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Most Common Types of Drain Clogs

Illustrated water swirling down a drain

Drain clogs can range from just being a nuisance to an expensive repair.  Here’s a list of some of the common causes of clogs, along with some simple tips that can help prevent clogs. But, in some situations, you will need a professional plumber to clean your drains. Remember, don’t let a minor problem like a backed-up sink or drain go untreated for a long time because it can turn into a major repair.

Food. If your sink does not have a garbage disposal make sure to always throw away food in the trash can. If you have a garbage disposal be very careful what you dispose of down the drain – don’t put grease/oil, potato peels, glass, plastic, metal or paper, large bones, seeds, pits or expandable foods such as pasta or rice down your disposal.  Use cold water when running the disposal and when you’re finished grinding up the waste, keep it and the water running for a minute. This ensures that all the food has been flushed out of the drain pipe to prevent clogs.

Grease. Disposing of grease down the drain may seem like a simple solution at the time, but, grease hardens as it cools. This hardened grease in your drain will trap other food particles, eventually creating a blocked drain. To prevent this from occurring, always collect grease in other containers and dispose of it in the trash once hardened.

Hard Water. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, 85% of the United States has Hard Water.1  In Central Florida, hard water is the result of calcium and magnesium in the water. The high concentration of calcium and magnesium minerals in hard water can leave a limescale residue along pipes, reducing water volume to levels where clogs can become common. You may consider installing a water softener to get rid of these minerals.

Soap Scum. Soap scum left behind in your drain pipes accumulates overtime, creating slow drains or clogs. This happens slowly over time, reducing the diameter of your drain pipe due to buildup. Professional drain cleaning can clean up this problem. 

Hair. Hair is a very common cause of clogs in the shower and bathroom sink drains.  Hair can easily get caught in the drainpipe, catching other particles that go down the drain, and creating a tangled clog that creates a blockage. Drain covers can help prevent the hair from going down the drain, but professional cleaning is the best solution to preventing clogs.

At Michael’s Plumbing, we can help you out with all of your plumbing issues, including drain cleaning. Give us a call or contact us online.

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