6 Surprising Causes of Drain Blockages You Need to Know
Blocked drains can be a real nightmare. They can cause unpleasant smells, messy backups, and even damage to your home. While most of us assume that drain blockages are caused by the usual suspects like hair, food scraps, or grease, there are actually many surprising causes that may be lurking in your pipes. We have researched and compiled a list of 6 unexpected culprits that could be causing your drain blockages. From flushing inappropriate items down the toilet to tree roots invading your pipes, this list will help you identify the causes of your blocked drains and take the necessary steps to prevent them in the future. So, let’s dive in and explore the surprising causes of drain blockages that you need to know.
Common causes of drain blockages
Before we dive into the surprising causes of drain blockages, let’s take a look at some of the most common causes. Hair, food scraps, grease, and soap scum are all culprits that can easily clog your drains. Hair and soap scum can accumulate in your shower or bathroom sink drains, while food scraps and grease can build up in your kitchen sink. These blockages are often easy to diagnose and can be fixed with a plunger or drain snake. However, if left untreated, they can lead to more serious issues that may require professional help.
Another common cause of drain blockages is flushing inappropriate items down the toilet. Flushing items like baby wipes, paper towels, and feminine hygiene products can cause serious blockages in your pipes, leading to messy backups and potentially costly repairs. It’s important to remember that the only things that should be flushed down the toilet are toilet paper and human waste.
Surprising causes of drain blockages
Now that we’ve covered the common causes of drain blockages, let’s take a look at some of the surprising culprits that may be causing your blocked drains.
1. Hair and personal care products
While hair is a common cause of drain blockages, many people don’t realize that personal care products like shampoo, conditioner, and body wash can also contribute to the problem. These products can leave behind a residue that can accumulate in your drains, making it difficult for water to flow freely. To prevent this, try using a hair catcher in your shower drain and be sure to rinse your hair and body thoroughly to remove any product buildup.
2. Flushable wipes and feminine hygiene products
As we mentioned earlier, flushing anything other than toilet paper and human waste down the toilet can cause serious blockages in your pipes. This includes so-called “flushable” wipes and feminine hygiene products. While these products may seem convenient, they can wreak havoc on your plumbing system. To avoid blockages, dispose of these items in the trash.
3. Food waste and cooking grease
While food scraps are a common cause of kitchen sink blockages, many people don’t realize that cooking grease can also contribute to the problem. When cooking grease is poured down the drain, it can solidify and stick to the inside of your pipes, causing blockages. To prevent this, be sure to dispose of cooking grease in the trash or in a designated grease receptacle.
4. Tree roots and outdoor debris
If you have trees or shrubs growing near your home, their roots can invade your pipes and cause blockages. In addition, outdoor debris like leaves and dirt can accumulate in your pipes and make it difficult for water to flow freely. To prevent this, be sure to keep your yard clear of debris and consider having your pipes inspected by a professional if you suspect tree roots may be causing blockages.
5. Foreign objects and toys
Children are notorious for flushing toys and other foreign objects down the toilet, but adults can be just as guilty of this behavior. Flushing anything other than toilet paper and human waste down the toilet can cause serious blockages in your pipes. To avoid this problem, be sure to educate your children on what should and should not be flushed down the toilet, and dispose of foreign objects in the trash.
6. DIY plumbing mistakes
While DIY plumbing projects can be a great way to save money, they can also lead to serious plumbing problems if not done correctly. Common DIY mistakes like using the wrong type of pipe or fittings, improperly sealing joints, and over-tightening connections can all lead to leaks and blockages. If you’re not sure what you’re doing, it’s best to leave plumbing repairs to the professionals.
Prevention and maintenance tips
Now that you know the surprising causes of drain blockages, here are some tips to help you prevent them in the future:
– Use a hair catcher in your shower drain to prevent hair and personal care products from accumulating in your pipes.
– Dispose of flushable wipes and feminine hygiene products in the trash.
– Dispose of food waste and cooking grease in the trash or in a designated grease receptacle.
– Keep your yard clear of debris to prevent outdoor debris and tree roots from invading your pipes.
– Educate your children on what should and should not be flushed down the toilet.
– Leave plumbing repairs to the professionals if you’re not sure what you’re doing.
Blocked drains can be a real nuisance, but by knowing the surprising causes of drain blockages and taking the necessary preventative measures, you can avoid costly repairs and keep your plumbing system running smoothly. Remember to be mindful of what you’re flushing down the toilet, keep your yard clear of debris, and seek professional help if you’re not sure how to handle a plumbing problem. With these tips in mind, you can keep your drains clear and avoid the headache of blocked pipes.