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Unusual Causes of Blocked Drains

Drain blockages occur for any number of reasons. Most commonly drains will become blocked due to a combination of soap scum, dirt and hair, but over the years some more unusual objects have been the cause of backed up drains and emergency drain cleaning jobs. Here are just some of the most unusual:


DIY jobs are complicated and it’s great when people have the enthusiasm to give them a go, but some amateur builders will end up doing more harm than good and sometimes, that means ruining the entire drainage system of the house they’re trying to improve! While cement can be used to close up drains that are not in use, it’s also easy for it to end up in a working pipe. Cement’s job is to solidify and be difficult to move, so it will wreak havoc on pipe systems and lead to an extremely costly repair job.

Stolen Goods

Incredibly, drains can be used by criminals as a quick and easy hiding place to hide stolen loot. Police have found a huge range of stolen items in drains across the UK, from bags of cameras and jewellery, to three-piece suites and even motorbikes.


We probably all did it when we were kids – accidentally or even deliberately flushed things down the toilet, just to see what happened. Lego blocks, Barbie dolls, toy cars and even the odd item of clothing are actually common causes of blocked drains. If you’re lucky and you act quickly enough, a plunger or domestic drain rods will sort out the problem and remove the blockage.

Mobile Phones

This one is becoming a lot more common as people spend more time on their phones. The size of the average handset is also decreasing. It’s surprisingly easy to drop a phone down the sink or toilet and it’s almost guaranteed to cause problems for your piping.

Cat Litter

Cleaning up after your pet is a thankless and ongoing task but taking shortcuts could cause severe damage to your home. Plumbers have found drainage systems completely blocked by cat litter that has simply been tipped down the sink or toilet. As it is designed to clump together and form a solid, this will cause major problems if it collects in your drains.


One of the more unusual blockages. In 2008 Utility Week reported that a live pig had found his way into a sewerage system, eventually getting caught amongst the debris in the filter system of a rural treatment works. It was only when Wessex Water investigated the blockage that they found the squealing obstruction. They rescued the pig, which was adopted as a company pet by the treatment works.