Drains are an essential part of any plumbing system, but they can also be a common source of problems. Over time, drains can become clogged with hair, soap scum, and other debris. If left unchecked, these clogs can cause water to back up in the sink, tub, or shower. Additionally, clogged drains can lead to foul odors and standing water that attracts pests. Here are some of the most common causes of clogged drains and how to fix the problem.

1. Soap Scum

Over time, soap scum can build up in your drains and cause them to become clogged. This happens because soap scum is made up of oils and other substances that can adhere to the sides of your pipes. As more soap scum builds up, it creates a blockage that prevents water from flowing freely through the drain.

There are a few things you can do to fix this problem. First, you can try using a plunger to dislodge the blockage. If that doesn’t work, you may need to use a plumber’s snake to remove the soap scum. You can also try pouring boiling water down the drain to melt the soap scum.

2. Hair

As hair collects in the drain, it forms a barrier that can trap soap scum, grease, and other debris, causing the drain to become clogged. This often happens in showers, as hair is shed naturally while bathing. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to fix a clogged drain caused by hair. One option is to use a plunger to try and dislodge the blockage. If this does not work, you may need to use a drain snake or other manual tool to remove the hair. To help prevent future clogs, you can install a drain cover or hair catcher. These devices trap hair before it has a chance to enter the drain, keeping your pipes clear and free-flowing.

3. Food Waste

Food waste is a major contributor to clogged drains. When food particles build up in the pipes, they can impede the flow of water and cause blockages. In addition, food waste can attract pests, such as rodents and insects, which can further contribute to the problem. If you notice that your drains are frequently becoming clogged, there are some steps you can take to help fix the problem. First, try to scrape all food scraps into the garbage instead of down the drain. Finally, you can use a plunger or plumber’s snake to clear any existing blockages.

4. Fat, Oil and Grease (FOG)

When fat, oil and grease go down the drain, they build up along the sides of the pipe until it’s completely blocked. This can cause significant problems for your drain, including clogs, slow drainage, and bad odors. To prevent this problem in your drain, it’s important to dispose of FOG properly by pouring it into a container and throwing it in the trash. You should also avoid pouring hot water down the drain, as this can cause FOG to solidify more quickly.

5. Small Solid Objects

When small solid objects fall into the drain, they can quickly build up and block the flow of water. In some cases, the blockage can be severe enough to cause flooding. If you suspect that your drain is clogged, there are a few things you can do to try to clear it. First, try using a plunger to loosen the blockage. If that doesn’t work, consider calling a professional plumber to clear the drain.

6. Diapers and Wipes

Diapers and baby wipes can also be culprits when it comes to clogged drains. The disposable diapers have a plastic lining that can cause serious blockages, while the wipes are often made of non-biodegradable materials. As a result, they can quickly build up in your drain, leading to a clog. If you have a diaper or baby wipe clog, the best course of action is to call a plumber.

7. Cat Litter

Clogged drains are a nuisance, and they can often be caused by the buildup of cat litter. When litter is flushed down the drain, it absorbs water and swells, eventually blocking the flow of water. To unclog a drain affected by cat litter, start by scooping out as much of the litter as possible. Then, flush the drain with hot water to break up any remaining clumps. You can also use a plunger to dislodge any stubborn debris.

To prevent clogs from occurring in the future, always sweep up any stray litter and dispose of it in the trash. It may also be a good idea to use cat litter that is made of natural materials like wood or corn. These types of cat litters will not expand when they come in contact with water, so they will not clog your drain.

8. Offset Pipes

Offset pipes are pipes that are no longer aligned with each other. When offset pipes happen, it’s easier for debris and sediment to get caught in the gap between the two pipes, leading to a clogged drain. Fortunately, there are a few different ways to fix an offset pipe. One option is to use a drain auger to try and push the debris back through the pipe. Another option is to use a hydro-jet, which is a high-powered water stream that can clear out any obstructions. In some cases, however, the damage may be too severe, and you will need to hire a professional plumber to realign the pipe or replace the entire pipe.

9. Plants and Leaves

While leaves and plant matter can seem harmless, they can actually cause a lot of damage to your drains. When left to decompose, these organic materials release substances that can eat away at the pipes and create blockages. In addition, as the leaves break down, they form a slimy substance that can adhere to the sides of the drain and catch other debris.

There are a few things you can do to prevent these problems. First, make sure that your gutters are clean and free of debris. Also, consider installing a drain cover to keep leaves and other debris out of the drain.

10. Tree Roots

Tree roots can grow into even the smallest cracks in a pipe, eventually leading to a blockage. In addition to causing a clogged drain, tree roots can also damage sewer lines and other underground utility pipes. Homeowners who suspect that tree roots are causing problems with their drain should call a professional plumber for assistance. In most cases, the plumber will be able to clear the blockage and repair any damage to the pipes as well as offer suggestions for a lasting solution.

Contact Plumbing Professionals Today!

At Tarpy Plumbing, Heating & Air, we offer a wide range of services to meet your needs, including faucet installation, drain cleaning, and HVAC services to the residents of Santee, CA, and the surrounding areas. We also provide financing options when you make a purchase with a credit card issued by Synchrony Bank or Wells Fargo. We believe that customers should be our top priority, and we will work hard to ensure that you are satisfied with our work. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

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