3 Potential Causes Behind Pipes That Clog Or Back Up Constantly
Recurring blockages in your pipes can have a variety of causes, from a buildup of hair and gunk to something stuck deep down in your main sewer or septic line. Here's what could be causing your problem and how to prevent it from happening again.
Gunk and Hair Buildup
Gunk and hair are some of the most common causes of drain pipe clogs. The good news is that a deep cleaning can usually easily resolve these clogs, but the problem can quickly return if nothing is done to stop too much gunk and hair from going down your drains.
There are a few different ways to go about alleviating this. First, install a hair catcher in your tub and shower drains. These are often easily removable for cleaning. Second, look at the products you typically use. Everything from clay masks to body washes can leave behind residues that build up in your pipes. Sometimes the solution might be to buy products with different materials, but you can also take steps like using a small net to remove additives from things like bath bombs before unplugging the drain.
If you aren't sure what products are drain-safe or how you can adapt to the products you currently use, ask your plumber for advice.
Deep Line Clog
If the real problem is somewhere further down your drain pipes, cleaning the pipes immediately underneath your drains will only fix your problem temporarily. Deep clogs often happen in your sewer or septic drain pipe, the point after which the drain pipes in your house all converge into one larger pipe. Clogs here are often caused by one of two things: a buildup of material such as toilet paper, paper towels, or other hygiene products, or physical damage and clogging such as that caused by tree roots.
One sign of a deep clog is that drains lowest to the ground and closest to the main drain pipe will start to back up first. You may also notice toilets making gurgling sounds when water is being drained. If you notice these symptoms, ask your plumber if your problem could be caused by the main drain pipe.
Improper Substances Being Flushed
While hair and other products can cause clogs if put down drains in excess, generally they're safe to put down your drains. Some other substances, however, should never be put down your drains at all. One example is cooking grease; when it cools and congeals it sticks to the inside of your pipes, and it often requires the help of a professional to remove. Another example is coffee grounds, which don't dissolve and thus can clump up and cause clogs.
Your plumber may be able to help identify what substance in particular is causing your recurring drain problem, but either way it can help to double-check everything you're putting down the drain to see if it's safe to do so.
To learn more about drain cleaning, contact a professional plumbing service in your area.