Clogged bathroom drains can be a mild annoyance or a major disaster. A minor clog might cause your toilet to flush inadequately or force water to back up while you shower. A severe clog, on the other hand, like a mainline sewer blockage, could easily force hazardous biowaste back through your pipes and into your home.

If you suspect you have a clog somewhere in your bathroom plumbing, there are few signs that typically indicate the presence of a blockage. There are also several common causes of bathroom drain clogs that you should know about so you can do your best to prevent the development of future blockages.

At Drain Blaster Bill’s Sewer & Drain Cleaning, we understand just how inconvenient and potentially damaging plumbing clogs can be and are here to help. Below, we’re sharing how to identify bathroom drain clogs, what usually causes them, and what you can do to solve the problem and prevent further clogs.

Clogged Bathroom Drains: 7 Signs to Watch For

Whether your bathroom plumbing has a minor clog or a major blockage, you’ll likely notice one or more of the following issues:

●        Water draining slowly from your sink, bathtub, or shower

●        Incomplete toilet flushing

●        Low water level in the toilet after flushing

●        Unpleasant odors coming from sink, shower, or tub drains

●        Gurgling drain noises when faucets are running

●        Toilet gurgling when you run the sink, shower, or tub faucet

●        Odorous, discolored water backing up into your shower or tub when you flush the toilet

If you observe any of the red flags listed above, the first thing you’ll want to do is stop using the water and toilet in the affected bathroom. Use a toilet plunger if your toilet is acting up. If you have a smaller sink or tub drain plunger, try using that to see if you can dislodge the clog on your own.

If the problem persists despite forceful plunging, you’ll need to call in a drain cleaning specialist who can perform a drain camera inspection to locate the clog. From there, a pro can either snake the drain or perform a water jetting procedure to eliminate the blockage and clean any remaining residue from the interior of the pipes.

What Usually Causes Bathroom Clogs?

Several things can cause bathroom clogs. Here are some of the more common culprits.

Residue Accumulation

Dirt, skin flakes, soap scum, and mineral deposits from hard water can gradually accumulate along the interior of your drains over time. And if you don’t get your drains cleaned regularly, that accumulation can slow water flow through the pipes. It may even trap incoming items and substances that somehow find their way into your drains. Ultimately, excessive residue buildup inside your pipes can easily contribute to clogs. 


Feminine hygiene products, baby wipes, diapers, cotton swabs, Qtips, old hair, cat litter — anything that cannot be broken down by water can cause a toilet to become clogged. The only things that ever belong in your toilet are human waste and toilet paper. Nothing else. All other items and substances belong in your trash can.

Even “flushable” wipes aren’t great for your plumbing system. If you use them consistently over a long period, they can easily contribute to clogs, especially if your plumbing is old.

Tree Roots

Roots can damage underground pipes outside of your home, causing drains and pipes to become clogged. Over time, roots can easily grow into joints and cracks of old sewer lines and cause an obstruction that can result in moderate to severe plumbing backups. The weight of roots and soil can also crush pipes, particularly those that are very old.

Natural Pipe Shifting

Another less common cause of clogs in your home’s underground plumbing is natural pipe shifting. This process usually takes many years to occur, so you probably don’t need to worry about it unless you own an older home. As the ground naturally moves and settles, it can force pipes to shift and move, which will misalign sections of the pipe, leading to blockages and leaks.

How to Avoid Clogs

If you want to avoid bathroom drain clogs, the best thing you can do is have pipes and drains cleaned on a regular basis. At Drain Blaster Bill’s, we’re here to help you get the job done.

We can ensure your pipes are completely free of residue and buildup that can easily contribute to blockages over time. We can also perform drain camera inspections to check the health of your pipes and alert you to any areas of concern, such as minor cracks, damaged junctions, and deteriorating seals.

Identifying these problems early on and taking the appropriate measures to fix them is your best bet for preventing damaging plumbing leaks and other serious problems.

Schedule Drain Cleaning Service in Stillwater, Minnesota

If you have a slow or clogged drain, don’t hesitate to give us a call so we can identify the offending blockage and get rid of it for you! We offer same-day scheduling and 24/7 emergency drain cleaning service throughout Stillwater, MN and the surrounding Minneapolis/St. Paul metro.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about our services, call us today at (763) 913-8719 or request a free estimate online, and we’ll be in touch!