Fixing Clogged Drains
Clogged drains can happen for a variety of reasons, but can quickly turn into major issues if not taken care of. A clogged drain not only slows water, but it can cause flooding, corrosion, and even potentially sewage backup. The best way to fix a clog is by figuring out what caused it in the first place. Here are a few of the most common things that cause clogged drains, and what you can do to help fix them.
- Hair. Hair is one of the most common causes of clogs. It’s capable of combining with grease and other sticky residues to form hard impassible clumps. The best offense is a good defense in this case, and installing guards over drains can help prevent these nasty backups.
- Soap. Seeing as soap is such a common thing to put down a drain, it can be surprising to know that it can contribute to clogs. Typically, bars of soap contain fat or grease, that helps bind it together, these ingredients can then mix with water and leave a residue. This residue, known colloquially as soap scum, not only builds up in showers and tubs, but can buildup and clog pipes. One solution to this issue is to have plumbers pressure clean your pipes. This helps remove build up, and keep you plumbing functioning as it should.
- Dirt. Dirt from bodies and clothes can build up gradually and create drainage problems. Removing excess dirt outside, before washing in the tub, can help mitigate this issue.
- Food. Guards should always be in place to ensure that no food waste makes its way down the drain. This is true even if you have a garbage disposal. Coffee grounds and grease in particular are known to cause issues as grounds don’t decompose, and grease can harden into blockages. When combined, they can wreak havoc, and require plumbing repairs to fix.
- Minerals. If your water contains a high amount of minerals, these can harden in drains can cause issues. While water softeners do help, if you’re unable to use one, descaling regularly is the key to avoiding clogged drains. Once build up of minerals starts, it can be difficult to fix, and may require a professional plumber to rectify.
- Small Objects. Kids love to put things down the drain, and even as adults it’s easy to lose jewelry and other small items this way. Installing guards can help, but if you’ve lost something large enough to cause a blockage, you’ll want to call a plumber to help remove it without damage.
- Toilet Paper. Toilet paper is the most common cause of toilet problems. If you’re able to get water running while flushing a plunger should do the trick; however, if the bowl fills without any draining, it’s time to call the plumber to help break up the clog.
- Tree Roots. The worst case scenario for clogged drains is tree roots. These issues can go undetected, often until it’s too late. Clearing these can be a complex endeavor that requires rooting services, excavation, and pressure jet cleanings. If you’re noticing slow drains all around your home, don’t hesitate to call a plumber before it gets worse.
Clogged drains can be a pain, and while the fix is usually easy, sometimes underlying issues, like tree roots, can be lurking under the surface. If your clogged drains aren’t seeing improvement, call a plumber and get a professional inspection. If the problem goes on too long you could be facing lengthy and costly repairs.