What Causes Clogged Drains?

For many reasons a clogged drains can show up anytime in any pipe system. You find yourself with a clogged drain mainly because of the buildup of substances that block the pipe. Many different substances can contribute to that buildup, and we will review them in this article.  

Readers in Littleton, Colorado, have a special treat with a look at one of the Denver metro area’s best professional plumbing companies, Drain Terrier. Drain Terrier will be there swiftly with our 24/7 plumbing services when you find clogged drains in your home. 

Table of Contents: 

  1. Most Common Causes for a Clogged Drain
  2. Uncommon Causes for Clogged Drains
  3. How to Prevent Clogged Drains
  4. Repair Clogged Drains in Littleton, CO 

Most Common Cause for Clogged Drains

Everyday household items are often found to be the culprit of a clogged drain. Here is a little more about the most common causes of a clogged drain in Littleton, Colorado.  


Hair is a common cause of a clogged drain. Hair follicles may quickly find themselves in sinks, showers, and bathtub drains. The hair follicles can build and knot up in the drainage, mixing with other materials like soap or grease and eventually causing a clogged drain. Bathroom activities like hair brushing, styling, and shaving are common reasons for increased hair buildup in bathroom sinks and drain. These hairs may easily fall off and become airborne hair follicles that find their way into kitchen and bathroom sinks and drains. Not to mention many people and pets have hair all over their bodies. Pet owners often carry pet hair with them wherever they go.

Paper Products

Paper products can be a common culprit in clogged drains. While it is true that regular toilet paper is designed to pass through drain pipes, excessive amounts of use can cause clogged drains. Other paper products like paper towels, napkins, and feminine products that are not intended to be disposed of in any sink or toilet may also create a clogged drain.

Tree Roots

The roots of trees are incredibly miraculous and tenacious. A tiny crack or opening in a drain pipe will allow tree roots to grow into the drainage system quickly. Tree roots will continue to grow, preventing proper water flow and bringing a risk of causing additional damage down the line. At Drain Terriers, plumbing professionals in Littleton, Colorado, we utilize industry-grade video camera inspection. This allows us to pinpoint the exact issue that requires drain repair in your main sewer line the first time.

Food Waste

Food waste is a common reason for clogged drains. Scraps of food produced either during food preparation or disposal of waste after a meal can cause clogged drains. Kitchen sinks without waste disposal cannot take in food waste without becoming at least partially blocked. This is undoubtedly the case with heavy foods with food particles that are not easily broken down or softer foods. Kitchen sinks with waste disposal are also prone to clogged drains. If food waste is disposed of into the wrong drain or the waste disposal system ceases to function correctly, you may have clogged drains. This is compounded by the presence of cooking oil, grease, and any excess fat from cooking. Rice, in particular, is known to cause clogged drains. The more water rice is exposed to, the larger it grows. This can cause quite a blockage in a kitchen drain pipe. 

Dirt and Mineral Buildup

Drain pipes may develop clogged drains from the slow rise of dirt and mineral buildup—hygienic activities like washing hands or taking showers deposits tiny dirt particles in drainage pipes slowly over time. If left uncleaned, dirt can build and combine with elements of the drain pipes leading to mineral buildup. This can be particularly disruptive as hard water will start to form. Hard water is when the water has high mineral content. It may cause nightmarish clogged drains as minerals in hard water are insoluble or incredibly difficult to break down. Fortunately, Drain Terrier has got you covered, whether it is a clogged drain or toilet.

Wipes and Diapers

There will be plenty of wipes and diapers in family homes with newborns and babies. Disposing of these items in the toilet frequently presents a clogged drain issue. Unless specifically designed to be flushable, these items tend to be bulkier than toilet paper, quickly causing blockages in drains. This can lead to needing professional plumbing services in Littleton, Colorado.  

Uncommon Causes for Clogged Drains

Cat Litter

Cat litter is composed of clay, silica, and sand and is designed to absorb moisture and form clumps. In the litter box, these clumps are advantageous. It combines and forms into larger clusters, making it easier for cat caregivers to clean up litter messes. In the toilet, sink, or shower, these properties are disadvantageous. Clogged drains will rapidly occur with repeated improper disposal of cat litter into the drain. To properly dispose of cat litter, cat caregivers must bag the kitty waste and toss it out with the trash.


Family homes with toddlers and younger kids know how toys are found in the oddest of places. The super imaginations of children’s minds may have them set up fortresses or playing date parties in any area of the home parents have not secured. To live out these dreams in their imaginations, toys, stuffed animals, or lego pieces may accompany the little people. In the bathtub, toilets, sinks, and other drains are possible places toys can receive their “swimming lesson.” You can easily see how items from the children that otherwise should never be near a drain can find themselves the reason for a clogged drain.


Smartphones are becoming increasingly united in the activities of our daily lives. This often means that people are taking their phones everywhere. In the worst moments, phones may slip out of a person’s hand and land in the sink. In more horrifying situations, phones may find themselves as the cause of a clogged drain in the home. Additionally, children may get a hold of small devices and lose them in the bathroom or kitchen. 

STD/STI Contraceptives

Contraceptives are essential for couples who maintain safe sex standards. While contraceptives are a must in the bedroom, they are a no in the bathroom or sink. Contraceptives such as condoms are not designed as drain compatible yet are found more often than one might think. Condoms can easily clog up drains and lead to more significant pipe damage issues.


Rats, mice, snakes, insects, opossums, frogs, lizards, and other small creatures and vermin are all capable of infiltrating the foundations of a home. These creatures may get stuck in water system pipes, causing clogged drains. While this may not occur often, it is still important to note that this happens occasionally.

How to Prevent Clogged Drains

The simplest way to prevent clogged drains is to be mindful of what you are putting in the drains as you move throughout your day. Each interaction you have with your drain will affect the future state of your plumbing system. Are you washing food down the drain that could just as easily be thrown away? Did you purchase septic-safe wipes at the store? 

Routine maintenance of the plumbing system in your home can also help avoid surprise plumbing emergencies. When a professional plumber regularly comes to clean your plumbing system, you can catch any little needs before they become more extensive repairs. 

Fix Clogged Drains in Littleton, CO

Drain Terrier prides itself on delivering premium quality plumbing service and premier professionalism through our team of trustworthy expert plumbers. We always say there is no plumbing puzzle we cannot solve! In our fourth generation of plumbers, a father-daughter-run business, we understand plumbing systems in ways others cannot. Calling forth on our generational expertise, we are well equipped to deliver quick and precise drain repairs for your home.

Homeowners and property managers from Boulder to Littleton, Colorado, and the neighboring communities have trusted Drain Terrier for over 30 years. Our ultimate goal at Drain Terrier is to provide you with the best, most cost-effective, and most efficient solution for drain repair or plumbing needs. Due to our proficiency in resolving plumbing issues, we can offer deals for our customers, reducing drain repair rates. Drain Terrier is founded on the principles of honesty and giving back. Animals hold a special place in our hearts, and we choose to give back to the local Humane Society. If you find clogged drains within your home or property, reach out to Drain Terrier. 

More than anything, we understand you may find yourself urgently needing plumbing repairs. That is why we offer 24/7 plumbing services. Some surprises require immediate action, and we are here to take care of you. For a quick response or to schedule service, call (720) 999-6120. You can reach us in many ways! Drop us a line online or give us a ring. 


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Drain Terrier provides plumbing and drain cleaning services to Littleton and all of the greater Denver metro area, from Highlands Ranch to Boulder.

Open 24/7. Call now for quick and affordable plumbing service and drain cleaning (720) 999-6120.

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