While a clogged drain can be problematic in the kitchen or the laundry room, a drain clog in the bathroom can be a nasty affair. Given the nature of the activities you and your family engage in throughout the day, every day, bathroom drain clogs are best avoided at all costs.
A serious clog could easily cause bacteria-laden waste to end up all over your bathroom floor, and no one’s keen on cleaning up smelly refuse even if they themselves produced it. Luckily, avoiding bathroom drain clogs is pretty simple and straightforward if you’re willing to assess your bathroom habits and keep a few drain-clogging culprits out of your pipes.
What kind of culprits are we talking about? Here are X of the most common causes behind bathroom drain blockages.
1. Strings & Things
If you’re like most people, you floss over the bathroom sink. If you dispose of the floss in the sink or the toilet, you could cause the drain to back up. Standard dental floss is not biodegradable, so it will collect inside the pipe (probably in the p-trap) over time. And as it accumulates somewhere in the drain, it can snag other pieces of incoming debris and, together, they’ll form a slimy, nasty clog.
If you want to avoid a floss-related drain clog, keep floss out of your bathroom sink drain. That’s true even if you happen to use eco-friendly, biodegradable floss.
If you don’t already have a small trash can in your powder room, get one. And if you’re grossed out by the idea of taking that trash out, line the can with an old plastic shopping bag so you can dump it mess-free.
Kids are naturally attracted to toilets. The swirling water, metal handle, and swishing noise are attractive to toddlers who are naturally curious. So it’s no surprise that toddler toys often end up in the toilet bowl. And it’s hardly surprising that a curious toddler might choose to see what would happen if they try to flush said toys.
Most of these toys are small enough to make it partway down the toilet drain but large enough to get lodged somewhere in the pipe. And lodged toys don’t exactly break apart like toilet paper, so they can be quite challenging to remove.
In most cases, you’ll have to contact a professional drain cleaning service to remove the object.
How do you avoid this type of clog? Get a toddler-proof toilet seat lock, install it on your existing toilet seat, and lock that thing down.
When your kiddo is old enough to understand that the toilet isn’t a fun pool for rubber ducky to swim in, you can return to a lock-free commode.
3. Cat Litter
Dumping cat litter in the toilet might sound convenient since it’ll keep your garbage can from smelling bad. But convenient isn’t the word that’ll come to mind when you end up with a severe, litter-related drain clog.
If you have a septic system, a clog of this type could easily prevent your toilet from flushing and may even cause sewage-laden water to back up into your bathtub or shower.
Cat litter is clumpy, heavy, and doesn’t dissolve. It can easily and quickly clog up a toilet, drain pipe, or septic system, especially if you put it down the toilet drain every day. Even if you toss litter in the toilet less often than that, you’ll still end up with a clog at some point — it’ll just take longer to develop.
Because cat litter is extremely difficult to get out of a plumbing system, you’ll need to bring in a drain cleaning specialist if you’re facing this particular issue. But, you can easily avoid litter-related clogs by tossing your cat litter where it’s actually supposed to go: in the trash.
4. Wet Wipes
Something that all plumbers and drain cleaning technicians agree with is that the term flushable is misleading. While it is true that flushable wipes are better than non-flushable wipes, the comparison doesn’t justify their use.
Flushable wipes are so destructive to a plumbing system that they can actually back up an entire city sewage system. How many people live in the Minneapolis area?
Hair is nothing more than protein, which means it’s fully biodegradable. However, body hair (or pet hair) still isn’t great for your drains.
Once hair enters your plumbing system, it can take months or even years to break down if it remains inside the pipes. And even if it makes it to a septic tank that’s packed with proteolytic bacteria (bacteria that break down proteins), those bacteria can still take several months to hydrolyze it.
Unfortunately, hair-based blobs take just a few weeks or a couple of months to develop inside a drain, especially inside a U-shaped p-trap. And when those blobs build inside your drains, they inevitably catch incoming sludge and solids as they move through the drain. Ultimately, a super-slimy, nasty, stinky drain clog develops.
Fortunately, preventing hair-based clogs is exceedingly easy if you’re willing to make a trip to the hardware store and adjust your hair-trimming and -washing habits a bit.
Simply pick up a few shower drain hair stoppers at your local home supply store (or order them online) and set those strainers over your shower and/or tub drains. Empty them out after each bathing session or whenever they’re looking questionable, and you’ll be good to go.
If you shave over the bathroom sink, make sure you plug the drain before you start clipping and remove all hair and toss it in the trash when you’re done. Whatever you do, do not wash hair clippings down the drain with water!
Think you might have a hair clog? Check out 4 Signs You Need Shower Drain Cleaning for more info.
Dependable Drain Cleaning Service in Minneapolis, MN
If you need drain cleaning service for your home or business, then contact Drain Blaster Bill’s Sewer & Drain Cleaning. We offer a wide range of drain cleaning services for all components of your plumbing system.
To schedule drain cleaning service or learn more about how we can help you clear stubborn clogs, give us a call at 763-913-8719. You can also message us on our contact page.