Think your drains might be blocked but have no idea why? Several things can block your pipes, clog your drains, and result in some nasty overflow. We’re here to tell you about the most common causes, how to prevent them, and what to do if your drains are already too clogged.
A tree’s roots tend to extend far past its branches as it ages, and unfortunately, those roots can pierce right through your water pipes. High-pressure water jets are used to clear blocked pipes in these situations, so be sure to call a professional plumber if you think tree roots may be causing you problems.
No matter how small and harmless your wipes or sanitary pads may seem, you should never try flushing them. Always throw them in the bin or you may end up with clogged pipes and some foul-smelling overflow.
Speaking of flushing things that aren’t supposed to be flushed, establish household rules with your children about what is and isn’t meant to go down the toilet. Foreign objects like toys and toothbrushes are very common causes of blocked pipes and clogged drains and can be quite tricky to fish out.
Both cooking oil and cooking grease go in the bin — never the sink. Though they may seem “liquid” enough to go down the drain safely, they congeal the moment they start to cool. Needless to say, these congealed lumps can block up your drains quickly if not disposed of properly.
Food scraps should never go down the drain, too, even if you’re using a garbage disposal. Scraps should go into the bin or a compost pile, especially things like eggshells and coffee grounds.
Mineral build-up is a lesser-known cause of blocked drains, but it’s rather common. A water softener that filters out some of the minerals will keep them from collecting into masses, which can clog your pipes over time. These masses can be rather expensive to remove, so the investment in a water softener might be worth it.
The fat and grease found in most soaps can cause soap scum, thus blocking up your drain and pipes over time. If you think soap build-up may be what’s clogging your drain, consider trying a new one with more drain-friendly ingredients.
Hair is one of the most common causes of blocked drains. Thankfully, it’s also one of the easiest to solve. Purchasing a cheap drain catcher for your shower will go a long way in keeping your pipes clear. Drain catchers also make cleaning a lot easier, as you simply pull the catcher out rather than having to pull a clump of soapy hair out with your fingers.
Natural debris, such as leaves and soil, can build up considerably after harsh weather conditions. The best way to prevent this build-up is to keep your gutters clean. Doing so protects your pipes from overloading with debris.
Never let cat litter go down any of your drains. When cat litter gets wet, its ingredients clump up and block your pipes. Save yourself the stress and cost down the road by dumping it in the bin instead.
Already Clogged Up? Here’s the Solution
These tips will help you keep your pipes and drains clear but if they’re already clogged, there’s not too much you can do safely on your own. We recommend calling a professional plumber that’s insured and licenced for drainage work to get everything back in working order.