A clogged drain is one of the most common household plumbing issues that you can face. Although blocked pipes and clogged drains may seem like minor issues – and they generally are – they can escalate into major ones if left unattended. Clogs can go on to cause minor issues such as slow drainage and slight pipe corrosion to major plumbing woes such as flooding or even sewage backup. In such situations, you’ll have to bear costly expenses and a mess that could’ve been avoided. It is therefore important that these clogs are dealt with early on. Even better would be to stop them from occurring in the first place by addressing the root cause of the issue.
Let’s look at some of the culprits that cause the most common household clogs and what you should do to prevent and fix them.
It’s the Hair
Hair has a substantially negative role to play when it comes to clogged bathrooms and drain blockages. It is natural for a certain amount of hair to fall every time you shower. However, this hair will go on to bind with all the grease and scum that collects around the drains and will, over time, accumulate inside the drain, causing a blockage. One of the simplest ways you can deal with this culprit early on is by installing guards over all the drains in your house. This will ensure that the hair does not find its way inside the drain and is instead collected outside it. Removing the hair from these guards is as easy as removing the guard from the drain and disposing of the hair before putting the guard back in place.
Soap is another culprit that contributes towards clogged drains, especially in the bathrooms. It may seem difficult to understand how or why it can cause clogged drains; after all, soap is supposed to dissolve in water as it passes through the drains. The soap you use in the shower isn’t an issue by itself. The fat and grease that are the dominant ingredients in traditional soaps go on to combine with water minerals and form a hard residue that is known as soap scum.
This is what clogs the drainage and also contributes to staining the bathroom fittings. To avoid feeding this culprit, simply switch to using soap-free washes and then pressure clean your pipes to wash off any soap scum buildup inside.
Dirt is an obvious reason, but the whole point of having a shower is to clean ourselves from the dirt that accumulates on our bodies throughout the day. Therefore, it would seem quite counterintuitive to forego having a shower just to protect our drains. Of course, you shouldn’t stop taking showers; however, there is a limit to what your drainage pipes can handle. If too much dirt gets into your drains, it will build up inside the pipes and cause clogs. Simply rinse or dust off the excess dirt outside of the bathroom before you jump into the shower to prevent this dirt buildup.
Food waste was never meant to go down the drain anyway, even if you have a garbage disposal installed in your sink. This especially applies to waste material such as coffee grounds or tea leaves that are difficult to break down. Furthermore, strictly avoid sending oily or greasy food waste down the drain as they will only solidify later on in the pipes and cause a clogged drain. Use a paper towel to absorb the oil and grease off the food waste and then discard it in the compost to avert a potential clogged drain situation.
Hard water has a significant amount of minerals dissolved in it. They go on to build up inside the drainage system and turn into an insoluble mass that causes blocked drains. One way around it involves installing a water softener if you have a particularly bad case of hard water in your locality. If that is not possible, you can regularly have your pipes and drainage descaled to remove the sediment buildup. However, it is not exactly a DIY job, so do acquire professional help on this one when your drains are clogged.
Small objects that find their way into the drainage can go on to create a clog problem for you. Therefore, it is important that you ensure that nothing but water, human waste, or toilet paper should go down your drains. Any object besides these needs to be disposed of in the compost, trash, or recycling bins. Any object that isn’t supposed to end up in the drain, but finds its way there will cause plumbing issues – most likely a clogged drain. Seek professional services to fix this issue before it causes flooding or a sewage backup.
Another common reason for household drainage clogs is tree roots. How? Tree roots expand and grow in their search for water and other nutrients. Since trees roots are designed to seek water, as they thrive on it, even the smallest of leaks or cracks across in an underground pipe can trigger their growth toward the pipe. Once the roots make initial contact, they grow quickly as they have ample water supply now.
Besides damaging the water pipes, the roots hamper the flow of water by obstructing its passage. This calls for professional rooter services as the process is quite complex and by no means a DIY job. Trenchless repair, pressure jet cleaning, and excavation are some of the other options at your disposal. It is important that you’re well acquainted with the root structure of the plants in your backyard as well as with the route of your underground pipes to keep an eye out for this problem. This can allow you to avoid costly and extensive repairs.
There are a number of reasons for clogged drains and several ways you can deal with them. Some can be handled easily by using DIY techniques such as a plunger, a drain snake, or running hot water through the pipes, while others require more extensive and expensive solutions. However, one of the best ways you can deal with these common household clogs is by preventing them from developing in the first place. The above guidelines will help you in that regard. If you still need help with any plumbing related issues around your house, acquire our dedicated plumbing services to take care of all your plumbing needs.