A clogged drain isn’t just an annoying problem that slows you down to do
your chores. It can be a severe plumbing problem with potential health
concerns. But what causes clogs drains? Can they be prevented?
Here’s a list of ten things that and some tips of how to prevent having
Human hair, as well as animal fur can accumulate to the point where it
causes slow flow or a total pipe blockage in shower, laundry, bathtub, and
bathroom drains. Hair can tangle and combine with other substances such as
soap or grease and get attached to the drain.
Losing hair can’t be prevented because it’s natural, but you can take
actions to protect your drain as much as possible. You can brush your hair
before you take a shower and install a shower drain hair catcher. In this
way, you can reduce the amount of hair that goes down the drain.
2. Soap Scum
Detergents and soap scum accumulated over time in the laundry, shower, and
bathroom drains. This causes the diameter of the pipe to reduce and causes
slow flow and backup.
The recommendation to avoid clogs provoked by soap scum is to use soaps
that don’t contain phosphates, and which have natural surfactants. This
means that you should try to use soap-free washes, which will also help
protect your skin.
3. Toilet Paper
Toilet paper, seriously? Yes, the excessive use of toilet paper combined
with sewage going down the drain, can make your toilet overflow. To prevent
this simply use toilet paper in moderation. Not only will you be helping
your drain, but you’ll also be more ecofriendly. Don’t use more toilet
paper than what you need, and definitely don’t flush more than what you
need to. If necessary, use small batches of paper over several flushes.
4. Food Oil, Grease, and Fat
Food oil, grease, and fat can cause severe problems to your draining
system, because they solidify in the pipes causing a blockage. To prevent
this, wipe up small amounts of oil with a paper towel and throw it on the
compost. For large amounts of fats and oils, pour your leftover cooking
oils into a melt-proof container like a can or a jar, and throw it on the
5. Food Waste
Having a garbage disposal doesn’t mean you can put anything down the drain.
Food waste can clog your piped because not everything breaks down. Make
sure to never throw eggshells, fruit peels, or large chunks of food down
the drain. Instead, set up a compost bin for food waste. In that way, you
can be green and help your sink drain.
Plumbing systems only have the capacity to process water, human waste, and
biodegradable toilet paper. Even if the wipes are labeled as “flushable,”
they shouldn’t be disposed in the drain because they will not disintegrate.
Make sure to throw all the wipes in the trash can, not down your toilet.
7. Feminine Products and Diapers
Feminine hygiene products and diapers should never be flushed down the
toilet. They are not biodegradable, they expand with moisture, and contain
cotton which attracts other clogging agents. And beyond the clogging, they
can cause more severe damages like leaks or cracks in your drainpipes. So,
just make sure to follow the instructions on the package of how to properly
8. Objects Accidentally Flushed
If you have children, you know that small toys and small objects make their
way into all kinds of crazy places. Sinks, toilets, and bathtubs are no
exception. You can prevent having your drain clogged by placing drain
covers on sinks, showers, and bathtubs- they will catch the small objects.
But more importantly, teach your children what the toilet is used for, and
what it is not. Help them understand that flushing objects, (besides from
toilet paper), down the toilet, can lead to serious problems.
9. Tree Roots
It’s hard to believe it, but the tiniest crack in your pipe will draw
thirsty tree roots- and soon they’ll be growing inside your pipe. Tree
roots are one of the most common, and most expensive reasons for drain
To avoid tree root problems, make sure to take good care of your pipes and
drains, and be mindful of where you plant trees. Be careful to not plan
anything that could overlap with pipes.
10. Mineral buildup
Hard water is full of minerals that buildup in the pipes and reduce the
flow. Mineral deposits can lead to backups, so it if you know that there is
hard water where you live, make sure to install a water softener in your
house. That is the only way to prevent mineral buildup.
What to do if You Have a Clogged Drain
As you can notice, most clogged drains can be prevented by taking small
actions. But sometimes no matter how careful you are, you can end up with a
clogged drain. When that happens, don’t pour drain cleaners down your
drain. They will get rid of the clog, but they’ll weaken your pipes.
Instead, make sure to call a professional plumber to clean your drain.
At Plumbers in Denver, we have the expertise and the necessary
equipment to clean your drainpipes and help you keep them healthy. We are a
licensed, bonded, and insured company that offers quality and affordable
services to the Denver metropolitan area. Give us a call, you won’t regret
working with us.