Common Causes Of Clogged Drains & How To Fix Drain Clogs

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clogged drain repair

A clogged drain is a major inconvenience. It can make dishes pile up in the kitchen or render bathroom fixtures unusable—and those might be the least of your concerns. In today’s post, our experts discuss common causes of clogged drains and how to fix them.

When you need clogged drain repair fast, Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling and Heating can assist you around the clock. Call (469) 240-5618 or visit us online to schedule an appointment.

What Causes a Clogged Drain?

If you’re not keen on dealing with a bathroom sink repair or a backed up toilet, it’s safe to say prevention is key. Understanding the causes for clogs can help you avoid them in the long run. Here are five common reasons why drains clog:

1. Food Waste

Food waste is one of the biggest culprits behind clogged drains. Even if you have a garbage disposal, food waste doesn’t belong in your plumbing. It’s especially important to avoid foods that don’t quickly break down, like coffee grounds and tea leaves. Egg shells may seem innocent enough, but they often get caught in drains where they catch and collect other kinds of food waste. 

You should also avoid pouring cooking oils and grease down your kitchen sink, as these can solidify and block your pipes. Instead, soak oils up with paper towels or wait for it to solidify and dispose of it in the trash. Other foods to avoid feeding into your garbage disposal include grains, like rice, which expands when wet, fibrous fruits and vegetables, like asparagus, and beans, which can form a paste-like substance in your drain.

2. Hair

Shower and bathroom sink repairs often find their humble beginnings in the form of hair. Hair binds with grease, soap scum, toothpaste and other sticky substances to form major drain clogs. The best way to combat the hair monster living in your drain is by ensuring all drains have guards or hair traps installed. This is especially true for shower/bath drains. 

3. Soap Scum Buildup

Soap bars often contain grease or fat, which can combine with the minerals in your water supply to form soap scum. This is a hard residue that often stains shower walls and clogs up your pipes. Run hot water for a few minutes after using a drain to help flush out soap scum before it settles. You can also schedule drain and sewer services in which a plumber will use hydro jetting to remove any soap scum buildup.

4. Toilet Paper Buildup

Did you know that toilet paper can actually clump together and form a clog? Fortunately, this can often be fixed with a plunger. To plunge a toilet at home, don some rubber gloves and transfer a few inches of water from the toilet to a bucket. It’s wise to lay a few towels down in case of spillage. Coat the rim of the flange on your plunger with petroleum jelly to ensure a tight seal. Next, hold the handle upright and plunge for about 20 seconds. This action should force air and water into the drain and clear the clog. Flush to ensure proper drainage and repeat the process if necessary.

Your next line of defense is a toilet snake, also known as an auger. A toilet snake is a long, flexible cable with a coiled hook tip meant to break up clogs. The cable is usually housed in a rubber hose with a crank that allows you to extend or retract its length.

Just like plunging a clogged drain, put on rubber gloves and remove a few inches of water from the bowl. Next, place the hook of the drain snake into the drain hole and turn the crank clockwise. When you feel resistance, crank the snake counterclockwise to retract it. Hopefully, you’ll bring the clog out with it. Repeat the process to ensure you’ve gotten all of the clog.

If you are unsuccessful, it’s best to call a professional plumber who has the right equipment to deal with severe toilet clogs. Aside from excessive toilet paper, other items to avoid flushing down your toilet include dental floss, wet wipes, cotton-tipped swabs, paper towels and feminine hygiene products.

5. Tree Roots

Sometimes our underground pipes take on damage and leaks. This is a prime opportunity for tree roots to invade your plumbing. Once inside, tree roots grow and expand, often causing clogs and further damage. Unfortunately, this isn’t one you can DIY. Clearing tree roots from underground plumbing requires specialized equipment and knowledge. Call for professional plumbing repair right away to evaluate the situation and recommend a course of action. 

6. Mineral Buildup

If hard water is an issue where you live, you’ll have to keep an eye on mineral build-up in your pipes and drains. Minerals that dissolve in hard water can get deposited in your pipes, where they build up and solidify. To prevent this, you can install a water softener for your home. Otherwise, you’ll need to descale and remove sediment buildup from your pipes and drains regularly. If you notice your pipes no longer flow efficiently and you suspect a mineral build-up, call a professional plumber right away.

Clogged Drain Best Practices

It’s important to note you should never put anything down a drain that doesn’t belong there. When dealing with a drain clog, avoid adding chemicals or objects into the drain in attempts to unclog it. If you’re unable to clear a drain by plunging it or using a drain snake, call your local Waxahachie, TX plumber, Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Heating and Cooling right away. Harsh chemicals and improper objects can cause permanent damage to your plumbing, leading to expensive repairs down the road. 

Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling and Heating Can Help

At Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling and Heating, our team is fully trained, licensed and insured to help with clogged drain repair. We offer professional plumbing and HVAC repairs in Waxahachie TX. Our customers always receive a 100% satisfaction guarantee so that you can feel confident you are getting the best service possible.


If you’re ready to skip the troubleshooting and work with the Dial One Johnson team, visit us online to schedule an appointment or call (972) 885-6373 today. 


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