One of the most common, and most unwanted, things you can encounter in your plumbing system is having to deal with clogged drains. It’s not only going to be slimy and smelly – it usually demands a quick fix as washing or bathing from day to day will only worsen the clog.
While it is great for you to know what to do when it happens, it is ideal to know why clogs occur (and reoccur) in your drains.
What causes clogged drains?
Accumulated hair and dirt
Hair fall is inevitable. Studies have shown that the average person loses 60-100 hair strands every day. Although you do not lose all the hair in the shower, a significant portion of it will fall out while you are washing your hair. And the same is true for everyone in the house. Over time, all this hair accumulates in your drain pipes, together with all the dirt that has been washed off. It creates a gunk that blocks water flow.
Flushing of objects that do not dissolve in water
This is the easiest clog to avoid because the only thing you have to do is to avoid throwing items in the toilet that do not belong there. Some of the things people try flushing down which cause clogs include sanitary napkins, cotton buds, floss, wipes, and tissues.
Best thing to do is not throw anything in the toilet at all, and put a rubbish bin in the bathroom.
1. Oil in the kitchen sink drain
Cooking grease and oil residues are the top reasons for a clogged kitchen sink. What may worsen this are food particles that do not quickly dissolve in water.
To prevent this, dispose of grease and oil by letting them solidify first and then throwing it out with the rest of your garbage.
If your kitchen sink drains still persist, contact your plumber. There may be a serious problem occurring in the drain pipeline itself. It may not have been properly designed and installed in the first place, or have become damaged.
2. Problematic venting
It is well known that venting is needed to allow the entry of air through the pipe as the water flows and sinks. You can see this principle at work when you drink with a straw. The other end is open to let the air flow, like when you sip and drink the water through the straw. Once you cover that end, the air is blocked from entering. Try lifting the straw and the water will not drain unless you remove your finger from the other end.
The same goes for toilets. For proper venting to occur, there has to be no issue with the drain.
3. Too much slope or not enough slope
Another factor in drainage is the design of your plumbing system, as it determines how well can the water flow through the line. Too much slope will make the water run rapidly, leaving waste and debris behind. If this accumulates over time, it is going to form clogs. On the other hand, not enough slope will also cause problems, such as the water and waste being stuck somewhere in the pipeline. Eventually, this can also create blockages.