Clogs are among the most common plumbing issues and are often the reason why people have to call a local plumber. Whether they happen in the kitchen sink, bathtub, or toilet, clogged drains can be a significant disruption to daily life. What may seem like a minor plumbing issue can damage your pipes and even cause server sewage backups If you ignore them long enough.
Plumbing clogs are usually caused by what we send down our drains and, in most cases, poor plumbing maintenance. Many homeowners nowadays forego complete plumbing tune-ups to cut back on household expenses, only to find themselves dealing with costly plumbing issues down the road.
To avoid this unnecessary inconvenience in your home, you need to be aware of what causes them in the first place.
Here are the common causes of clogged drains at home:
Hair is a major contributor to clogged drains. Prevent them from going down your drain by adding drain guards to your shower drains. And don’t forget to clean them regularly.
Food scraps are another thing that should never go down the drain, even when there’s a garbage disposal in your sink. Instead of dumping leftover food in the trash, why not create a composting pile instead? It’ll be good for your drains and the environment.
We often make the mistake of washing away everything in our sinks, thinking drains and pipes are there to wash away everything. However, this simply isn’t true. Excess dirt can build up and clog your drains and block your pipes, especially if they mix with hair and other greasy substances.
Hard water is notorious for accumulating insoluble mineral deposits, which can clog drains and reduce water flow. Sometimes, using a water softener is enough to restore water flow. If not, you’ll have to call a professional plumber to descale your pipes.
It's difficult to believe that soap can also cause pipe blockages. But unfortunately, it's true. Soaps are made of minerals and fats, which can build up over time. This is called soap scum or soap residue. When soap scum combines with hair and mineral deposits, they can result in severely clogged drains.
Anyone who has children has probably had a toy or other stray item dropped down a toilet or bathtub drain. Even if an object is small enough to fit down a drain, it is probably still big enough to get stuck in a pipe's u-bend. These objects can obstruct the flow of water and cause a serious clog.
Tree roots can grow in the smallest cracks or leaks in your underground pipes. Once inside your pipes, tree roots can quickly grow in size, obstructing water flow and causing pipe damage. Removing tree roots can be a complicated process that may necessitate using a rooter, pressure jet cleaning, trenchless repair, or even excavation.
Prevention is Key
Most drain clogs form over time, so if you discover one of your drains is draining slower than it used to, it’s a good indication that a clog is forming. Call your trusted plumbing service company immediately and have your drains checked.
With so many possible reasons behind drain clogging, the best way to fix them is to keep them from getting clogged in the first place. In the infographic below, you’ll find useful tips and tricks to avoid clogged drains.
About the author
Shelby Bartz is the new Content Editor of Precision Air & Plumbing, a full-service HVAC, plumbing and home performance contractor operating in Chandler, Arizona. Shelby is a devoted bookworm but when she isn’t reading, you’ll find her cruising around town with her beloved ginger husky, Maxxy.