A clogged drain is never a pleasant experience, but it is common. Despite your best efforts to clean, and repair, they sometimes still become clogged.

Blog Post Summary

  • 1. Hair Buildup
  • 2. Grease and Oil
  • 3. Soap Scum
  • 4. Mineral Buildup
  • 5. Foreign Objects
  • 6. Tree Roots
  • 7. Old Pipes
  • 8. Flushing Inappropriate Items
  • 9. Incorrect Installation
  • 10. Inadequate Flushing
  • 11. Frozen Pipes
  • 12. Poor Ventilation

Understanding why drains clog helps prevent this from happening, saving you time, money, and frustration. Find out the main reasons why drains clog below.

1. Hair Buildup

One of the main culprits of clogged drains in homes is hair buildup. Hairs, especially long hairs, easily get stuck in the pipes and accumulate over time, blocking water flow. This leads to slow drains and, ultimately, complete blockages.

When experiencing clogged drains due to hair buildup, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Plumbtree Plumbing & Rooter, your go-to for all of your plumbing needs in San Jose, CA. With our expertise and top-of-the-line equipment, we can easily get your drains flowing smoothly again.

2. Grease and Oil

Grease and oil are notorious for being one of the most common reasons drains clog. It may seem harmless to pour kitchen grease or leftover cooking oil down the kitchen sink, but these substances quickly solidify and accumulate in pipes, creating blockages that cause water to back up.

Over time, this buildup leads to complete clogs that require the assistance of a professional plumber to fix. To prevent this from happening, it’s best to dispose of excess grease and oil in the trash or recycle bin rather than pouring it down the drain.

3. Soap Scum

Soap scum is one of the most overlooked culprits of clogged drains. Over time, the accumulation of soap scum in pipes will cause significant blockages that impede water flow. This issue is particularly prevalent in households with hard water, which contains high amounts of minerals that react with soap to form a sticky substance that adheres to the inside of your pipes.

4. Mineral Buildup

Mineral buildup is certainly one of the most common reasons why drains clog. Over time, minerals such as calcium and magnesium accumulate in the pipes, causing blockages that are difficult to remove. Often, this is caused by hard water, which contains high levels of minerals.

If you live in an area with hard water, preventing mineral buildup in the drains is essential. One easy way to do this is by installing a water softener, which removes minerals from your water before it flows through your pipes. Regular drain cleaning will also prevent mineral buildup, keeping the pipes flowing smoothly and preventing costly plumbing repairs.

5. Foreign Objects

Foreign objects, such as jewelry, toys, and other small items, can easily become lodged in pipes. These items create blockages that impede water flow, leading to clogged drains. If you notice a foreign object stuck in your pipes, contact a professional plumber from Plumbtree Plumbing & Rooter immediately so that we can safely and effectively remove it.

6. Tree Roots

Tree roots are often the culprit in causing clogged drains. As beautiful and majestic as trees are, their root systems can be incredibly destructive. Trees planted too close to pipes can cause significant damage by growing into and around them.

The roots can break into the pipes, causing them to crack or rupture, and even intrude into the drain, growing thick and strong and blocking the water flow. If left unchecked, these roots may cause major problems for homeowners and often require significant and expensive repairs. It’s important to keep an eye on any trees growing near the pipes and to act quickly if you suspect a root intrusion.

7. Old Pipes

Over time, pipes can become corroded or damaged, leading to leaks, cracks, and blockages. These issues can be exacerbated by hard water or mineral buildup, which can cause deposits to accumulate inside the pipe and reduce flow. As a result, it’s important to keep an eye on the age and condition of your pipes and to have them replaced or repaired as necessary. Addressing this issue head on can help prevent future clogs and keep your home’s plumbing running smoothly.

8. Flushing Inappropriate Items

Flushing inappropriate items down the drain is a common reason for clogs. It’s important to remember that drains aren’t meant for trash disposal. Items like feminine hygiene products, paper towels, and wipes can cause serious plumbing issues when flushed.

These items can get stuck in the pipes and create blockages that are difficult to remove. Flushing inappropriate items isn’t only damaging to your plumbing but also to the environment. It’s recommended to properly dispose of these items in the trash to avoid potential clogs and costly repairs. Remember, only flush toilet paper and human waste down the toilet.

9. Incorrect Installation

Another reason why drains end up clogged is due to incorrect installation. A poorly installed faucet or drain can lead to larger plumbing problems down the line, resulting in costly repairs and headaches for homeowners. Finding trusted professionals to handle your plumbing needs is crucial. By investing in expert installation services, you can avoid future clogs and ensure that your plumbing runs smoothly for years to come.

10. Inadequate Flushing

Inadequate flushing is a common cause of toilet clogs. When you don’t flush enough water after using the toilet, waste can accumulate in the pipes and cause a blockage. To prevent toilet clogs, flush the toilet several times, and use enough water to ensure all waste is flushed away.

11. Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes can cause significant damage to your house’s plumbing system and lead to costly repairs. Frozen pipes occur when the water inside them freezes due to extreme outdoor temperatures. As the water expands, it puts pressure on the pipe walls, which can cause them to burst or crack if not addressed quickly. In an area that experiences freezing temperatures, it’s essential to protect the pipes. Insulating pipes and keeping the heat on in cold months will prevent them from freezing and bursting. If you suspect your pipes are frozen, contact a professional immediately.

12. Poor Ventilation

Drainage systems need proper ventilation to function correctly. If the vents are blocked or clogged, it can cause slow drainage or overflowing water or sewage. Ventilation is necessary to allow air to flow through the pipes and prevent blockages. It could indicate poor ventilation if you notice slow drainage or gurgling sounds from your sink or toilet. Call a professional plumber to inspect your ventilation system and make any necessary repairs.

From foreign objects and tree roots to aging plumbing and poor water flow, there are various reasons why drains clog. Regular maintenance, including hiring professionals to inspect, clean, and keep your plumbing system in excellent condition, can significantly reduce clogs, saving you money on expensive plumbing repairs.

At Plumbtree Plumbing & Rooter in San Jose, CA, we specialize in services related to poor water quality, sewers and drains, gas appliances, water leaks, water heaters, plumbing fixtures, and more. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive plumbing services or to schedule an appointment for a consultation. Our highly skilled plumbers are dedicated to providing the highest quality service and ensuring that your home’s plumbing system runs efficiently for years to come.

Josh Gibson

Hi, I’m Josh. I’ve been around plumbing my whole life. When I was 5-6 years old my family built a home where I did a lot of the sanding of copper pipe and definitely some playing in the mud. Plumbing is a major part of my family as I am a fourth-generation plumber. The skills I bring to the job are a good technical knowledge of plumbing and code requirements. I am often complimented on my hands-on problem-solving skills.
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