Why Does a Drain Clog?
A clogged drain is perhaps the most common plumbing problem homeowners must deal with. While hair and soap are among the most common culprits, drains can become hopelessness clogged for a variety of reasons.
Hair, especially long hair, is usually the most common cause of a clogged drain. During shampooing, strands of hair wash down the drain and catch on anything rough along the interior of the pipes, clumping together. As hair clumps grow larger and larger water drainage begins to slow down.
Believe it or not, even though it is intended to be used with water, soap can cause a scummy buildup on the inside of pipes and create drainage problems. This is especially true if you have “hard water,” which is water with a high mineral content, as the minerals can accelerate soap build in the pipes.
Kitchen drains are easily clogged with food if the sink isn’t equipped with a garbage disposal. Ironic as it may sound, small food particles will often cause more problems than large ones as the smaller particles can stick together, causing a drain blockage.
What Are the Causes?
People try to flush all sorts of things down the toilet, but the only thing that should ever be put down the toilet, besides human waste, is toilet paper. However, even big wads of toilet paper do not breakdown easily. Unlike toilet paper, paper towels, facial tissue and feminine products are not designed to break down like toilet paper and can quickly cause a drain to become clogged.
While it may seem counterintuitive, not all liquids can be poured into a drain. Cooking oil, grease and fats will congeal in the pipes and rapidly cause clogs.
Liquid Soap is the Key
Sink drain and toilet clogs can be difficult to deal with for the homeowner, as chemical drain cleaners are only a temporary solution and can harm pipes and the environment. Placing a strainer style drain plug in the sinks can reduce hair and food clogs.
Switching to liquid soap will reduce soap scum buildup in pipes. Cooking fats and oils should be poured into plastic bags and placed in the trash.
Additionally, having a water softener and garbage disposal installed by a reputable plumber will eliminate soap scum and food particle clogs. If you do experience a clogged drain the best solution is to call a plumber rather than trying to deal with the problem yourself and possibly damage your pipes.