one of the easier clogs to remedy.

Cat Litter

Cats are known for playing around the toilet, or even near the bathtub, and the bathroom is also where many families keep the litter box. Sometimes sand and water don’t make for a day at the beach, but make clogs instead.


There is a reason people put up signs asking people to only put toilet paper in the toilet, and cotton down any drain is a recipe for problems.


Tree roots, especially in older homes and plumbing systems, can interrupt or even block drains and the plumbing network. These types of concerns also require professional plumbing services.

Welcome to Big City Plumbing LLC, a family-owned and operated company. We strive to provide our customers with unparalleled customer service and satisfaction, and we offer a variety of commercial and residential plumbing services that include disposal units, toilets, water heaters, sink and faucet installation, and repairs. 

We also perform gas line inspections, gas leak repairs, sewer and drain cleaning, video camera inspections, sewer testing, tunneling, and more. Contact us if you have any questions or to schedule a service call today.

Read More