What Causes Clogs?

Find Out What’s Blocking Your Drains or Sewer Line

A clog can upend your entire schedule with one flooded sink or unflushable toilet. Sometimes unblocking your plumbing can be a simple task, but in some cases commercially available cleaners, snakes, and plungers aren’t enough to get your home back to normal. Alternatively, you could unclog your plumbing only to be facing the same problem again shortly afterward.

Finding out the source or cause of your clog can help you identify what needs to be done to resolve the issue for good and avoid it in the future. We’ve asked our plumbers to compile a list of the most common blockages and clogs we see so you can learn what causes clogs, when you’ll need to call a plumber for professional drain cleaning, and what you’ll need to do to keep your plumbing safe moving forward.

Built-Up Slime and Grime

Over time, your drains and pipes build up layers of accumulated sludge and plaque that impedes their performance. The clogs and blockages caused by these built-up substances are easily solvable and avoidable with regular cleaning and maintenance – most of the common substances responsible can be removed with store-bought cleaners. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of cleaning things out yourself, or if your build-up is particularly stubborn, professional drain cleaning and hydro jetting services can easily solve your issues.

Keep an eye out for these common types of build-up:

  • Soap scum
  • Food waste build-up
  • Mineral build-up

Stuff That Shouldn’t Be Introduced to Your Plumbing

While some substance build-up can’t be avoided, there are certain things that should never be washed down your drains or flushed down your toilets. These clog-creators should be safely disposed of in the trash, not in your plumbing where they can snag onto or get lodged within your pipes.

Make sure items and substances like these are properly disposed of:

  • Grease, oil, and fat
  • Coffee grounds
  • Cat litter
  • Hair
  • Small objects
  • “Flushable” wipes, diapers, and feminine hygiene products
  • Too much toilet paper

Serious Plumbing Issues

Sometimes, a clog or blockage is just a symptom of a much bigger problem. Sewer line issues and major piping damage can cause your drains and toilets to malfunction and treating the resulting clogs with typical household remedies won’t address the actual threat to your home. When situations like these occur, you need to contact a plumber you can trust to evaluate your pipes and sewer line for leaks, corrosion, or more serious blockages.

If clogs persist after you clean out your plumbing, contact a plumber to check for issues like these:

  • Tree roots
  • Offset pipes
  • Leaks
  • Corroded pipes
  • A broken sewer line

How to Avoid Future Clogs

After you get rid of a clog, we know that you don’t want it coming back any time soon. Luckily, avoiding serious clogs is a matter of staying informed and watchful. Once you know what causes clogs, you can better understand when your drains and pipes need cleaning and what you should avoid using them for.

The best way to avoid clogs is to take these three easy steps:

  1. Clean your drains and pipes regularly
  2. Watch what goes down your drains
  3. Call a plumber when problems persist

If you need professional help dealing with cleaning, blockage removal, or any other drain or sewage issues, call Tony’s Plumbing Service at (209) 665-3088 for expert advice and effective service!