Drain clogs are a basic fact of life in plumbing. Any home can take steps to prevent them—in fact, this post will talk about that a bit—but avoiding them all the time just isn’t possible. So much material can go down the drains in a home that may lead to stopping them up that we could make a list of drain clog sources that was just about small plastic pieces from toys and packaging material.
For this list, we’re going to limit ourselves to only the four most common reasons drains might clog. We’re focusing only on clogging that occurs right down in the drain itself, not sewer line issues such as root infiltration. We also won’t include pipe-misalignment, which sometimes occurs in older homes, because this is a pipe replacement issue, not a drain cleaning one.
1. Soap scum
It’s hard to stop soap from going down drains in the kitchen and bathrooms. Shower and bathtub drains in particular experience plenty of soap sluiced down them almost daily. Over time, soap scum will start to build-up on the drain walls, and it can become enough to slow down water flow and eventually stop it completely. Soap scum can also cause chemical reactions with the metal of a drainpipe, so cleaning it out helps protect the plumbing as well as clear the drain.
A drain cover will help stop hair from going down drains (just make sure you clean the covers routinely), but a hair clog can still develop down in the p-trap or the drain. Hair clogs are among the most obstinate and difficult to remove using standard plungers, and often you’ll need the assistance of professional drain cleaning to fix the problem.
3. Fats, oils, and grease
Collectively known as FOG, these cooking liquids are the bane of a kitchen drain. People often think they’re harmless, because they are in liquid form when hot. But as FOG cools down because of air from the drain vent pipes, it turns into a sticky and viscous substance that will build-up on pipe walls. Thorough drain cleaning using a hydro-jetter is the best way to get rid of this build-up. FOG accumulation is one of the reasons we recommend routine kitchen drain cleaning each year.
4. Hard water mineral build-up
If your home has hard water, the minerals from it can build-up on pipe walls—not just in your drains, but freshwater pipes around the house. The pipes will need to be descaled to fix this problem. We recommend you look into having a whole-house water softener installed to attack this problem at the root, since it causes many other types of plumbing issues.
Andrews Plumbing and Repair can help solve any drain clog you might have with quality drain cleaning, give us a call. – 702-301-0707
We also work with water treatment systems, including water softeners.