The 7 Most Common Causes of Clogged PipesReading Time: 3 minutes
How to Determine What is Causing a Blockage in Your Plumbing
If you have noticed that your sink or shower isn’t draining properly, you most likely have a clogged pipe. But in order to prevent this issue from recurring and causing further damage, it’s important to understand what typically causes this to happen in the first place.
In this article, we explain the most common reasons pipes get clogged and what to do if you suspect you have a blockage.
What is a Clogged Pipe and How Does it Happen?
A clogged pipe occurs when some type of object that doesn’t belong in your plumbing makes its way down there and builds up until water can no longer pass through the pipe.
There are so many reasons why there could be a clog in your pipes. However, the following seven things are the most likely culprits.
It’s no secret that hair accumulates in bathroom drains, but if it isn’t frequently cleaned out, it can travel further down into your pipes and cause a major blockage. The best way to prevent this is to get a shower/sink drain hair catcher or make sure you are checking your drain weekly for trapped hair.
Bathroom wipes and feminine hygiene products should never be flushed down the toilet. These products do not break down and end up clogging your plumbing. Many homeowners don’t realize this until it’s too late and they have a massive clog on their hands.
When washing dishes, it’s important to make sure there are no residual food scraps in order to prevent food waste from building up in your pipes and creating a clog.
Anyone with young kids knows that children’s toys always have a way of ending up lodged in your plumbing if you’re not careful. A great way to prevent this is to install child locks on your toilets.
Soap on its own most likely will not clog your pipes. But when soap scum is combined with other things like hair and/or food waste, it can build up over time and cause a blockage.
Fats and Oils
After cooking grease heavy food like bacon or ground beef, it’s tempting to just pour the residual fat down the drain in your sink. However, this can be incredibly damaging to your pipes. While the grease may be liquid when you pour it down, as it cools, it solidifies and can cause a clog in your pipes.
While less common, tree roots can, in fact, lead to clogged pipes. Here’s why: Tree roots are incredibly invasive and can make their way into small cracks in your sewer line and continue to grow, causing a blockage or even a rupture. Fortunately, this can be prevented by not planting trees too close to your home. If you already have a tree in your yard and it looks like the roots are encroaching on your home’s foundation, contact a tree removal expert immediately.
What to Do if You Suspect a Clog
The most common sign that you have a clogged pipe is your water not draining properly from your sink, bathtub, or toilet.
Other signs include:
- Strange smells coming from your sink or shower
- Unusual noises coming from your sink or shower
- Changes in water pressure
- Debris in your sink or shower
- Higher than normal water bills
- Water backing up into your sink or shower when the washing machine or dishwasher is in use
If you have noticed any of these signs and suspect you have a clogged pipe in your Kelowna home, call a plumber immediately. If you don’t address the clog quickly, it can cause the clog to worsen, leading to more serious consequences, such as a burst pipe or water backing up into your living area.
If you live in the Kelowna area and need help dealing with a clogged pipe, contact My Plumber Kelowna today.
We have a team of licensed, trained, and highly experienced plumbers who can diagnose, troubleshoot, and resolve your plumbing issues any time of day.