You are taking a shower, and suddenly you notice a puddle of water building by your feet. You realize that your shower drain is clogged. What an inconvenience.
Having a clogged drain is probably one of the most common and most inconvenient plumbing problems for every homeowner. Clogged drains are not only common in toilets and baths, but also for kitchen sinks and other drains.
If you overlook clogged drain issues, these can escalate into bigger problems in the long run. A clogged drain can cause additional troubles, such as flooding, corrosion, and even unsanitary sewage backup. Prevent these problems from happening in your home and become familiar with the common reasons for clogged drains.
Below are the most common reasons why your drain is clogging.
If your shower drain or sink drain gets clogged, it is probably because of hair. Hair is one of the most common causes of clogged drains. It binds with sticky substances and forms in clumps and clogs your pipes.
To prevent any clumps of hairs from clogging your shower drains, ensure you have drain guards that will catch the hair before it enters your pipes. Make sure that the holes of the drain guard are big enough to let the unobstructed flow of water through but narrow enough to stop any hairs from passing through it. Unclogging a drain is more time consuming than tossing the collected hair from the drain guard into the bin.
- Small objects
Even small objects can sneakily creep up on you and clog your drain without you knowing. Tiny objects can wreak havoc on any household plumbing line and can be a huge pain to clear out. Unlike hair, small objects are trickier to take out and will most likely require you to seek professional help.
Prevent small objects from clogging your drains by ensuring that you have drain guards in place. Try not to place any items with small caps near the sink as well. Toothpaste caps, hair ties, make-up bottle covers are just some of the little objects that would be a nightmare for you to remove from your drain.
- Toilet paper
Flushing down toilet paper can also clog your drain, which is an inconvenient and unsanitary situation that you want to avoid at all costs. To prevent this from happening to your home, do not flush toilet paper. A clump of toilet paper will be exceptionally difficult to unclog.
If you somehow find yourself with a toilet clogged by toilet paper, you can fix the clog with the use of a plunger or toilet augers. Let the plunger shift the clogged toilet paper and allow the water to dissolve some of the tissue. With enough effort, the toilet paper will unlodge itself and pass through the pipes completely. If you are unlucky, however, and the toilet still fills up with water and doesn’t flush, it’s time to seek help from professional plumbers.
Soap is another item that can cause blockage to drains and pipes. Aside from the size of the soap bar, soap can leave debris of hard residue. Since soap uses grease and fat for its ingredients, the fat and grease can combine with the minerals in the water and form soap scum. Soap can easily mix with other drain debris like dirt and hair and create even bigger clogs that are hard to get rid of. If you want to prevent your drains from getting clogged by soap, switch to soap-free washes instead.
- Food waste
Clogged drains don’t just happen at the toilet and bath, it also occurs in the kitchen. Food waste is a common cause of a kitchen sink blockage. Even if you have a garbage disposal in your sink, food waste down the drain is still a no-no. Keep in mind that food waste can still clog up your pipes even with a garbage disposal installed.
Be careful of foods that do not break down like tea, leaves, etc. Other kinds of food that have a lot of grease and oil can also form clumps and become inside the pipes. Instead of letting oil go down the drain, use a paper towel to absorb most of the oil first. The easiest way to prevent food from clogging your drain is to avoid letting food go down the drain even with a garbage disposal installed.
While a sure indicator of a clogged pipe is water not draining down the sink, another warning signal is if you notice that your toilet, kitchen sink, or shower is draining slowly. Fix clogged drains as soon as possible to prevent it from becoming a huge inconvenience in the future.
You can fix some of the clogged drain issues yourself with a few tools. If after all your effort, you still were not able to fix the clogged drain, then it is time to call for professional help. Give your plumber a call in case you encounter a difficult-to-fix clogged drain and save yourself the trouble and headache!