The Many Reasons Drains Clog and How to Fix Them

March 16th, 2017

The Many Reasons Drains Clog and How to Fix Them

We’ve all had it happen to us at one time or another. You fill up the tub or the sink and after you go to empty it, nothing drains down.

If you try to dislodge the jam but it still won’t drain, you’ve probably got a clogged drain. This doesn’t only happen to your sink or tub, your toilet or your dishwasher could get clogged as well. And while nobody wants to deal with this inconvenience, it could be worse. Some plumbing problems can shut your whole house down, instead of just one sink.

Regardless of how big the problem is and whether or not you’re familiar with it, you might want to call us to come check it out. If it is something that you can handle, that’s great too.

The first thing you will want to find out is what type of clog you are dealing with. Depending on the type of clog you have, you will determine the best solution to unclog your drain.

If you have a clog in your bathtub, you might want to use a commercial drain-cleaning product that you can get from your local hardware story. Because these can be dangerous, you might want to call a Plumber in Salt Lake City to help with your drain. Drain-cleaning products shouldn’t be used willy-nilly. You need to know beforehand that they will work on your clog and that they won’t disrupt your sewage system.

If you have a septic system, for instance, a commercial drain-cleaning product might kill the bacteria in your system and make it worthless. If you aren’t familiar with your system, you might be best served by calling in a professional plumber to do the work for you.

Let’s first look at why and how our drains clog.

When you send things other than water down your drain, depending on what it is, it might build up over time and create a clog. In the kitchen if you put grease down the sink, it can harden over time and create a plaque that makes the tubes thinner and thinner. Then, as you allow small food particles to drop down the drain, they may get caught in this grease plaque build-up. If the food is made of starches, the food might expand in size once in the drain and make the clog even worse.

In the bathroom, hair and soap scum can build up to clog your sink and bathtub. The problem compounds itself because the build-up continues while no maintenance is being done. Sometimes a clog can be the result of just bad luck, like washing your hands and momentarily taking your wedding ring off and it falling down the bathroom sink. That would be a great time to call in a Plumber in Salt Lake City.

A toilet can get clogged with human waste or with waste products that shouldn’t be flushed down a toilet (especially feminine hygiene products), especially if you have a septic system. Septic systems are fragile environments that should be handled carefully to maintain as long a life as possible for the system.

After you have determined the cause of the your clog and you have determined that you don’t need professional help to unclog the drain, the next step is to find solutions for the clogged drain, and also to look at ways to avoid clogging the drain in the future.

There are many ways to unclog a drain, but there are certainly better ways to unclog certain clogs that others.

Commercial drain-cleaning products are made of chemicals and come in many different forms. They might be a gel, a liquid or even a powder. Commercial drain-cleaning products can be dangerous and you should read all instructions before use.

The three main types of chemical drain cleaners are:

  1. Caustic drain cleaners
  2. Oxidizing drain cleaners
  3. Acid drain cleaners.

Some of these will only be available to professional plumbers because of the warnings for their use.

Remember that these chemicals can damage your plumbing and should only be used as directed. Never mix chemicals and only use them in ventilated areas with proper protection on. This should include gloves for your hands and eye protection to make sure nothing splashes into your eyes. Extreme care should be taken when using any household chemicals.

There are natural enzymatic methods of drain cleaners that are safer than the harsh chemical drain cleaners. The enzymatic cleaners can be better for the environment as well. You might need to plunge or snake a toilet clog, depending on how bad it is. You should also be wary of roots getting in your pipes and creating clogs if the plumbing in your house is old.

To prevent clogged drains you can just use common sense. Don’t pour grease down the drain in the sink. Put a sink stopper in the bathroom and clean it regularly. You can pour very hot water down your drains once a week to help prevent build-up.

We hope this information is useful to you. If you have any problems with a drain clog that you need help with, please call us at 801-224-8118. We can send a plumber in Salt Lake County or Utah County your way.

The Many Reasons Drains Clog and How to Fix Them