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Your home’s plumbing system is a complex maze of pipes and other components that work together to provide water to the home. When your drains aren’t working correctly, it could be the sign of a serious problem.

If you’re having drain problems, it’s important that you know the root cause.

Here are seven typical reasons your drain may be clogged and what you can do to fix it or even prevent it from happening in the first place.

1. Hair Has Infiltrated Your Drain

Hair is probably the most common issue for clogged drains. When you shower, you likely shed lots of extra strands.

Over time, this hair can buildup inside the drain and create a complete clog. This is especially true for people with longer locks.

In order to prevent this, look for shower drain covers that filter out excess hair. If you do have a lot of hair in your drain, you can easily fish it out using a simple hair remover tool you can find at most hardware stores.

The best way to prevent hair from clogging your drain is to stop it before it starts. Invest in an inexpensive drain guard to keep that nasty hair from getting into your drain system.

2. Food and Grease

Even if you have a garbage disposal in your kitchen sink, you should keep food from going down the drain. Small particles are perfectly OK, but large chunks of food being dumped in the sink should be avoided.

If you don’t like to throw your excess food in the trash, consider making a compost pile. It’s a great way to give your garden some extra fertilization without wasting the food.

Some food items can’t break down correctly. This includes things like coffee grounds and tea leaves.

Grease is definitely a culprit when it comes to drain problems. Any kind of oil can wreak havoc on your plumbing, so it’s best to drain it in a jar or use paper towels to absorb any excess oil when you cook.

3. Don’t Forget Your Toilets

Dealing with a clogged toilet is never fun, but there are some things you can do to prevent this. Never throw sanitary items into the toilet including things like feminine hygiene products or baby wipes.

You should also never attempt to flush dental floss or cotton swabs in the toilet. Throw these items in the trashcan instead.

Large objects don’t dissolve and can wreak havoc on your toilet. If you do run into a flushing issue, try to use a plunger first so it can clear the drain pipe.

Clean your toilet regularly and avoid flushing anything that isn’t toilet paper. 

4. Mineral Buildup Can Cause Drain Problems

If you have hard water, you already know how much of a problem mineral buildup can be. Over time, the minerals in your water build up and create a mass that can block the drains in your home.

If you’re able, install a water softening system to reduce the amount of heavy mineral buildup in your water. You can also use a descaling solution to help break up the built-up sediment.

In cases where the mineral buildup is too tough to remove, you’ll need to enlist the help of a professional plumber.

5. It’s the Little Things

Every once in a while, small objects can accidentally get into your drain. Whether it’s a penny you dropped or a small game piece, sometimes accidents happen.

Anything that cannot naturally dissolve or be immediately washed or flushed down the drain can be a cause for concern. These small items can block your pipes and create a backup.

If you can’t easily retrieve the small object that went down your drains, you’ll probably need to call a plumber. Never dig too far into a drain or pipe or else you run the risk of causing more damage.

6. Pesky Tree Roots

In many instances, your drain problems are caused underground where you are not aware of what’s going on. Over time, as trees near your house grow, their roots begin to expand outward.

Tree roots can get into your pipes and obstruct the flow of water. They can also crack and even break your pipes if the roots are strong and large enough.

In order to fix this problem, you should contact a local rooter service or excavation company. This remedy requires professionals who know how to remove tree roots and make the proper repairs without causing any further damage to your drain and pipe system.

Check the trees near your home and closely monitor how rapidly they’re growing. Keep an eye on your drains and how well they’re working so you can troubleshoot and identify the issue before it’s too late.

7. Soap Buildup

You might not think of soap as something that can cause a plumbing problem. Many brands of soap contain a certain amount of grease or oil that can build up over time.

This soap scum creates a blockage that forms around the inside of your drain and pipes. If you don’t remove it, eventually the drain will become clogged.

The best way to prevent this problem is to use soaps that don’t contain any oils, grease, or other fats. 

Keep Your Drains Safe

Now that you know some of the most common causes of drain problems, you can be better prepared to prevent them. With a bit of due diligence and careful monitoring, you shouldn’t have any issues with proper drainage.

For more information on our plumbing services, visit our website or give us a call to schedule an appointment today.


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