6 Common Causes of a Clogged Drain

29 Apr

The toilet won’t flush, the kitchen sink is backed up, or the bathtub is draining at a glacial speed. Sometimes the drains in your house get clogged, and when that happens, it’s never a fun experience. In this blog, we discuss the six most common causes of a clogged drain and what you can do to make sure they don’t happen.

1. Plants

The roots of trees on your property seek out moisture, and they may find that moisture in your pipes.
These roots can be strong enough to not only cause a blockage, but also crack the pipes.

In the fall, when the trees begin shedding their leaves, those leaves can cause clogged drains as well. When a whole bunch of dead leaves and water mix, you get a soggy mess that makes it hard for water to drain properly. So in autumn, remember to rake and gather those leaves and dispose of them properly.

2. Grease and Fat

The collection of grease and fat is one of the top causes for drain clogs. Luckily, it’s extremely easy to prevent this issue.

Grease and fat will solidify long before it gets through the drain and pipes, and soon enough, the walls of the pipes are lined with an inch of grease. To prevent the problem, don’t dump warm leftover grease or fat down the sink.

Instead, set the grease or fat aside and wait for it to solidify. Then scrape it into a bag and throw it out with the garbage.

3. Hair

Human hair or pet fur naturally falls out, especially during a bath or shower. If you bathe your dog in the tub or your family has thick hair, a lot of hair goes down that drain on a regular basis. That hair easily catches on the sides of the piping and, after enough hair gets caught, water has a hard time draining.

Unfortunately, some drains make it more difficult to prevent this issue. However, you can prevent plenty of hair from going down most drains by purchasing a drain cover. There are various designs, and you can even find one at your local grocery store.

4. Toiletries

Diapers, feminine hygiene products, q-tips, and various other toiletries should not be flushed down the toilet. Even some products that say they’re flushable, such as wipes, should be thrown in the trash instead of the toilet.

Many of these products expand when wet, and some simply do not dissolve like you’d expect, causing obstructions. Only flush products that readily and easily dissolve in water, and clean the toilet regularly so backups are less likely.

5. Soap Scum

The very soap you use to wash yourself or your dishes can leave residue that leads to clogged drains. Low quality soaps, especially, bind with dirt, skin flakes, hair, and any other number of particles passing through your drain and cause backups.

Some of these soaps also create an acidic chemical that hurts the pipes. In these cases, a plumber blasts high-pressured water down the pipes to clean it out. To prevent this issue, pay attention to the soap you purchase and ensure it’s of a good quality.

6. Foreign Objects

A ring can get knocked down into the kitchen sink drain or a young child may try to flush a toy down the toilet. For whatever reason, sometimes foreign items get into the drain.

The only way to really prevent clogs that stem from foreign objects is to pay attention. If something does go down the drain, even if it’s small and you think it shouldn’t clog things up, call a plumber to retrieve the object.

Whenever a drain is clogged, for whatever reason, call your plumber immediately. They can solve the problem efficiently without damaging your pipes so you can get on with your daily routine.