Drain Cleaning 101: Everything You Need to Know About Cleaning Clogged Drains

We’ve all been there. That feeling of dread in your stomach as you wash the hands on the sink and watch the water level rise and rise… and rise some more without draining.

Most homeowners and business owners consider clogged drains as an expected normality, but this doesn’t always have to be the case. Regular drain cleaning and other preventative measures can stave off the issues that cause drain clogging in the first place.

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In the next few paragraphs, we will address the common causes of drain clogging, signs that your drain is clogged, the truth about drain cleaning chemicals, and what to do in the event you find yourself with clogged drains.

Common Causes of Drain Clogging

Drainage systems in your house are more or less configured like a tree and its branches. There’s always the mainline with the widest diameter and narrower sublines connected to it. A drain system can pretty much clog anywhere, but a quality analysis from a professional plumber will help you narrow down to the issue.

Below are some causes of drain clogging:

1. Tree Roots

Tree roots have been known as the leading cause of drain clogging and blockage in sewer mains. While it’s common to think that roots only invade older pipes, tree roots can grow into any drainage system regardless of its age. This is because tree roots tend to grow in places where they can get water and minerals for growth. If you hear gurgling sounds emanating from your sinks and drains, then that’s a clear sign of root invasion.

This is especially common for those of us who live in areas like Palm Beach County with many trees growing near our surroundings. Ensure that your drains are inspected at least once a year by a plumbing expert to prevent roots from invading your drains. It is worth noting that the cost of an inspection is lower compared to the overhead cost of repairing or replacing damaged and clogged drains.

2. “Flushable” Wipes

Wet wipe boxes say flush, but your drainage system says don’t. These wipes are detrimental to your drainage system and can cause significant harm to your system. A previous report from New York indicated that the city spent about $18 million over five years just to eradicate all the wipes that clogged its Wastewater system.

The reality about flushable wipes, paper towels, thick toilet papers, and light cardboard is that they cannot be flushed down your toilet. Your drains were made to process wastewater, biodegradable toilet paper and human waste. That’s it.

3. Feminine Hygiene And Baby Diapers

Feminine hygiene and other baby products can easily block drains because they’re not biodegradable and contain excessive amounts of cotton. Sewer treatment systems often contain microorganisms and bacteria that disintegrate human organic waste but cannot break down anything else except that—even when manufacturers claim these products to be flushable.

4. Oil, Fat, and Grease

These three products are the plumbing’s greatest enemies and everything that entails it. While it’s easy to think that water always washes everything down your kitchen drains, this is never the case for fats and oils. Fats, oils, and grease are sticky and prone to cause build up and eventually clog your drains.

The general rule of thumb is to dispose of these fats, oils, and other petroleum products in a trash can rather than draining them down your kitchen sinks. If you have been choking your kitchen sinks by allowing grease to flow, consider flushing it away with a running stream of water.

5. Hair Strands

Hair is the number one culprit of bathroom drains blockage. These strands of hair accumulate to a point where they cause a slow flow or even cause total breakage. While it’s nearly impossible to prevent hair from falling off naturally, you can protect your sink with screens that trap the strands and adopting effective practices, such as cleaning hairbrushes over the trash can and sweeping hair strands out of sinks.

6. Pipe Scale

Pipe scale is a natural product that embeds itself on your pipes and can cause clogging or, eventually, total blockage. It occurs from mineral deposits from the water that flows in your drains. The scales develop over one spot and builds up consistently to obstructive sizes.

How do I Know My Drain is Clogged?

When your drain is blocked, water will flow slowly, and if no immediate action is taken, the problem will gradually escalate until water backs up in the toilet or the sink. Here are some tell-tale signs that your drain is blocked:

Draining Chemicals and How to Handle Them

We’ve heard of clients that invest a lot of money hoping to get the perfect chemical drain cleaner to unclog their drains. However, drain cleaners don’t cut the mustard. Well, maybe the mustard but just not the clog.

Drain cleaners have their job– but they’re limited and can rarely help you unclog a clogged drain. Besides, they contain caustic and hazardous ingredients that can cause damage or even make the problem worse.

How to Effectively Deal with This Plumbing Issue

All you need to do is call Red Rooter any day or night, and our expert drain technicians will arrive soonest and work around your schedule. Our team has the latest technology to diagnose the problem and get started right away.
The specialists at Red Rooter specialize in Palm Beach-wide plumbing services. Besides having extensive experience and knowledge regarding modern plumbing techniques, our plumbing experts are licensed and certified, guaranteeing your home’s safety and peace of mind.

Call us at (561) 462-2724 for fast, reliable emergency plumbing services! Find your local Red Rooter today for fast, reliable emergency plumbing services in your area!

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