+1 216 294 2025

Give us a call for your plumbing needs
Enjoy Peace of Mind!

Cleveland, OH

Blitzer Plumbing Services

5 Common Causes of Clogged Drains and How to Prevent Them

Clogged drains are an annoyance that many homeowners face at some point, and they can lead to significant plumbing issues if left untreated. By understanding the common causes of clogged drains and taking proactive measures to prevent them, you can keep your plumbing system functioning smoothly. In this article, we’ll explore five common culprits behind clogged drains and provide tips on how to prevent them.

  1. Hair Buildup:

Hair is a major contributor to clogged drains, particularly in bathroom sinks and showers. As hair accumulates in the drain over time, it can create a blockage that restricts water flow. To prevent hair buildup, consider installing a drain strainer or stopper designed to catch hair before it goes down the drain. These inexpensive devices can be easily removed and cleaned, allowing you to dispose of trapped hair without hassle. Additionally, consider using a hair-catching brush or tool to remove any hair that may be lingering near the drain opening.

Regularly cleaning your drain strainer or stopper is essential for preventing hair buildup. Depending on the amount of hair in your household, you may need to clean the strainer or stopper every few days or once a week. Simply remove the device from the drain, empty the collected hair into the trash, and rinse the strainer or stopper with warm water to remove any remaining debris.

  1. Grease and Oil:

Pouring grease, oil, and fatty substances down the drain is a common mistake that can lead to stubborn clogs and pipe damage. When grease and oil enter the drain, they can solidify and adhere to the walls of the pipes, creating a sticky residue that traps other debris and impedes water flow. Over time, this buildup can lead to significant blockages that require professional intervention to resolve.

To prevent grease and oil buildup in your drains, avoid pouring these substances down the drain altogether. Instead, allow grease and oil to cool and solidify in a container before disposing of them in the trash. If you accidentally spill grease or oil in the sink, wipe it up with a paper towel and dispose of it properly. Additionally, consider using a grease trap or interceptor to capture grease and oil before they enter the plumbing system.

Regularly cleaning your drains with a mixture of vinegar and baking soda can help dissolve grease and oil buildup and keep your pipes clear. Simply pour a cup of baking soda followed by a cup of vinegar down the drain, allow the mixture to fizz and bubble for a few minutes, then flush the drain with hot water. Repeat this process once a month to maintain clean, odor-free drains.

  1. Food Waste:

Kitchen sinks are susceptible to clogs caused by food waste, such as leftover scraps and particles. While it may be tempting to wash food remnants down the drain, doing so can lead to clogs and foul odors over time. To prevent food waste from clogging your drains, be mindful of what you put down the disposal and avoid disposing of large chunks of food that can become trapped in the pipes.

Using a garbage disposal can help break down food waste into smaller pieces that are less likely to cause clogs. However, it’s essential to use the disposal properly to avoid damaging the unit or overloading the drain. Before using the disposal, scrape food scraps into the trash or compost bin to minimize the amount of waste that enters the drain. When using the disposal, run cold water to help flush the waste down the pipes and prevent buildup.

Regular maintenance of your garbage disposal is crucial for preventing clogs and extending the life of the unit. To keep your disposal in top condition, avoid putting hard or fibrous foods, such as bones, fruit pits, and celery stalks, down the drain. Additionally, periodically clean the disposal by grinding ice cubes and citrus peels to remove food residue and eliminate odors.

  1. Soap Scum and Mineral Buildup:

Soap scum and mineral deposits can accumulate in drain pipes over time, leading to reduced water flow and unpleasant odors. Soap scum is created when soap combines with minerals in hard water, forming a sticky residue that adheres to the walls of the pipes. Mineral buildup, such as calcium and magnesium deposits, can also contribute to clogs and pipe corrosion.

To prevent soap scum and mineral buildup in your drains, consider installing a water softener to reduce the hardness of your water. Soft water contains fewer minerals, which can help prevent the formation of soap scum and scale deposits in your plumbing fixtures and pipes. Additionally, regularly cleaning your drains with a mixture of vinegar and baking soda can help dissolve existing buildup and keep your pipes clear.

To clean your drains, pour a cup of baking soda followed by a cup of vinegar down the drain, allow the mixture to fizz and bubble for a few minutes, then flush the drain with hot water. Repeat this process once a month to maintain clean, odor-free drains. You can also use a commercial drain cleaner formulated to dissolve soap scum and mineral deposits, following the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

  1. Foreign Objects:

Foreign objects, such as toys, jewelry, and personal care products, can accidentally find their way into drains and cause clogs. Children are often the culprits behind these mishaps, as they may flush toys or small items down the toilet or wash them down the sink drain. Additionally, items like cotton swabs, dental floss, and feminine hygiene products should never be flushed down the toilet, as they can become lodged in the pipes and cause backups.

To prevent foreign objects from clogging your drains, educate your family members, especially children, about proper disposal practices. Encourage them to dispose of small objects in the trash rather than flushing them down the toilet or sink. Consider installing childproof locks on toilet lids and sink cabinets to prevent curious youngsters from accessing the plumbing fixtures.

If you suspect that a foreign object is causing a clog in your drain, avoid using harsh chemicals or tools to dislodge it, as this can damage the pipes and worsen the blockage. Instead, contact a professional plumber to safely remove the object and clear the drain. With prompt intervention, you can prevent further damage to your plumbing system and restore proper drainage in your home.

In conclusion, clogged drains are a common household issue that can be prevented with proper maintenance and care. By understanding the common causes of clogs and implementing preventive measures, you can keep your drains clear and your plumbing system functioning smoothly. Remember to regularly clean your drains, avoid pouring grease and oil down the drain, use a garbage disposal responsibly, address soap scum and mineral buildup, and educate your family members about proper disposal practices. With these simple steps, you can avoid the hassle and expense of dealing with clogged drains and enjoy a healthy plumbing system in your home.