Common Causes of Drain Clogs and Failure: Info from a Plumber in Fremont, NE

April 12, 2018 Published by Leave your thoughts

It’s an unfortunate reality of everyday life—clogged drains happen. The good news is that you can usually take some easy corrective steps to resolve the issue and even prevent it from happening again. However, it’s important to know what causes drains to clog in the first place.

Here’s an overview of some of the most common causes of drain clogs and failure from a plumber in Fremont, NE:

  • Bathroom sinks and tubs: Bathroom drain clogs are often a result of a buildup of skin flakes, dirt and hair that attaches to the walls of the drainpipes. Soap scum or toothpaste acts as the binding agent that holds this debris together, and as the gunk accumulates in the drain, water drainage starts to slow down. Your first step should be to remove the drain stopper and clean it. After that, try using a drain plunger or other type of tool to clear the drain pipe. Only use chemical drain cleaners if absolutely necessary, as they can have very harmful environmental impacts.
  • Toilet clogs: Toilet clogs can become serious quite quickly. They can result from people attempting to flush down too much toilet paper at once, but there are other types of items that do not dissolve in water and cannot be flushed, such as dental floss, cotton swabs, tampons and pre-moistened diaper wipes. Your plunger will be the first tool you should use, but if that doesn’t work, you can use a drain auger to reach down into the drain pipe and either break up or retrieve items blocking the pipe. Make sure to clean your toilet regularly to help prevent these clogs.
  • Kitchen sinks: Kitchen sink drains tend to clog as a result of pouring cooking grease or oil down into the sink. This grease will harden along the drain walls, quickly forming blockages. This isn’t even accounting for detergent soap scum and un-dissolved food particles. Having a garbage disposal can help you prevent kitchen sink blockages, but you can also use very hot water with some detergent to attempt to break the clog apart. If you have solid food items, scrape as much as you can into your garbage before pouring it down the drain. Dump off oil into a can or other item to solidify and throw it into the garbage.

There are other general practices you can use to help prevent clogs and other drain issues at any point in your home. For example, venting allows air to enter the pipe while water is draining. You should also make sure your drain pipes are at a proper slope to ensure the water more efficiently carries waste out to the sewer line. Too much of a slope can cause the water to leave waste behind, but too little slope can cause the water and waste to pool inside the pipe.

For more tips about resolving drain blockages and clogs, contact a plumber in Fremont, NE at Wiese Plumbing & Excavating, Inc. to learn more.

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