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What Causes a Clogged Drain?

When someone is moving out on their own for the first time, one of the best pieces of advice you can give them is to buy a plunger right away. As most of you probably know, having to go out and buy a plunger when your toilet is clogged at 3 AM is not the most pleasant experience.

But what exactly is causing your toilet – or any other fixtures, for that matter – to become clogged? There are so many things that can clog your drain that it would be impossible to list them all here. 

So here’s what we’ll do. We’re going to take a look at some of the most common causes of clogged drains. We’re also going to discuss when you should try to tackle a clog on your own, and when calling a plumber is your best bet. That should help you keep your drains clear and save you unnecessary labor.

Be careful what you flush

The most common cause of clogged drains? Human error. There are things you simply should not allow into your plumbing system. These include:

  • Fats, oils, and grease (restaurants should all have grease traps for this exact reason)
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Dental floss (why are you throwing your floss in the toilet in the first place?)
  • Flushable wipes (the name is a lie. They’re not flushable)
  • Food (even if you have a garbage disposal, you should divert most food to the trash/compost)

Basically, if it’s not water, human waste, or residue from cleaning products, it shouldn’t be going down the drain. All of these materials can get wadded together and stuck to the sides of your pipes – over time, that’s going to lead to some serious clogging (and not the fun kind that dancers love).

Some clogging is inevitable

When you shower, hair is inevitably going to end up in your drain. The same goes for when you shave. There are steps you can take to reduce the amount of hair that finds its way to your pipes, from using hair catchers to combing your hair before you shower. Nonetheless, some hair will find its way into your plumbing. 

That hair can get attached to soap scum and start clogging things up. There’s also the inevitable build-up of mineral deposits in your pipes. You can reduce, but not eliminate, these factors. This means you’ll almost inevitably end up with a clog at some point. 

Bigger issues

Tree roots are a major cause of drain clogs. They can clog up your entire sewer line – that means that nothing in your home will drain. 

Other systemic issues can occur, too. Your sewer line will degrade over time – and eventually, it could disintegrate; pieces of pipe, earth, rocks, and other objects can clog your entire sewer line.

When you have a clog that just won’t clear out, a clog that keeps coming back, or if all of the drains in your home are clogged, it’s time to call a plumber. These are all indications of larger systemic issues that you probably won’t be able to tackle on your own.

Need a plumber in Denver? Give us a call. We offer drain cleaning in Denver – we’ll find the source of those clogged drains, get rid of the clog, and give you advice on how to avoid similar clogs in the future. 

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