Common Reasons Your Drains Clog
The quality of your household plumbing can influence the quality of life in your home. Swift drains ensure the efficient use of sinks, tubs, toilets, and even your washing machines. For this reason, it’s important to maintain a clog-free plumbing system. Residents of North Salt Lake, Utah, can rely on Shamrock Plumbing as a trusted plumbing service provider to keep your drains running clean and clear.
If you are experiencing slow drains or systemic clogs in your home, it can help to understand why these clogs form to avoid them in the future. Let’s explore the many reasons why drains clog in a family home.
Accumulated Hair and Soap Residue
Hair and soap are among the most common particulates to run down the drain, especially in showers and sinks. Hair will tangle upon itself and catch other debris to form a larger clog. Soap residue, however, creates an element of water resistance and can build up inside your pipes. Together, they are well known for creating frequent minor clogs that must be regularly cleared to keep your drains in good order.
Most of the time, it is possible to clear these hair clogs from the drains yourself using a hook or a “Zip It” tool. However, if the clog is too deep or persistent, you can call a professional plumber to clear severe blockages.
Food Debris in Kitchen Sinks
In the kitchen, it is common to wash bits of food from plates, cutting boards, and cooking pans down the sink. With a garbage disposal, this can be an efficient way to keep your kitchen and trashcan clean of old food. However, foods have various properties that can gather and contribute to a clog. Vegetable peels, for example, are water resistant and grease can form waterproof solid masses if it is allowed to cool within the pipes or as part of a massing clog.
Avoid putting food down the sink without running the garbage disposal, and follow food with a few seconds of very hot water to help melt grease and break up clogs. You can often clear minor food-related clogs by running the garbage disposal, clearing anything stuck in the garbage disposal, or flushing the sink with a mix of hot water and vinegar.
However, if your kitchen sink clogs regularly, a professional drain cleaning may be necessary to clear out old sediment.
Grease and Fat Buildup
Grease and fats are particularly dangerous in the kitchen sink because cold grease or fat is waterproof. If it congeals into a clog, especially a clog made of other debris, it can make your clog resistant to water-flushing without a solvent. Avoid pouring grease from pans or recipes down the drain, for this reason. Instead, pour oils into glass jars until it cools and can be safely thrown away. If you do develop a grease clog, very hot water can sometimes melt it away.
You will also want to use bath oils sparingly, for the same reason. Bath oils combined with particles like colloidal oatmeal and hair can make formidable tub clogs. Be sure to call a professional if your kitchen or tub will not break up the clog with a hot water flush. Oils can be particularly difficult to get rid of DIY.
Foreign Objects and Debris
Small objects dropped down the drain are notorious for causing clogs. Bottle caps, balls, and children’s toys are the worst culprits, but any small object that catches in the S-Bend can prevent water and other debris from flowing freely down the drain. It may be necessary to call a plumber like Shamrock Plumbing to take apart the pipes to remove the offending object. However, sometimes the clever use of a hooked coat hanger, or piercing the item to raise it, can do the trick.
You can often keep unwanted objects (and other debris) from going down the drain by using a drain catcher. These mesh or lattice circles cover your drain. They can be used to catch hair in bathroom drains and prevent silverware from dropping own the garbage disposal in the kitchen.
Toiletries and Non-Flushable Items
The toilet is not a trashcan. Modern plumbing (and especially plumbing in older houses) was not designed to handle anything but waste and lightweight paper. Throwing paper towels, q-tips, sanitary items, bandaids, or other non-flushable items down the toilet will only result in a clog. If not immediately, then certainly over time. This includes non-flushable wipes, which are far more common than the flushable kind.
Breaking up a clog caused by non-flushable items can be intensive and typically requires professional skills and tools.
Mineral Deposits in Hard Water Areas
Lastly, sometimes a clog can be caused by the water itself. Or rather, minerals in the water. 90% of US homes run “hard water” which is water that contains extra minerals like calcium and magnesium. These minerals are harmless to ingest, but they leave “scale”, a type of residue that builds up on everything, including the inside of your pipes. After years of hard water flow, scale can effectively narrow your pipe width making clogs more likely and even closing off small sections of pipe.
Fortunately, there are ways to break up scale even after years of buildup. You can fight scale by pouring hot vinegar down the sink, which breaks up the minerals. However, excessive mineral-related clogs can be more effectively restored with the help of Shamrock Plumbing’s hard-water-related drain-clearing services.
Keep Your Drains Clear with Shamrock Plumbing
Clear drains are an important part of a good quality lifestyle at home. Shamrock Plumbing is proud to serve homes throughout North Salt Lake, Utah. If the drains of your home are not clearing quickly or persistently clog, we are here to help. Through a combination of good drain care and professional services, your drains will be running clear in no time. Our team is skilled in resolving drain clogs and is ready to help.
Contact Shamrock Plumbing for local North Salt Lake professional drain clearing and plumbing services.