Drain clogs can happen in several places in your home or business and for a variety of reasons. A clogged drain is a major inconvenience that can’t be ignored. It can also raise your blood pressure and cause unexpected and unwelcome changes to your plans.
Any of the pipes that flow from your toilets, sinks and bathtubs can get clogged. They’re interconnected because they all flow into the main drain pipe. This means a clog in one pipe can make water back up in another, like a clogged toilet into your bathtub.
There are many reasons a drain gets clogged, but some are more common than others. Those reasons can also differ from residential to commercial settings.
Residential Drain Clogs
1) Low-flow toilet
No drain clog is pleasant, but a clogged toilet is especially vile. Low-flow toilets tend to clog the most. The volume of water that goes through a pipe is important. If you don’t have good flow, what is flushed down the toilet can sit in the line and dry out. Even readily flushable items like toilet paper can harden and stick to the inside of your pipes.
2) Tree roots
Your main drain is what all your other pipes – toilet, sink, kitchen and tub – flow into. If there is a clog there, it slows overall drainage. Plunging a clogged sewer line is useless – it requires professional help. A major cause for such a clog is tree roots.
Tree roots grow toward water. This is especially common during winter when roots do not get as much moisture. When you picture tree roots growing into your pipe, you probably imagine the large tree roots you see extend out from the base of a tree. But these invaders are more often hair-sized roots that snake through a slight crack or separation to form a root ball that can close off a main drain pipe. When this happens, it must be repaired or replaced professionally.
3) Soap Buildup
Your sinks take a lot of abuse from food scraps to hair to dirt. But like other drains, your sink will eventually clog. Clogs can be caused by buildup of commonly drained items like dirt or skin flakes, but these clogs are generally remedied with a plunger or chemical solution. More serious clogs are caused by dumping substances that don’t dissolve well into your sink.
Soap may be a surprising reason for a drain clog, but it builds up over time on the walls of your pipes. If you let soap pieces go down your drain, they can harden on your pipes walls and stick to anything else, such as food scraps, dirt or hair, that pass through.
Hair can be a major issue in any drain, but your bathtub drain usually deals is most affected. Most of us wash our hair in the shower or bath, so a large amount goes down the drain. This hair sticks to the pipe walls. If your tub clogs, it’s likely hair is the reason.
A chemical solution can sometimes fix a drain clogged by hair. But if the hair blockages continue, they can cause permanent damage and require professional repair.
Commercial Drain Clogs
Commercial drains experience many of the same issues as residential drains, but there are several factors more prevalent in commercial drains.
Restaurants and other commercial locations often send large amounts of grease down the pipes. This grease builds up over time, catching other items that pass by to create blockages. To remove grease buildup, a closet auger with a protective cap is needed so you don’t damage the drain and pipes. This needs to be done by a professional.\
Non-flushable items can also be major causes of clogs in commercial pipes. If non-flushable items are drained or flushed – such as rags, paper towels, or feminine hygiene products – they get caught in the pipes and cause other items to be caught too.
Eyman Plumbing, Heating & Air can help with such clogs and correct any other plumbing problems you have. Call (402) 731-2727 for a free in-home consultation. We’ll assure any clogged drains are repaired so you can return to your normal life.