Clogged Pipes? It’s Probably Caused by One of These 7 Things

Clogged Pipes? It’s Probably Caused by One of These 7 Things

Do you have clogged pipes? Wondering what causes pipes to get clogged in the first place? Learn seven common reasons today.

What if your toilet was a ticking time bomb waiting to off?

If you’ve got clogged pipes, that’s exactly what may be happening. You could be just a single flush away from a disastrous overflow.

When homeowners encountered clogged pipes, they all ask a simple question: “how did this happen?”

There are many possible answers to this question. Most of the time, though, your pipes are clogged by one of these things.

1. Toilet Paper

Earlier, we mentioned the scary situation of a backed-up toilet. The primary cause of this is usually a buildup of toilet paper.

Using too much toilet paper, especially over time, can end up clogging your pipes. And that problem develops more quickly if you are flushing thicker paper.

Speaking of thicker paper: the term “flushable wipes” is a lie. You should never flush your wipes!

The good news is that you can usually fix a simple toilet paper block with a plunger. This is assuming that water can still flow through your toilet. If it is completely clogged, you may need to call in a professional.

2. Hair

The toilet isn’t the only area where pipes get clogged up. In the bathroom, the most common cause of clogs is human hair.

For men, this mostly happens in the sink as they shave in the morning. All of those hair shavings build up and eventually cause an annoying clog.

For women, this mostly happens in the shower. Leg hair shavings build up and cause potential clogs. On top of that, both men and women lose a certain amount of hair as they shower, and all of it ends up in the same drain.

You can avoid this problem by setting up drain guards in the bathroom. This lets you avoid the problem before it becomes a major issue!

3. Tiny Objects

Clogged pipes are a sobering reminder that everything is relative. You may think toys, rocks, and other objects look very tiny. But take it from us: they are way too big to go down your pipes!

Children flushing toys (accidentally or on purpose) can clog a toilet almost right away. And rocks and other small objects going down the drain can instantly mess up a kitchen sink.

On top of that, it’s very difficult for most homeowners to fix such a problem on their own. You’ll need to contact a professional plumber who can use specialized tools to diagnose and fix the problem.

Long story short? Nothing should go into your pipes aside from water, human waste, and modest amounts of toilet paper.

4. Grease

Is your kitchen sink clogged up? One of the likeliest culprits is grease!

When you’re cooking, it’s tempting to pour unwanted grease down the sink. But the grease doesn’t exactly go down the drain. Instead, it clings to your pipes.

The same thing happens if you try to wash fat down the sink. That grease and fat build-up until they block all water coming down the pipes.

To avoid this in the future, try pouring unwanted grease and fat into specialized containers. You can then take the containers to your trash can instead of pouring the contents down your sink.

5. Soap

Perhaps the most surprising thing that can clog your pipes is soap. That’s right: standard bars of soap pose a big clog risk to tubs and showers!

The reason why comes down to simple science. A standard bar of soap is made using either grease or fat. When the soap combines with minerals in your water, it leaves behind the “soap scum” we’re all familiar with.

That soap scum is annoying enough when it’s on the surfaces of your bath or shower. However, the real threat is hidden away inside your pipes. As that scum builds up, it may begin clogging your water.

A professional pressure-cleaning can usually clear your pipes of this unwanted scum. And you can avoid this problem in the future by switching to washes and other soap-free cleansers.

6. Bad Pipes

We’ve talked a lot about the different things that may be messing up your perfectly-good pipes. But what if the pipes themselves are the problem?

If your home is relatively new, you may discover that your pipes were poorly installed. This can negatively impact things like your water flow.

If your home is older and the clogs are a sudden problem, you may need to inspect your underground pipes. Over time, tree roots can grow into a pipe because they are attracted to the water inside. 

It’s possible to remove tree roots from that area and install sturdier pipes. However, such a job is very complex and best left to the professionals.

Keep in mind that homes of any age may be vulnerable to water issues after a storm or heavy rain. A sudden downpour of rain may create clogs that need to be cleaned out. If you suspect this is the case, call a plumber to fix the problem right away before it causes flooding in your home.

7. Food Waste

Earlier, we touched on the fact that “flushable wipes” is an oxymoron. Here is another one: “food disposal.”

If you have a garbage disposal in your home, it’s tempting to put unwanted food down the disposal. But this is a surefire way to eventually clog your drains.

Some foods may contain grease and fat that will end up clogging your pipes. Other foods (including tea leaves and coffee grounds) don’t break down at all and just further clog the pipes.

As with unwanted grease, try to dispose of all unwanted food in the garbage instead of the garbage disposal. If you are feeling ambitious, you can also set up a composting pile outside for unwanted food waste.

Clogged Pipes: Who Can Help?

Now you know what may be causing your clogged pipes. But do you know who can help you clear those pipes right away?

We specialize in all things plumbing. To see how we can restore your home and protect it from further damage, request an appointment today.