If any of the drains in your home seem to clog repeatedly, that’s not normal, and you need to investigate why it’s happening. Generally, when household drains seem like they’re always slow or totally clogged, it’s because household members repeatedly allow things to flow into the drains that don’t belong there.
Damaged plumbing can be a culprit, too, but more often than not, the problem is caused by user neglect. Luckily, frequent drain clogs are easy to fix, and you can start by scheduling a professional drain cleaning appointment.
Once a pro has thoroughly cleaned your drains, you’ll want to assess your drain habits and make some changes to prevent slow drains from recurring.
What Clogs Your Pipes?
Pipes and drains get clogged over time simply from being used. Sometimes, there's simply nothing you can do other than hire someone to clean them out.
That said, there are means by which you can “go easy” on your pipes and not put a strain on them. It's usually a matter of perspective in that your pipes can handle a little abuse occasionally, but if you do certain things daily, you'll find your drains getting bogged down and clogged up.
Check out what may be clogging your drains!
1. Flushing Trash Down the Toilet
Your toilets are designed to handle human waste and toilet paper. That’s all. Period. So if you’re flushing anything else down the toilets in your home, that’s a probable culprit behind your frequent toilet clogs.
And yes, even “flushable” wipes can cause clogs within your main sewer line or septic system. Although their labeling might say “septic safe,” flushable wipes aren’t really designed to disintegrate as rapidly as they should to prevent blockages from forming.
In addition to avoiding problematic flushable wipes, you’ll also want to avoid flushing any of the following items down your toilets:
Floss, Qtips, or cotton swabs
Feminine hygiene products
If your toilet clogs repeatedly, professional water jetting can quickly fix the problem, but you’ll need to take measures to prevent the problem from recurring. Inform household members that they should never flush anything other than toilet paper, and to encourage compliance, place trash bins in all of your bathrooms if you don’t already have them.
2. Allowing Grease & Oil Down Kitchen Drains
You might not mean for it to happen, but a substantial amount of oily, greasy, and fatty matter can find its way into your kitchen sink drains when washing dishes or cooking meals.
When greasy substances make their way into your sink drains, they can stick to the interior of the drain, where they’ll congeal into a sludgy mess. That sludge can easily trap small food particles as they pass through the drain, which will cause a clog to form over time.
Even if you have a garbage disposal, it’s not designed to dispose of anything fatty or greasy. You’ll also want to prevent anything starchy or super fibrous from flowing into both regular drains and the garbage disposal. These foods—along with coffee grounds, seeds, and pits—can easily cause clogs that necessitate professional drain cleaning.
3. Neglecting Shower Drain Cleaning
No one loves reaching into their shower drain opening to pull out hair and goop, but this cleaning must be done periodically to encourage smooth drainage.
Hair collecting near the drain opening can easily prevent water from flowing into the drain as quickly as it should. Then, when water backs up into the bathtub or shower, it may seem like there’s a blockage farther down the pipe, but the problem is often sitting right in the drain opening.
If you’re put off by the idea of pulling goopy hair out of your shower or bathtub drain, you can install a drain strainer to catch all incoming hair.
4. Allowing Pipe Scale to Accumulate
If you have hard water, recurring pipe clogs may be due to scale buildup inside your plumbing system. Often, scale deposits result from dissolved minerals in the water supply that are continually left behind as water flows through the pipes.
When a scale deposit forms, it attracts more minerals to the area, and a major clog can develop over time. While a drain cleaning specialist can easily get rid of clogs caused by scale buildup, it’s in your best interest to take measures to prevent that buildup from occurring.
Aside from clogging up your drains, hard water can also harm washing machine drainage and dishwasher performance.
5. Accumulating Skin Care Product Residue
While food and hair can significantly contribute to clogging, products like soap will resolidify and could build up in the piping system quickly. Sunscreens and moisturizers are also notorious because they can coagulate, creating a gross glob that fills your drain with greasy matter.
Professional drain cleaning is the best way to clean these greasy, globby residues out of your drains.
6. Your Sink Doesn't Have a Catch for the Drain
If you've ever pulled the drain stopper out, you know how big a build-up can accumulate. Eventually, it'll become severe enough to prevent drainage from happening altogether, and you could end up with a complete blockage.
To help reduce clogging, stay on top of cleaning the stopper if you notice your sink is draining slowly, or invest in a mesh filter that can be pulled out after each use and cleaned.
Clogged Bathroom Drains: 9 Signs to Watch For
Whether your bathroom plumbing has a minor clog or a major blockage, you'll likely notice one or more of the following issues:
● Water draining slowly from your sink, bathtub, or shower
● Strange water stains in the basement
● Natural pipe shifting
● Incomplete toilet flushing
● Low water level in the toilet after flushing
● Unpleasant odors coming from sink, shower, or tub drains
● Gurgling drain noises when faucets are running
● Toilet gurgling when you run the sink, shower, or tub faucet
● Odorous, discolored water backing up into your shower or tub when you flush the toilet
If you observe any of the red flags listed above, you'll first want to stop using the water and toilet in the affected bathroom. Use a toilet plunger if your toilet is acting up. If you have a smaller sink or tub drain plunger, try using that to see if you can dislodge the clog.
If the problem persists despite forceful plunging, you'll need to call a drain cleaning specialist who can perform a drain camera inspection to locate the clog. From there, a pro can either snake the drain or perform a water jetting procedure to eliminate the blockage and clean any remaining residue from the interior of the pipes.
How to Fix Frequent Drain Clogs: DIY Prevention Tactics
When dealing with recurring slow drains, the best thing you can do is call a drain cleaning specialist to schedule a camera drain inspection and a thorough drain cleaning.
The inspection will reveal where the problem is located within the drain and what’s causing the blockage. Once the drain is clear and you know the culprit behind the issue, you can take measures to prevent clogs from coming back.
Here’s what you’ll want to do:
To prevent frequent toilet clogs: Ensure everyone in your house knows not to flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper.
To prevent shower and bathtub clogs: Clean drain openings regularly or install drain traps that prevent hair and other small particles from flowing into the drain.
To prevent scale-related clogs: Install a water softener if you don’t already have one. If you use a water softener, have the unit professionally serviced if you still get scale buildup in your pipes.
To prevent kitchen drain clogs: Install drain traps to prevent small food particles from entering the drain, and be sure to clean your garbage disposal periodically. Collect used cooking oils and grease in a glass jar or disposable container and toss it out once it’s full.
Consider An Annual Plumbing Inspection and Cleaning
The best way to solve a plumbing problem is to keep it from developing in the first place. We recommend you call a Drain Blaster Bill technician for an annual checkup of your drains and the main sewer line.
We utilize camera inspection and water jetting technology to locate and blast out the blockage so that the water can freely flow through the pipes. We can thoroughly clean the pipes' inner walls so no debris or residue is left.
Twin Cities: Call Drain Blaster Bill for Same-Day Drain Cleaning!
If your household drains are acting up, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at Drain Blaster Bill’s Sewer & Drain Cleaning. We offer same-day service to get your drains back up and running as quickly as possible, and our skilled technicians are fully insured.
To get started or learn more about how we can help you, feel free to call our Stillwater, Minnesota, office today at 763-913-8719 or request a free estimate, and we’ll be in touch!