7 Common Causes of Clogged Drains (and What to Do About Them)

7 Common Causes of Clogged Drains (and What to Do About Them)

There are many different reasons to call a plumber, and clogged drains can be one of them.

A clogged drain might seem like a minor problem, but it can be a symptom of a more significant issue. If you’re currently dealing with clogged drains, you’re probably wondering what could be causing the problem.

Keep reading to learn seven common causes and what you can do to help alleviate the clog.

1. Hair in the Pipes

Hair is one of the leading causes of drain issues. A clogged shower drain is almost always a result of hair finding its way down the drain and not making it through the piping system.

What You Can Do

If you don’t already have a drain stopper that can catch debris like hair installed, putting one in is a simple fix. The stopper catches most hair before it can go down the drain, and you can easily pick it up and throw it away.

If the problem is so bad you think you have pipe damage, it’s best to turn to a plumber for pipe repair.

2. Food

Food is another common cause of clogged drains. Whether you have a garbage disposal or not, small food particles can build up over time and make it hard for water to pass through.

What You Can Do

There are several different solutions to this issue:

  • Install a garbage disposal
  • Use stoppers to catch food
  • Empty dishes of food before they reach the sink
  • See if your disposal needs to be repaired

It’s impossible to keep all food from going down the drain, but taking one of these steps to prevent the majority of it from going down can prevent future clogs.

3. Small Objects

Small objects can accidentally get dropped into drains, but they get there from children dropping them in more often than not.

Kids are known for chucking their toys or other tiny objects in toilets, drains, etc., which can cause big problems, especially if you don’t realize they did it.

What You Can Do

It is crucial to use stoppers and child-safety tools to block off drains, toilets, and any other areas they might be able to reach. You can also try helping your child understand why putting items like toys down the drain isn’t safe.

Above all, monitor the problem and try to find things before they get too far down and can’t be reached without a professional’s help.

4. Too Much Toilet Paper

Plumbing problems with your toilet can be overwhelming because of the fear your toilet will overflow and cause a big mess.

Using too much toilet paper can result in a clog.

What You Can Do

A plunger will often do the trick, but if the clog is too far down or too solid, a plumber will have to use specialty tools to take care of it for you.

In the future, using less toilet paper or flushing more often to allow the toilet paper to make its way down easily can prevent clogs.

5. Dirt and Debris

Drains aren’t a catch-all. Not everything can go down the drain safely, and dirt is one of them.

Rinsing off muddy clothes or shoes in the sink can seem harmless, but the dirt turns into mud when mixed with water and can cake the inside of your pipes.

What You Can Do

Don’t use the sink or tub to rinse off items with a lot of dirt or mud. Instead, rinse them off outside using the hose. After that, you can safely rinse them in the sink or throw them in the washing machine without worrying about clogs.

6. Cotton Products

Many cotton products often cause plumbing problems because people don’t realize they can’t be flushed down the toilet.

Although cotton seems like paper in many ways, it doesn’t break down the same way. Instead, it absorbs water and grows in size, making it easy for just a few cotton items to clog a drain.

What You Can Do

Avoid flushing cotton products down the toilet. They can end up causing clogs that impact pipes and nearby drains. 

Instead, throw them away. You can also look for flushable wipes to replace your cotton items.

7. Mineral Buildups

All water has different minerals. But hard water, in particular, is known to contain minerals that lead to buildups inside drains.

They can significantly reduce water flow, causing a slow drain or blocking it completely.

What You Can Do

You can try using a water softener to prevent extra buildup from accruing. 

A better option for most people is to get your house serviced regularly by a plumber. They can descale the pipes to get rid of the built-up minerals in no time. 

Doing this regularly will keep your pipes and drains free and clear from other issues. You can enjoy free-flowing water without worrying about overflows or slow draining from clogs.

Don’t Let Clogged Drains Become Normal in Your Home

Many people deal with clogged drains so frequently that it becomes a normal part of their daily routine.

Clogged drains are frustrating and can lead to much bigger problems down the line if they aren’t taken care of. So instead of letting them impact your day-to-day life, try taking preventative measures by following the tips here.

Having a plumber on speed dial to deal with problems when they come up and regularly checking your plumbing is also crucial. Please get in touch with us to learn more about our services and how we can help keep your home in tip-top shape.

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