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Husted Plumbing Blog

The Top 5 Most Common Causes of Drain Clogs

bubbling-drainIt’s almost impossible to avoid all drain clogs, although you can take cautionary steps, put in drain screens, and schedule regular drain cleaning from a professional plumber in Santa Barbara, CA to prevent most of them. But you know that one day you’ll find yourself with a stopped up drain that you can’t fix with a plunger or a simple drain snake. That’s when you can call our plumbers to clear the drain quickly and safely. (Don’t use chemical drain cleaners, please—they can damage the drainpipe.)

To help you better understand what you may be up against, and what you can do to prevent it, we’ve listed the five most common causes of clogged drains.

#1 – Hair

This is a major nuisance for bathroom drains and it’s often the reason a shower or bathtub leaves standing water after its used. Hair may seem like it isn’t something that can cause a clog, but the strands can easily become caught in the p-trap (the curved pipe section) and then will start trapping other strands. This will result in a snarl of hard that will stop up the drain and resist most home-brew methods of removing it. We recommend you put special strainers in the bathroom drains to catch most hair.

#2 – Soap scum

This is a problem for bathroom and kitchen plumbing alike—and there’s not much you can do to prevent it from going doing the drain. Soap residue builds up on drainpipe walls until it begins to cut off water flow. Often it takes hydro-jetting to remove the layers. One of the reasons we warn against using chemical drain cleaners is because they can react with the soap scum and cause corrosion to the pipes.

#3 – Fats, oils, and grease

This group, collectively known as FOG, is the great enemy of the kitchen drain the disposal. This cooking residue may look harmless because it’s a liquid when hot. When it cools down, however, it becomes a waxy substance that clings to drain walls. The best way to avoid this build-up is to remember to pour all FOG into a separate receptacle and remove it to the trash. Only professional drain cleaning can effectively remove all the build-up from the drain walls. Other methods will leave enough behind to make it easy for the build-up to start again.

#4 – Small, loose objects

This is a catch-all of items that can be accidentally knocked over or dropped down the drain. Items on a sink counter are among the frequent culprits, such as the screw-tops of bottles. Children’s toys often end up thrown down the drain by curious children. You rarely can clear out obstructions like this with a plunger—and you may want to retrieve the item! Don’t run any water down the drain and call a plumber right away.

#5 – Actual garbage

This affects the toilets most often. You should never put non-organic waste down the toilet, or let it slide down any other drain. Put it in the trash and you’ll save yourself headaches down the road. (And don’t flush disposable wipes down the toilet.)

Rely on Husted Plumbing for all your drain cleaning and other plumbing services. Family-owned and operated since 1935—we treat our customers like family.

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