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No one likes having to deal with a blocked drain and dealing with them over and over can be a major hassle. However, this is what happens when systems start to fail. While an occasional clogged drain may be an inconvenience, blocked pipes can quickly escalate from minor issues into major problems. A clogged drain left unprepared can cause slow water drainage, flooding, corrosion, and in some more extreme cases can cause sewage backup leading to costly repairs. The key to eliminating your drain problems is by identifying the source of the blockage. We do this via video camera inspection which alerts us to the damage or blockage within your pipe. You can also keep an eye out for other household causes of clogged drains by referencing the list of common blockages below…
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Common Causes of Clogged Drains
Build-up Of Hair
Hair is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to drain blockages. While on its own it can be a major factor in a clogged drain, hair also binds with sticky substances such as grease and soap leading to a blockage that is harder to remove. Bathtubs, showers and bath room sinks are the areas where you may commononly encounter this type of blockage. You can avoid hair clogs by ensuring that all drains have guards where necessary in order to catch the hair. It’s also important that these guards are regularly cleaned.
Food Waste Blockage
You may have a garbage disposal in your sink, even still it isn’t ideal at any time to put excess food waste down the drain. Things like coffee grounds and tea leaves and even small bits of excess food are often hard to break down and can lead to a troublesome blockage. You should also be cautious of other substances such as grease or oil as they have a tendency to solidify in pipes once cooled and will cause a clog. Try absorbing oil on a paper towel for disposal into your compost to avoid this.
Contrary to popular belief, your drains and pipes are not necessarily meant for washing anything and everything away. This excess can form a build-up and in order to solve the issue you may have to use drain cleaner, a plunger or employ services from a professional plumber. To avoid this try shaking or rinsing excess dirt off of your and your clothing outside before washing them inside.
Soap / Soap Scum Build-Up
You may be surprised to hear that traditional soap bars are usually made up of grease and or fat. While it may not be common knowledge that soap itself is can cause a clogged drain, the fat in soap combined with minerals in your water can leave a hard residue known as soap scum. This residue can stain and clog everything from laundry, shower to bathroom drains. Try to incorporate some soap-free washes and have your pipes pressure cleaned to rinse away traces of soap buildup in order to avoid this type of blockage.
Build-Up Of Minerals
Mineral clogs can be one of the most difficult blockages to remove once they have established themselves. Minerals dissolve in hard water and create insoluble masses that block your drains. One available solution is to install a water softener for your home if you find that hard water is an issue. However, in some cases, this isn’t an option in which case you will need to regularly descale and remove sediment build-up. This is also a case where a professional plumber may be required if your pipes and drains have stopped flowing properly.
Toilet Paper Blockage
Another common cause of a clogged drain is toilet paper. If there is too much then this can cause a blockage. While oftentimes this can be dislodged with the use of a plunger you’ll need to call a plumber to have the material properly dislodged if you find that your toilet still only fills without draining.
Foreign Objects Blockage
It goes without saying that nothing other than water, toilet paper, and human waste should be flushed down the toilet. In the event that any foreign object has found its way into your pipes then it is likely that you will have to seek professional assistance from a plumber in order to properly remove the blockage and ensure your plumbing returns to normal.
Tree Root Growth
Another less commonly known cause of blockages can come from tree root growth within the pipes. Small cracks or leaks in your underground pipes can cause the growth of tree roots! Once the root forms inside of the pipe they quickly grow larger and obstruct water flow causing pipe damage. The process of clearing tree roots from pipes can be very complex and will require a rooter service, trenchless repair, pressure jet cleaning, or even excavation. By monitoring the condition of your drains and keeping in mind the root structure of the trees in your own backyard you may be able to avoid a costly repair.
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