Clogged drains with blockages can be serious and require professional help, but oftentimes the issues can be resolved relatively easily by employing some basic tools and methods, or in dire cases, hiring a professional plumber.
Below, are the most usual causes of clogged drains, followed by a more detailed description of each cause, along with some recommended ways to prevent or fix the problem. Suffice it to say, avoiding it from happening in the first place, will save you a lot of money.
Common Causes of Clogged Drains
Here are the most common causes of clogged drains. Remember that many clogs consist of a combination of things (e.g., hair, dirt, and soap) rather than just one substance.
Human hair, as well as animal fur, is often a common causes of clogs, especially in shower, bathtub, laundry, and bathroom drains. It is particularly bad because it can knot up, mix with other substances like grease and soap, and attach itself to parts of the drain. A lot of the most stubborn clogs have hair involved, especially bathtubs, showers and bathroom sinks.
Plunging the drain will often do the trick. You might also want to try using a commercially sold drain cleaner, although these can corrode the pipes, especially if used often. Alternatively, you can make your own drain cleaner using vinegar, baking soda, and hot water. Nevertheless, a plumber’s snake may still be needed to dislodge stubborn clogs.
Use a hair strainer drain guard to block any hair from going down the drain and clean it regularly.
A common misunderstanding is that you can wash away as much dirt as you want down the drain. The truth is that dirt can build up cause clogs, especially when combined with hair, grease, and soap.
Plunging, using a commercial drain cleaner, or employing a cleaning tool, like a plumber’s snake, are common approaches that are often effective.
If you are unreasonably dirty, shake or rinse the dirt and mud off before showering.
Food waste clogs are mostly a problem that affects kitchen sinks. Even if you have a garbage disposal, discarded food can still clog up your pipes. Some foods, such as tea leaves or ground coffees, are especially bad because they do not break down.
There are a number of places where food waste can gather. Clogged drains should generally be tackled by plunging, drain cleaners, and/or a plumber’s snake. If you have a garbage disposal, however, that could be the issue. Detach the garbage disposal and check it thoroughly, clean, if necessary, and replace.
Set up a compost bin for food waste. Refrain from putting food waste down drains, even if you do have a garbage disposal.
Small Solid Objects
Kid’s toys can be flushed down the toilet accidentally by children playing. Other objects can also be accidentally flushed because they fell into the bowl. Small objects can go down the shower or sink drain if the drain hole is unprotected by a guard.
Plunging should be tried, but this problem may well need help from a professional plumber if the object is tightly lodged.
Kids need to be taught about not using a toilet fixture as a toy. Precaution should be taken not to flush anything down the toilet that is not paper, or human waste. All shower and sink openings should be shielded by a guard to stop small toys and objects going down.
Feminine Products and Cotton Swabs
Feminine products should never be flushed down the toilet as they can lead to clogged drains. Tampons are a problem as they can expand to 10 times their size once they have absorbed fluid. Unlike toilet paper, feminine products, as well as cotton swabs, do not break down or dissolve.
Plunging or the use of an auger can often work. If not, you will have to call a professional plumber.
Never flush pads, tampons, or cotton swabs down the toilet, as they expand and do not break down, causing serious plumbing problems.
Cat litter is dreadful for drainage systems. Made up of clay, sand, and silica, it is designed to absorb moisture and create clumps, leading to large lumps inside your pipes, and clogged drains.
A combination of a good plunger, elbow grease, and toilet snake do the trick.
Never flush cat litter down the toilet, or try to wash it down any household drain. Put it in a bag and throw it away together with the trash.
Hello! I’m Tom Redding in Phoenix, AZ and I’m a Storm Damage Restoration Specialist. I originally bought this domain to discuss vegan recipes and vegan lifestyle related tips. However, my restoration business has taken off so well of late that it makes more sense to mainly blog about storm damage restoration related topics. Never fear, though – this will be done with the occasional vegan twist! My wife Susie and I have 4 beautiful kids, 2 dogs and (as of this week) 3 cats.