6 Common Items That Clog Your Drains
6 Common Items That Clog Your Drains
A clogged drain or sewer line is undeniably one of the most dreaded issues in home plumbing. Neglecting these blockages can lead to significant disruptions in your home's plumbing system. When the pipes responsible for water flow in and out of your sinks or showers malfunction, it can make routine household chores like dishwashing or essential activities such as bathing and handwashing incredibly challenging. But what exactly causes these clogs in the first place?
Grease and Oils Whether it's frying oil from your kitchen or the remnants of coconut oil from your recent DIY hair treatment in the bathroom, both have the potential to congeal when poured down the drain. While bacon grease may appear liquid while cooking, it solidifies upon contact with cooler surfaces in your plumbing system. The consequence? Accumulated grease and fat in your pipes can lead to the formation of a "fatberg," a serious plumbing issue that can result in significant sewer backups. Hardened grease adheres to the inner walls of your plumbing, impeding proper drainage. The simplest solution to this problem? Seek alternative disposal methods for your greasy and oily residues. One practical approach is to pour them into a disposable container until they solidify, making them suitable for proper disposal.
Hair Admit it, ladies, sometimes your post-shower scene resembles Chewbacca's grooming session. We understand it's not your doing, but permitting all that hair to flow down the drain is a different story! Consider investing in an effective drain screen to intercept the hair before it has a chance to cause chaos. Trust us, dealing with it later is far more unpleasant.
Coffee Grounds: If your day doesn't kick off without a cup of coffee, then you need to heed this advice! Coffee grounds should never find their way down your sink drain or into your garbage disposal. Surprisingly, coffee grounds rank among the top culprits for clogging drains, right alongside grease. You might be wondering, "Aren't they already ground up?" Well, yes, technically, but that finely ground texture makes it even easier for coffee grounds to adhere to your plumbing and create blockages in your garbage disposal system.
Lingering Food Nine times out of ten, food particles from unscraped dishes are to blame for a clogged kitchen sink. The solution? Stop rinsing before scraping! It’s as simple as that. Food should never be put down your drain (unless it’s headed down the garbage disposal). Even then, it’s not a catch-all. Bones, breads and fibrous foods are just some of the food items to avoid putting down the disposal.
Paper & Cotton Goods When it comes to your toilet, remember this rule: toilet paper - yes; paper towels, napkins, and cotton balls - no! These items tend to expand as they soak up moisture, potentially leading to significant plumbing issues down the road if flushed. Those little stickers on your produce might seem harmless to flush, but they can easily get lodged in drains, pipes, and even wastewater treatment plant equipment. Plus, if they manage to pass through unscathed, they end up in our water, which isn't ideal.
Smoking indoors is not recommended, but if you do occasionally indulge in a cigarette, please refrain from disposing of the remains down the drain. Lastly, opt for single-ply toilet paper and avoid the thicker varieties. Anything else can be too dense, increasing the risk of snagging and causing a troublesome clog.
Flushable Wipes Don't be misled by the label "flushable." Wet wipes, despite their advertised flushability, often don't break down as readily as toilet paper does. Consequently, they frequently lead to plumbing issues, despite their purported flushable characteristics. Take it from us, experts in the field; we firmly stand by the principle that the only items that should be flushed down the toilet are waste and toilet paper.
Honorable Mentions Concerns:
Tree Roots: While the content you put down your drains is crucial, tree roots can also pose significant issues for your plumbing system. Plants are naturally drawn to mineral-rich water sources, and if there's a small crack in your sewer line, tree roots can infiltrate it, leading to clogs and backups.
Bath Bombs: These colorful and fragrant bath additions have gained popularity, but they often don't dissolve completely, leaving sizable chunks that can harden within your plumbing, causing blockages.
Makeup: Beauty products may enhance your appearance, but they aren't friendly to your plumbing. To prevent bathroom clogs, dispose of old makeup, hair styling gels, and liquids with your regular trash.
House Paint: After a home improvement project, it's common to have leftover paint cans. However, unlike grease, you can't wash paint away. Properly dispose of paint in the trash instead of pouring it down the drain.
Pet Waste: Your toilet is designed for human waste only. Flushing pet waste, including cat litter, can lead to toilet clogs.
Hard Water Deposits: Hard water can leave behind calcium deposits that hinder water flow in your plumbing. Consider whole-home filtration and water softening systems if you experience hard water issues.
It's essential to recognize that when any of these items find their way into your pipes, they can have a detrimental effect on your plumbing. Proper disposal is key to maintaining a healthy plumbing system, so it's a collective responsibility to be mindful.
Even with vigilance, clogs can still occur. In such situations, Tualatin Valley Plumbing is here to assist residents in the Portland area, ready to lend a hand when plumbing emergencies strike.
Remember, not all household products are plumbing-friendly. If you're uncertain about disposing of an item through your drain, it's best to choose an alternative method.
If you're in Portland, Oregon, and encounter a clogged drain or wish to prevent one, don't hesitate to reach out to Tualatin Valley Plumbing for professional assistance. They are well-equipped to handle any clogged drain issue.
In Need of Assistance? Tualatin Valley Plumbing Has You Covered!
If you have any plumbing problems, Tualatin Valley Plumbing is here to help.
Take advantage of the back-to-school season to prioritize those essential plumbing repairs your home may require. With convenient appointment times available, Tualatin Valley Plumbing is your dependable local plumber, committed to working around your schedule. Whether you’re dealing with a clogged toilets, leaking water heater, or a install of a new faucet, we’re here to help.
To schedule service, give our team a call today at 503-607-7242