8 Top Causes for Your Clogged Drain

Clogged drains are problems that start out as small inconveniences we barely notice. Water simply takes a little longer to drain than it once did. Over time however, clogged drains can become a serious issue resulting in costly repairs. In order to save you the grief and money of dealing with clogging issues, we have compiled our list of the most common clogged drain causes and how to remedy them.

1. Hair

Hair is undoubtedly the most common cause of clogged drains. From shaving to brushing and drying, hair inevitably finds its way down our bathroom drains. Over time, hair becomes tangled and binds with sticky substances forming entire blockages. Preventing hair from going down the drain in first place is the surest way to prevent hair clogs. We recommend purchasing hair guards for all drains and cleaning them regularly.

2. Dirt

If you have children or live an active lifestyle, dirt gets on your clothes and into your home. While most of us make a habit of brushing dirt down the drain, it can build up and clog your drain. Simply rinsing your clothes off outside before washing them will greatly reduce the amount of dirt that ends up down the drain.

3. Root Damage

If you live in an older house, your pipe system is likely old as well. Old pipes made of concrete or clay are susceptible to root damage. As root systems expand, they seek out water and nutrients found in pipes and can cause significant punctures interrupting water flow and causing clogs. To prevent this, it may be worth paying a plumber to inspect the integrity of your pipes to make sure nothing catastrophic will happen underground.

4. Soap

Soap clogs occur most often in shower drains. The problem is that most soaps are made with fat or grease. Though soap goes down the drain in liquid form, it hardens as it dries and sticks to pipe walls reducing the space that water can travel through. Switching to soap-free rinses is a great way to stop the buildup of soap scum in your pipes.

5. Mineral Buildup

If you live in an area with hard water, mineral buildup in your pipes can be an issue. Once they develop, these clogs can be difficult to remove. Installing a water softener takes some of the minerals out of hard water and helps reduce buildup.

6. Toilet Paper

If too much toilet paper is flushed, it can cause a clog. When this happens, using a plunger will usually clear the clog allowing it to pass through without further issue. In order to prevent toilet paper clogs, simply me mindful of the amount you send down in a single flush.

7. Food Waste

Even if you have a garbage disposal, not all food breaks down when it goes down the drain. Greasy foods, tea leaves and coffee grounds are especially known for causing clogs as they solidify and block space. Instead of putting food scraps down the drain, start a composting pile that will provide nutrients for your lawn or garden.

8. Anything that is Not Water, Toilet Paper or Waste

Contrary to popular belief, the only objects designed to go down drains are those mentioned above. Any other foreign object has the potential to cause problems of clogging or corrosion leading to unnecessary expensive fixes.

We’ve all dealt with clogged drains at some point. They’re inconvenient and can prove troublesome and costly. This list should give you a clear idea of what causes drain clogs and some ways simple way to prevent them in the future. If you do have a clogged drain, contact professional plumbing experts before the problem gets worse.

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