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Common Causes of Slow Draining Drains

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Common Causes of Slow Draining Drains

Are you finding that your drains are draining away slowly? Or are they not draining at all? It can be a baffling position to find yourself in, whether it’s one drain inside the house or the drainage system outside causing slower drainage for the whole property.

Luckily, at Power Rod, we provide CCTV drain surveys to quickly get to the bottom of any drainage issues. This means you can restore order to your home faster without worrying once we diagnose the problem and recommend the right action to take.

However, if you’re curious about the common causes of sinks and toilets draining slowly, take a look at our list. You might even find some things you change about how you use your drains to help prevent this issue from happening in the first place.

Slow draining drain


Fats, oils and grease

Most people by now have heard some sort of story about the giant blockages in sewage systems that fats, oils and grease can cause. When sent down the drain, these runny substances appear to go easily, but once they cool and have a chance to solidify, they start to collect other debris and amass to the point where an entire street could see blockages to their wastewater.

What to do: Avoid putting these liquids down your drain, dispose of them in another way. If this has already become an issue, you’ll need professional drainage services.


Non-flushable materials

From baby wipes to feminine hygiene products, there are many bathroom essentials we don’t give a second thought to flushing away. These items, despite some claims that they’re “flushable”, are often a cause of blockages in drains, making water drain slowly once they’ve clumped together in the underground system.

What to do: Use a separate bin for these items where you can to avoid a blockage, but if you already suspect the worst then get in touch with drainage professionals for help.



An everyday, useful thing that we all need, but surprisingly a common culprit when it comes to drains getting blocked and draining slowly. It’s often modern, liquid soaps that build up in your system over time and not the traditional bars of soap. Drops of liquid soap that have slipped out of your hand isn’t a disaster but it’s certainly something that contributes to drain issues.

What to do: If you can, try to use bars of soap. If you think the issue is close to the surface of the drain in your home, you can try to use a plunger on the drain to get everything moving again, but if it’s an issue with the drain outside, professional unblocking might be required.


Tree root ingress

We covered this in greater detail last month, but it really is one of the biggest causes of blocked drains and you probably don’t even know it’s happening. Working their way into your system, tree roots can eventually become so large they hold up the flow of water and back up your drains in the house.

What to do: Take a look at last month’s post on how to deal with tree roots in drains for more details.


Old pipes

Our homes are usually built to last, but with plenty of UK properties now well over 100 years old, it’s only natural that things start to go wrong. Old pipes – whether they’re just no longer fit to manage the water or they’ve collapsed internally – can really slow down your drains.

What to do: If you’ve eliminated the other possible causes, it might be time to call in the experts to diagnose the problem. If you know the pipework for your property has never been changed, it might be time to think about renovations or at least repairs. If you’re buying an older property and suspect there might be issues, always get a CCTV drain survey carried out first.


Now you know what the most common causes of slow drains are, you might be able to prevent it from happening. If you’re already watching the water sit in your sink, bath or shower and have exhausted the traditional plunger option then contact our team at Power Rod today. We’re professional drainage experts for the Home Counties – covering areas such as Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Watford and Aylesbury – and perform drain cleaning and drain unblocking to get your day back on track.

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