Causes Of Clogged Drains And How To Fix Them

white pipes

While living in a house, you experience normal wear and tear as well as other issues in various elements of the home. One of the most common problems that you might face in your bathrooms and kitchen is the issue of clogged drains and pipes.

This clog could be in the floor drains or the sink. Sometimes, a clog in the floor drain can even cause problems of choking in the sink or the toilet bowl. Drain choking can also cause an unpleasant smell.

There are several causes of why a drain clogs. In this article, we will describe the most common causes of drain clogs and how you can solve that problem. We will also discuss ways through which you can prevent your drain and pipes from clogging and choking.

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Causes Of Clogged Drains

A clogged drain is a troublesome issue that needs to be appropriately addressed. A clogged drain can lead to further problems such as a drain choke or floor trap. Water is not able to clear properly because of dirt, residue, and other kinds of blockage.

To fix this issue, you should first have some knowledge of what causes clogged drains. When you know the causes, you can be in a better position to try to fix them. Some of the most common causes of clogged drains are discussed below:

Dirt, Dust, and Debris

One of the most common reasons why floor drains clog is because of the accumulation of dirt and dust over time. If the drains are not regularly cleaned, this dirt builds up along with other elements such as oil, grease, or soap will form solid substances which will cause the drain to clog.

Foreign Matters

Sometimes, small foreign objects can go through the opening of the pipe and cause it to choke over time. These can range from small insects to leftover food items, or even other things that small children in the house might have thrown in the drain.

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Oily Substances

This cause is mainly the source of clogged drains in the kitchen. Oil and grease from the utensils and dishes tend to accumulate in the pipes with time, causing it to clog.

Pieces of Soap

Soap is also a primary cause of clogged drains in the bathroom. Small pieces of soap along with soap residue after showering can cause a build-up in the pipes which can lead to its choking.

Helpful read: Useful Plumbing Tips and Fixes

Hair

Hair is also one of the most common culprits of clogged drains in the bathroom. The hair that accumulates in the pipes will lead to its clogging if it is not regularly cleaned.

How To Solve The Problem Of Clogged Drains

Clogged drains can be quite bothersome and pose a dilemma for you. However, fixing clogged drains is not a difficult task and can be done by you easily. In some cases, you might need to call a plumber to help you unclog, but some of the easy remedies can easily be done by you.

Some of the ways through which you can fix clogged drains are described below:

Make Sure You Have The Right Instruments

The first thing that you have to consider while fixing clogged drains is whether you have the right tools for unclogging or not. Depending on the various causes of the clog, as described above, you would need different types of equipment.

These can include cleaning solutions, plungers, and other devices. These are further described below. The first step that you should do is to identify what is causing the clog and then use the corresponding tools to unclog it.

Homemade Cleaning Solution

You can create your own cleaning solution at home and try to unclog the drain with it. If it does not work, then you might need a stronger cleaning solution from the market. You can easily make a homemade solution by using ingredients that can be found in your home.

These ingredients include baking soda, lemon, and vinegar. To make the solution, take one cup of vinegar and add about ¼ cup lemon juice to it. In the drain, run some hot water and pour half a cup of baking soda into it. Leave it for 5 minutes.

Then add the mixture of vinegar and lemon in it followed by a cup of boiling water. Again leave it for 10 minutes and then check to see if the clog has been cleared or not. You might need to follow these steps 2 or 3 times to unclog the drain properly. If the drain still doesn’t unclog, you might need a stronger cleaner from the market.

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Get A Cleaner From The Market

The strong drain cleaners available in the market are very useful in unclogging clogged drains. However, a cleaner may not be sufficient alone, and you might need a plunger with it to properly clear the drain.

Use A Plunger

A plunger is a great tool that can be used in unclogging drains. A plunger can be used in combination with a cleaning solution.

First, use the homemade cleaning solution or the cleaner from the market to loosen the blockage to some extent. Then use a plunger to clear the blockage. Follow this with another cycle of cleaning with the home cleaner or the one from the market. Hopefully, these steps will unclog the drain.

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Flexible Coil

In some cases, a plunger may not be effective in unblocking the chokes. This is especially the case where the blockage is spread out far through the drain pipes.

A flexible coil of wire, also called a plumbing snake, can easily navigate through the long drain pipes and reach the blockage. With some pressure, it will be able to break down the blockage and clear it to allow water to flow freely through it.

Vacuum Cleaner

A wet/dry vacuum cleaner can also be used to clear the blockage from the drain pipes. Such a vacuum cleaner can easily work too; it can be used to pull out the debris and matter which is causing the clog.

Call a Professional Plumber

If, after utilising all the above solutions, you are unable to unclog your drain pipes, it might be a good idea to call a professional plumber who will examine the source of the problem and utilise his expertise in fixing the issue.

Professional plumbers have specialised tools and equipment that can solve the issue of drain clogs quite easily.

How To Prevent Clogged Drains

Apart from the proposed solutions to clogged drains, there are ways in which you can prevent them from occurring in the first place. Some of these ways are listed below:

  • You can almost always prevent a drain from getting clogged if you regularly clean the drain yourself. This includes taking steps to not let foreign objects go in the pipes to prevent any blockage.
  • Cleaning the drain pipes regularly, using any of the cleaning solutions mentioned above, before a drain is clogged can help prevent clogs from occurring.
  • It is a good idea to use bacterial drain cleaners every once in a while to help clear the drains as well as kill the germs.
  • In the kitchen, avoid pouring leftover oil or grease down the drain as it can result in a clog. Don’t let even small pieces of leftover or waste of food go into the drain. You can install a waste catcher in the sink and clean it regularly to prevent waste from going into the drain.
  • In the bathroom, install hair catchers over the drain so that no hair enters the pipe during showering. The hair that gets accumulated above the drain can easily be collected and disposed of.

The above guidelines can help you understand the causes of why drains clog and how you can fix this problem. Whether you hire a plumber to unclog the drains or do it yourself, you can employ the various strategies described above to prevent clogs afterwards.

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