No one wants to deal with a clogged drain. A clogged up sink, toilet, shower or tub is the last thing homeowners want to discover to start or end their day. Understanding clogs and why they happen is helpful for homeowners for a handful of reasons. Let’s break down the most common clogs, how they happen and what you can do to prevent them.
First, it’s important to understand why clogs happen. A clog is most commonly an accumulation of organic matter like grease, hair or soap scum that builds up on the walls of your drain pipes. This build up is gradual and happens over a period of time. Of course, there is occasionally the instant clog that can happen when a large bunch of something like toilet paper, a chunk of food, a child’s toy or unusually large body waste is forced into a small pipe in a toilet or sink. When a gradual clog or instant clog is large enough it can prevent water from flowing through the drainpipe.
Kitchen clogs are usually caused by fats and grease poured down a sink drain. When hot fatty deposits cool they solidify and adhere to the sides of the pipes. Over time the fatty deposits can trap other debris causing a slow drain or eventually clogging the pipe all together. Try keeping an empty aluminum can under the sink and pouring your hot grease into a can rather than down your sink or disposal drain. Grease clogs can sometimes be dissolved by pouring a large pot of boiling water down the drain and flushing it with a continuous flow of hot water or by finding a reliable over the counter product like Drano Dual Force Foam or Drano Max Gel Clog Remover. Sink plungers are helpful at dislodging accumulations of debris.
Hard water deposits, soap scum and hair are usually the culprits behind bathtub clogs. Like shower clogs there are a handful of treatments to help avoid and remove tub clogs. Read our blog about Preventing Shower Clogs for more information. A toilet plunger is the best way to break up a clogged toilet. It is important to make sure you have good suction when plunging, so use a plunger that is designed for toilet plunging. A plumbing snake can be helpful to loosen most clogs however be sure to use with care and not excessive force. You can damage your drainpipes by sticking stiff object in them trying to dislodge clogs. When in doubt about any household clog, try calling a professional plumber like Metro Septic and Plumbing and let the experts get to the root of your problem.