Common Causes of Clogged Drains
May 16, 2023
Are you constantly battling clogged drains? Over time, small blockages can build up, leading to major clogs located deep in your pipes. Not only does this prevent water flow, but it may also further damage your pipes. In this blog, we'll review everything you need to know about clogged drains, including the following:
- Common Causes of Clogged Drains
- Other Causes of Clogged Drains
- How to Fix a Clogged Drain
- When to Call the Professionals
Keep reading to discover common causes of clogged drains and what you can do about them.
Is your kitchen, laundry, bathroom, or shower drain clogged?
The Red Cap team is ready to help with our quick, efficient, and affordable drain clearing services. For the best plumbing experts in the area, call us at (813) 963-3056 (Tampa) or (727) 474-8287 (Pinellas) or schedule an estimate online.
Common Causes of Clogged Drains
Anything from your toilet to your kitchen sink can become the victim of clogs. Here are some top reasons why your drains may be clogged.
If you're experiencing more toilet clogs than usual, here are some possible reasons:
- Using too much toilet paper: If possible, flush waste and toilet paper separately. Or, use smaller quantities of high-quality toilet paper.
- Flushing non-flushable objects: Avoid flushing objects like wipes, paper towels, dental floss, feminine products, and diapers.
- Accidentally dropping things in the toilet: If you drop something in your toilet, don't flush it — use disposable gloves or tongs to remove it.
- Problem with the toilet: Sometimes, clogs are caused by an issue with the toilet itself. Or, you may have an older toilet with low flushing capabilities.
- Soap scum: When soap makes contact with water, it creates a thick glaze. As it seeps into your drain, the scum creates clogs. This is more likely to happen if you use bar soap.
- Hair: Even short hair can clog your drains.
- Certain body scrubs: Some exfoliating body scrubs use sand-like particles that get trapped in your drains.
- Hard water: If your shower water is packed with minerals (like calcium and iron), your pipes can become corroded and clogged.
Bathroom Sink Clogs
The sink is another bathroom appliance that can become clogged. Here are some potential causes:
- Soap scum: Like in showers, soap scum can build up in your sink's pipes.
- Hair: If you shave by the sink, you'll likely experience this type of clog.
- Hygiene products: Some hygiene/grooming products, or even drain cleaners, can block your pipes.
- Damaged pipes: Sometimes, clogs are caused by a broken or corroded pipe.
Kitchen Sink Clogs
In addition to bathroom sink clogs, you might experience blocked kitchen sinks. In most cases, this problem is caused by food. Avoid putting these food items down the drain:
- Coffee grinds
- Produce stickers
- Rice and pasta
- Fats, oils, and grease
Do you have a clogged washing machine? In most cases, this problem is connected to the machine's filter. Anything from dirt and debris to socks and underwear can get stuck in the filter, resulting in clogs. In more severe cases, the issue is related to the appliance's drain pump, which helps circulate water through the machine.
Other Causes of Clogged Drains
Generally, clogged drains are caused by one of the issues above. However, in some cases, the problem concerns your sewer line (where your wastewater travels to). Here are some possible causes of clogged drains connected to the sewer.
Did you know that your sewer line can have tree roots? If these roots grow, they can exert pressure on the line and break it. The most significant indication of tree root problems is the soft, damp areas in your yard.
Heavy Sewer Sludge
Over the years, you've probably poured various items down your drains, including soap, hair, grease, and lint. As these items accumulate, they may form a hard material called sludge. Once this sludge gets stuck in your pipes, it can block wastewater from flowing down.
Broken or Cracked Sewer Line
Tree roots aren't the only things that can disrupt your sewer line. Other causes include the following:
- Construction equipment
- Shifting soil
- Road traffic
- Rust and corrosion
Not only can a cracked sewer line clog your drain, but it may also release unhealthy contaminants.
As mentioned earlier, a common cause of clogged drains is flushing a foreign object. Sometimes, this results in an immediate clog — other times, the foreign object actually makes it down the drain before ultimately getting stuck. Once it's lodged deep in the pipes, wastewater cannot easily travel past.
How to Fix a Clogged Drain
When a clog is minor, it can usually be fixed with one of these at-home solutions:
- Plunger: Plungers aren't just for toilets — you can also use them on a bathtub and sink drains.
- Snake: Gently navigate a plumbing snake down the drain and fish out the obstruction.
- Water and baking soda: Pour a cup of baking soda down the drain, wait 15 minutes, then follow it with boiling water.
When to Call the Professionals
If the above methods don't work, or if you suspect a more serious problem (like a broken sewer line), the best course of action is to contact an HVAC professional, such as the Red Cap team.
Tired of Clogged Drains? Contact Red Cap Today!
From sludge to tree roots, plenty of issues can clog your drains. At Red Cap, we've seen it all and are prepared to help with excellent drain clearing services. To learn more, call (813) 963-3056 (Tampa) or (727) 474-8287 (Pinellas) or schedule an estimate online.
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