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Why Does My Drain Get Clogged?

Why do drains clog? Simply put, drains were designed to drain water – and water isn’t always the only thing going down. Granted, there’s not always much you can do to avoid this. There are certain things you can do proactively to lessen the chance of a clog. Before we explore those options though, let’s take a look at three types of drains and some common reasons why they clog.

Kitchen Sink Drains

Kitchen sinks put up with a lot of abuse. Think about it… they endure grease, food products, paper products, and just about everything in between. It’s not hard to imagine why all of that stuff might lead to a clog every once in a while, especially if your sink drain has a smaller diameter than average drain pipe.

Bathroom Sink Drains

Bathroom sinks don’t have to deal with as many types of debris, but they do have to deal with an entirely different mess: human hair. Human hair has this nasty habit of clinging to everything it comes in contact with, including inside sink drains. Length is almost irrelevant. Long or short, your drain will clog if there’s enough hair.

Bathroom Tub Drains

Bathroom tubs have to deal with a lot of hair as well. They are also susceptible to many different kinds of bar soaps. Believe it or not, a tiny chunk of bar soap can last quite a while in a drain, especially if it starts building up. Between hair and soap, which are akin to brick and mortar, tub drains can clog easily if you aren’t careful.

These are some of the most common reasons your drain might get clogged. Other reasons include accidently dropping a foreign object into the drain (jewelry, contact lens case, cell phone, etc.). In other cases, the clog might be caused by the shape, length, and diameter of the pipes themselves. The more sharp turns and bends there are, and the smaller diameter the pipe is, the likelier you will experience consistent clogging issues.

The best solution to all of these problems is tri-fold:

  1. Scrape leftover food from plates into the trash before rinsing plates.
  2. Install an effective drain strainer
  3. When using the garbage disposer, always turn on the cold water before putting anything into the unit. Let the water run for several seconds after you turn off the disposer. Never put grease or hard-to-grind items like celery, bones and coffee grounds into the disposer.
  4. Monthly application of a drain maintenance product will help prevent clogs and keep drains odor free.

If you follow these three steps, removing frequent drain blockages will become a thing of the past. It’ll take some work, but it will eliminate a lot of inconvenient headaches in the future.