Drain Cleaning Service Discoveries: Top Causes Of Drain Clogs And A Few Unusual Ones | Oak Ridge, TN

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At My Professional Plumber, we serve the Oak Ridge, TN area with drain cleaning service and general plumbing, so we have solved a lot of plumbing puzzles and seen a lot of surprising things. We also raise our eyebrows at how common certain problems are when you wouldn’t think that they would be. Here’s one thing we’ve learned for sure. You can’t guess about the condition of drain pipes, so it’s best to just do a regular drain cleaning service and take good care of them. It’s not just hair clogs and grease, plus a few of those troll dolls. Stuff that you flush down the toilet doesn’t evaporate, and that sink is just sitting there waiting for something unusual to fall in.

Just Because the Water’s Flowing Again Doesn’t Mean the Job is Done

Pipes are sized for proper water flow and pressure and one goal of drain cleaning service is to ensure that internally, they remain clear at the full diameter, all the way through. When a clog is partially removed, there will be some water flow but not enough, and the pressure will also be insufficient for the gravity feed of the sink or toilet water to move material down the pipe. The clog will soon return in many cases. That’s what happens with many DIY sink clearing projects, where it’s a relief just to remove the standing water and have the sink usable again, or get some flow in the toilet so the fear of it backing up at the next flush is alleviated. Soon enough, it’s time to get the DIY tools out again and cut another hole through the material that has once again built up. A drain cleaning service once or twice a year can reset this process and make sure that your pipes are flowing freely, clear back to the walls without partial obstructions waiting to close up again.

Clogs Take a Lot of Time to Build Up

Like the proverbial snowball, clogs gather over time. They often begin as a narrowing of the pipe due to a lining of grease or soap scum, then adding hair, soil, food particles, and other material. As the pipe constricts due to the gathering clog, the water flow will slow and you’ll have your first indications that something is wrong as your drain starts to empty more slowly. This would be a great time for a drain cleaning service, by the way. The reduced water flow will allow more material to gather since it’s not being swept along by volumes of water, and the accumulation will accelerate. At this point, you’ll probably be thinking that it’s time to do something about the drain, and before you know it, you’ll have to because it’s very slow or completely stuck. Then you may need an emergency drain cleaning service to get your drain flowing properly again.

People Hair and Poodle Hair

Long hair, animal hair, any kind of fibers that are washed in the shower and tub can join up further down the drain and create a clog, or just a filter through which water passes but which gradually accumulates material for a good, solid blockage. A simple strainer for your shower and one for your sink can significantly reduce the amount of trouble you get from hair going down the drain, though you may have to clean the strainer fairly often. In the sink, the strainer will also catch valuable objects that would otherwise be lost, and in the shower, shampoo caps that form unusual clogs won’t be able to do their mischief. This won’t save you from the need for a drain cleaning service to keep the pipes clear from grease, soap scum, and other materials, but it will definitely reduce the amount of material that gathers in the pipes. Clearing your drain pipes regularly can also gather odd obstructions that have fallen in and partially blocked the pipe, preventing the collection of other clog material and allowing fast-flowing water to prevail.

Food Clogs and Your Garbage Disposal

Food that expands with moisture should be carefully ground and sent down the drain in small quantities, if at all. This includes rice, pasta, and similar materials. If they don’t make it all the way through the system and out the sewer, wherever they stop they can expand as they absorb moisture, forming a dynamic blockage. Grease and similar slimy, sticky substances can adhere to the sides of pipes, especially ones with rough surfaces due to corrosion, and grab onto other material passing by as they create a clog.

Stuff That Shouldn’t Be Flushed

Some people use toilets as trash cans and create all sorts of interesting clogs. Cat litter is one problematic clog source, since it’s not only bulky but tends to clump by design, creating cement-like obstructions in the line. Goldfish really shouldn’t go down the drain, and neither should vermin of any sort such as mice or rats or other small mammals. Even bulky sanitary products, paper towels, and other materials that seem reasonable to flush can cause big problems. If they don’t clog the toilet itself or the sink, they can worsen a clog further down the line in the P-trap or main pipe in the wall.

More Unusual Objects

Drain cleaning services do find entire smartphones in the toilet. Batteries, headphones, nail clippers, eyeglass lenses, pen caps, name tags, and pretty much anything else that could fall in while someone is sitting on the toilet or bending over to flush have been found during drain cleaning service. The thing is, all of these objects don’t respond well to plungers and augers, though moving them around in the drainpipe can temporarily restore flow.

Keeping Your Drains Free Flowing in Oak Ridge, TN

At My Professional Plumber, we love to do preventive maintenance on our Oak Ridge, TN clients’ plumbing. Call us to schedule drain cleaning, and you can relax.