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Why Do Drains Clog? 

By December 22, 2022No Comments
drain clogs, Why Do Drains Clog? 

It’s a nightmare scenario: you jump in the shower for a quick wash, and the water starts to pool around your feet, or the sink refuses to drain after cleaning the dishes. Maybe the bathroom sink starts to fill up while brushing your teeth, or the toilet starts to overfill. These situations can be stressful, but they indicate something is wrong with your drains. 

Plumbing systems bring fresh water into your house and allow gray and black water to flow back out. When water is backed up in places that should be draining, it can be a scary ordeal, but it’s not the end of the world. 

At Lowery Plumbing, Heating, and Air, one of our most common calls is a clogged drain. There can be so many reasons for a drain to clog that it’s almost inevitable you’ll eventually run into this issue. But when it does happen, don’t fret. Lowery plumbing is here to help. 

What Causes Drain Blockage? 

There are many potential reasons why your drains aren’t working as they should. If you’re looking for proactive solutions, here are the most significant contributing factors to clogged drains. 


When you shower or brush your hair, you may notice that hair is left on the brush, sink, or shower wall. Everyone experiences this, and it’s not a problem, but where the hair goes afterward is. Throwing hair sheds in the trash and disposing of them away from drains is your best option. Hair that goes down a pipe can collect and form tangled masses that create clogs in your plumbing system. When this happens, it can be hard to get out without the right tools. To avoid this issue, the best practice is to take a shower with a drain guard in place. The drain guard will catch your hair in a net or basket before it has a chance to slip down the drain. Then, after your shower, you can pick the guard up and dispose of the hair properly. 

If you suspect your clog may be because of hair, there’s an easy fix. We’ll bring our plumbing snake (a tool, not an actual snake) to your house and work it through your pipes to remove the clog. This process usually doesn’t take too long and has a high probability of success. 

Dirt and Minerals

When something is dirty, our first instinct is to clean it. You might need to consider where the water or dirt goes afterward. Washing away excessive dirt over drains can lead to unwanted issues such as clogs. A little soil is fine, but too much, and your plumbing system will have difficulty moving it. Your plumbing system has many curving features; when large masses of dirt move through it, they can create blockage. 

Minerals found in your drinking water can also create problems. Fluoride and calcium make mineral deposits in and on your pipes. You may have seen a green and white substance outside a fixture. These mineral deposits can happen anywhere inside your system, and they can restrict water flow over time. 

Calling a plumber to fix either of these issues is crucial to the efficiency of your system. Clogged drains aren’t fun and require a little more work to remove in the case of a mineral deposit. 

Food Waste

We often take our kitchen sink’s ability to remove unwanted food from our plates for granted. Rather than scraping off large amounts of grub into the sink, we should aim for the trashcan. If too much food is thrown down a sink too quickly, a more significant and messier clog can build up inside your pipes. These kinds of clogs aren’t fun because they usually have a powerful odor that accompanies them. The smell of rotting food is never appealing when you’re ready to start working on your next meal. 

You can place a food guard in your sink to avoid this issue. Like a hair guard, the food guard will catch large objects and store them for disposal instead of letting them go down the drain. 

Small Objects

It doesn’t happen often, but we’ll pull a toy car or a small ball out of a drain every once in a while. As adults, it’s pretty easy to understand why these objects don’t belong in our plumbing system, but the consequences aren’t as clear to children or pets. 

Kids drop things down sinks, toilets, and bath drains. Pets do the same thing. The best practice here is to limit your pet’s access to drains and to have plugs or guards in place throughout the day. For kids, you can teach them about the plumbing system and how it works. Education is an excellent tool for prevention. 

Tree Roots

Tree roots can wreak havoc on your plumbing—especially in older houses with weak and brittle systems. Tree roots like to snake around and find openings in your plumbing under the earth. That’s because these leaks create a source of water for the tree, and tree roots gravitate toward that source. When a tree root infiltrates a plumbing system, it grows inside the pipes blocking water flow. 

In this case, the only solution is to call a professional plumber to remove the tree root and set a new line, but if you leave the issue unresolved, you are bound to have severe problems with water backing up inside your home. 

Cotton Products 

Cotton does not break down like other disposable products; instead, it becomes compact and can clump together to cause severe clogging inside your pipes. For instance, certain feminine products can grow ten times their original size as they absorb water trying to pass through them. 

Aim for the trash if you are trying to throw away a disposable cotton product. As tempting as it might be to be rid of it down the toilet, it won’t bode well for your drains. 

When You’re Having Drain Issues, Call the Experts! 

Lowery, Heating, Plumbing, and Air is just a phone call away to help you with your drainage issues. We’ll make sure that your plumbing is flowing as it should. So give us a call today! 

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