Clogged drains often seem like a problem that simply will not go away. One small blockage can quickly build and collect other pipe hazards. This is why they often require professional drain cleaning services. So why do drains become clogged? Understanding the source of this issue can help you prevent clogs before they become a problem. Let’s take a look at the 6 most common causes of sewer and drain clogs.
Problem 1: Sludge, Mold, and Bacteria
Your pipes are narrow, moist environments that are constantly exposed to water and bacteria. This is the perfect storm for mold, sludge, or algae growth. As these materials begin growing within your pipes, they will also collect more debris instead of allowing it to flush down the drain. As such, sludge, mold, and bacteria growth can quickly escalate your sewer and drain troubles into a clog that won’t go away.
Problem 2: Tree Roots
In areas with heavy tree coverage—like Sacramento—tree roots can find their way into your pipes, creating severe backups. Even if you are not in direct proximity to trees, their roots can find a pipe from over 100 feet away. Vulnerable pipes are especially susceptible to tree root troubles, including broken, damaged, or older pipes. For example, rotten cast iron piping and Orangeburg pipes are two of the biggest magnets for roots and backed-up sewers. Unfortunately, once tree roots are in your pipes, they can quickly cause damage. In this case, you may need more than drain cleaning services. Damaged pipes will require pipe lining sewer repair or trenchless sewer replacement services.
Problem 3: Debris
Over time, your pipes can also gather hair, sand, dirt debris, and other materials rinsed down the drain when you shower or wash your hands. Many people try to remove contaminants, like hair, with DIY drain cleaning chemicals. Not only do these pose a threat to your pipes, but they also only offer short-term relief. The slime on hair gets burned out, which temporarily restores your drain’s function. However, hair can only be removed with cables—it does not dissolve with drain cleaners. Without manual service, the hair remains in your drain and continues to collect build-up.
Problem 4: Soap
Body soap and shampoo are two of the biggest culprits of a plugged drain. Soap leaves a film on pipes, which builds up until the drain is clogged. This is especially true in homes with water-conserving showerheads. These showerheads will leave your pipes managing water with a high concentration of soap. The ratio of soap to water makes it easier for soap and shampoo to clog your drains.
Problem 5: Toothpaste
Toothpaste is another significant source of drain clogs. Many people do not use enough water when brushing to flush the toothpaste all the way down the drain—especially those who turn off the water right after rinsing. While this is great for water conservation, your toothpaste solidifies in that U-shaped pipe (p-Trap) under the sink. Almost all of these drain stoppages can be prevented by using more water at a higher volume.
Problem 6: “Flushable” Wipes
“Flushable” wipes are a silent killer for sewer systems. Wipes can be marked as “flushable” when they break down within a certain amount of time. However, this can take years to dissolve—giving these wipes time to block your pipes. Their textured surfaces can easily catch on to waste in your sewage system, leading to quick buildups. “Flushable” merely means working systems can theoretically handle these materials. To protect your pipes, never flush wipes—even when they say “flushable.” You should always throw wipes away in your trash bin.
Bonney Sacramento Sewer and Drain Services
The best way to discover the source of your drainage issue is to contact a sewer and drain professional like Bonney. After diagnosing your drain troubles issues, our experts will work with you to create and implement a service plan. Most frequently, you will require a drain cleaning service to address blockages at their source. The Bonney professionals provide a 97-day clog-free guarantee for homes in and around the Sacramento area. You can make your appointment here online or give us a call to get started today!