Why Your Drains are Blocked and What to Do About Them
Blocked drains are a common problem in residential plumbing. Here are some of the most common reasons for blocked drains, as well as what to do if you can’t seem to get rid of them yourself.
Hair is the most common cause of blockages in residential plumbing. Most people shed in the shower or shave over the sink and wash the hair down afterward. This leads to backed up plumbing and difficult clogs to undo. Store-bought remedies can help, but hair clogs become serious much faster than most people realize.
The additives in many hygiene items that make them sparkle, help them moisturize, or aid in exfoliation often do not dissolve on the skin or in water. These additives are then washed down drains, causing plumbing problems later. Baby wipes, diapers, menstrual products, and even so-called flushable wipes are also a major problem when flushed because they do not typically dissolve and often cause major blockages.
Most people know that pouring grease, oil, and other fats down their drains isn’t a good idea, but a surprising number of people do so anyway. These fats will cool and solidify, gumming up pipes and blocking the flow of water through plumbing over time.
In homes with children and pets, small objects that shouldn’t’ be washed down drains or flushed down toilets often find their way there anyway. These objects are a magnet for other debris and can cause major blockages in no time at all.
There are many ways you can cut down on or solve minor blockages in your drains at home, but when they become too frequent or too stubborn to remove, you may need to call a professional. At Same Day Service Plumbing, we offer blockage removal for any kind of plumbing, to get your pipes clean and your water moving freely again.
Helpful hints about your drain line
Many homeowners do not know that their kitchen sink and laundry drains are connected in multiple places and that what happens in one can affect the other. Your toilet, sink and tub all share the same drain. If you have a drain line blockage and not a fixture blockage, it could affect more than one drain. If something like a ring or small toy goes down your kitchen or bathroom sink drain, all is not automatically lost.
You can retrieve it in three easy steps:
- Immediately turn all water off;
- Put a bucket under the drain pipe big enough to catch about a half-gallon of water; and
- Unscrew the two joint nuts near the bottom of the “J” trap.
Your missing item should be there.
Important: Do not use acid-based products to clear grease clogs in your sink drains. At best, they will just melt the grease which will re-solidify farther down the line. A bleach-based product or a product that will change the grease into CO2 + water is far superior, and these types of products are much safer to keep under the sink with small children and pets around.