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The Most Common Causes of Drain Clogs

Posted on 11 March 2020

At some point, every homeowner will experience a drain clog, whether it's in a sink, toilet, shower or bathtub. When you notice a clog forming, it's important you take immediate action so you can avoid the clog escalating into a much larger problem. Signs of clogs include slow drainage, flooding and backups.

One of the best ways to avoid issues with drain clogs is to know what causes those clogs to happen in the first place. Here are just a few examples of some of the most common causes of clogged drains in residential plumbing.


Hair is one of the most common reasons for clogged drains, especially in showers and sinks. Drain guards will go a long way toward preventing hair from getting down into the shower. Clear out the drain guards on a regular basis so you can avoid issues with clogging.

Food waste

Even if you have a garbage disposal, you should not rely on it to send food waste down the drain. Either throw excess food waste in the garbage, or start a composting pile. This is especially important for food waste that will not break down, like coffee grounds or tea leaves. Eliminate food waste from dishes before starting to wash them, and use a drain guard in your sink to catch any waste before it goes down into your drain. Whatever makes it through the guard will be small enough that it will be easy to grind up with the disposal.

Soap scum

This is most likely to be an issue if you use bars of soap rather than liquid soap. Soap bars are made with fat or grease, and that fat will combine with minerals in the water to create a hard, scummy residue that will adhere itself to pipes and fittings. It's a good idea to switch to liquid soap-free washes so you can avoid problems with soap scum, which are especially common for people whose homes have issues with hard water.

Toilet paper excess

You should avoid using too much toilet paper in a single flush; even though that toilet paper breaks down in water, using too much at once will overwhelm your toilet and make a clog much more likely. Split up into multiple flushes if needed.

Miscellaneous small objects

Every now and then, other random items may go down your drains. You should make sure nothing other than human waste, toilet paper or water go down your toilet or other drains. Other objects should be disposed of in the garbage or composted.

Don't let clogs happen in your home; avoid these issues and you'll save yourself a significant amount of money on emergency plumbing repairs. Contact us today at Oakridge Plumbing for more information about our plumbing services. Next time more on how to avoid these pesky clogs.

Our licensed professionals can help: info@pipemasters.ca or (289) 404-9063. PipeMasters is part of Oakridge Plumbing Ontario Ltd. All rights reserved.
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