6 Often Overlooked Causes of Drain Clogs in Homes

Written by Jim Dhamer Plumbing on . Posted in Blog

Drain clogs can occur for various reasons, and sometimes those reasons aren’t obvious. Many people understand some of the basic things that can cause a drain clog to form, but they can also overlook many things. Here are some of the overlooked causes of drain clogs in homes.

1. Soap Residue Doesn’t Always Drain Properly

You might assume that soap can’t cause drain clogs. However, soap residue can accumulate in sinks, tubs, showers, and wherever else you use soap, causing clogs.

The soap residue will also trap other forms of debris, such as hair, which can make the accumulation even more of a potential clog. Older piping can have a particularly hard time with soap residue because they’re not as smooth as modern alternatives.

You can mitigate the accumulation of soap residue by making use of a drain cover that captures the larger residue buildups while allowing soapy water to drain properly. Still, you can’t entirely eliminate soap buildup in a drain.

2. Hair Can Clog More Drains Than You Think

You may already know that hair contributes greatly to drain clogs. You may not realize just how much hair can get into drains from a variety of sources. Hair doesn’t just become a problem from a household’s daily showers.

If you have furry pets, their hair can also enter your pipes and help form or contribute to clogs. For example, washing your pets in the bathtub or shower adds a lot of hair to your drains, as well as if your pets hang around drains such as floor drains.

Drain covers & hair catchers can help trap hair, but there’s no real way to completely stop hair from entering drains. Note that drain covers can become a problem as well if you’re not proactive about keeping them cleaned out.

3. Water Can Sometimes Leave Clogs

Yes, the very water you’re using can help form or contribute to clogs. If you have hard water, the deposits in the water can start to build up along the insides of your pipes.

The process occurs gradually, but can speed up if there are other things in your drain for the deposits to attach to, such as soap scum and hair. Water softeners can help with this issue, but you need to understand what type of minerals your water contains before you can find a proper solution.

4. Grease and Food Items Can Easily Become Drain Clogs

Avoid putting anything solid into your drains, even if you have garbage disposal or grinder. While disposals can break food items down, they’re not meant as a disposal for everything you want to get rid of.

Equally, the fats and greases from your foods can solidify in the drains and cause clogs. Even powdery or organic things can turn into a paste once they mix with water in your drains.

This all applies to other areas where you may want to pour or flush certain things. Everything you shouldn’t put into your kitchen sink, you also shouldn’t put into your bathroom sink or toilet.

5. Soft Paper Products Aren’t Always Safe for Drains

Things like tissue, paper towels, and wipes may seem okay to flush, but they too can cause clogs. A general rule of thumb for flushing anything is to only flush human waste and toilet paper.

Anything thicker than toilet paper should go into the trash. Nevertheless, even toilet paper can create a clog if you flush too much of it frequently. Flushing only a little of it at a time and avoiding large wads can help.

6. Dirt and Dead Skin Can Secretly Build in Drains

The skin flakes, dirt, and other things that come off the human body can contribute to clogs over time. This can come as a surprise for some people; after all, the whole purpose of baths and showers is to rid the body of such things.

Nevertheless, the grime from a body can also cling to things in your pipes, which can form a clog. Additionally, this applies to other areas where cleaning leaves dirt and debris in the drains. For example, doing the dishes, wiping off a dirty item, or putting anything into floor drains can introduce these potential clogs.

Altogether, it can seem that a drain clog is something of an inevitability. This is somewhat true, you can do a lot to mitigate how often these clogs occur and how large of a problem they can become.

In addition, frequent clogging from any source can also indicate a larger plumbing issue. For this reason, you shouldn’t ignore any clog or put off the repairs.

At Jim Dhamer Plumbing and Sewer, Inc., we offer professional drain cleaning and power rodding services. If you have a clog or frequent clogging issues, contact us today to learn more at (630) 964-2222.


Jim Dhamer
Plumbing and Sewer, Inc.


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