If water is creeping closer to the rim of your toilet, chances are you’re just about on your last nerve. Clogged toilet and drain problems can do that to a person, even the calmest and most even tempered among us. And yet it stands to reason that if you know what causes a drain or toilet to clog in the first place, there’s a very strong likelihood you can prevent future clogs. Maybe not all of them, but wouldn’t even a few save you in the aggravation department? Below you’ll find five of the leading causes of clogged drains. Make a real or mental note of them, and you’re on your way to reducing your plumbing and drain repair costs, too.
- Grease – Not only do fat, grease and cooking oils (FOG) stick to the inside of your drain pipes, they act like a magnet – perhaps more like a spider web – by attracting and retaining other drain clogging substances. Sooner or later, the water has nowhere to go, and you have a real problem on your hands. As a counter strategy, pour all cooking byproducts into a disposable container, and then toss that out with the rest of your trash.
- Paper – You wouldn’t throw an old term paper down the toilet, would you? Even though, depending on the grade you received, you might find that notion rather tempting. But that aside, you’re essentially doing the same thing – over and over again – if you’re in the habit of flushing any paper other than toilet paper down your toilet. Cigarette butts, paper towels, wipes, and all the rest belong in the trash.
- Soap Residue – Yes, even an item you expect to flow readily down a drain can build up over time, forming a solid barrier that could eventually require the services of a professional drain cleaner. Keep in mind we’re talking the residue of solid bars of soaps here. Liquid soaps, on the other hand, pose no such drain-clogging risks.
- Hair – Wet, loose strands of hair can cling to just about anything, and your sink traps and drain lines are no exception. Cover your sink and tub drains with screens, if you can, or use specially designed filters that allow you to collect washed away hair and dispose of it properly.
- Hard water – That’s right, the very water you’re relying on to wash your clothes, body, hair, dishes, and more can be the very thing that ultimately causes clogged sewers and drains – but ONLY if you have hard water. How can you tell? The usual symptoms include the following: stains on your dishes, spotting on your glasses, soap scale inside your tub or shower, white clothes that turn grayish in the wash, and so on. If you notice any of these hard water symptoms, have your water tested by a water quality professional.