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12 Causes of Blocked Drains in Your Home: Tips for Prevention and Cure

As a homeowner, you know how frustrating it can be to deal with blocked drains in your home. Not only do they cause inconvenience, but they can also lead to more serious plumbing issues if left untreated. Understanding the causes of blocked drains and implementing preventative measures can save you money and stress in the long run. In this blog post, you’ll learn about 12 common causes of blocked drains, and gather some useful tips for preventing and curing such problems.

Before looking at the common causes of blocked drains, it’s important to understand the symptoms of a blocked drain. Slow draining water, gurgling sounds, and foul odors are all signs that your drain may be blocked. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s best to address the problem sooner rather than later. So what are some of the most common causes of blocked drains , and how can you prevent and cure these issues?

1. Hair and Soap Build-Up

Hair and soap are some of the most common causes of blocked bathroom drains. Over time, they can accumulate and form a blockage. To prevent this, try using a drain filter to catch hair and regularly clean your drain with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. Many people use drain cleaner on a regular basis. This is ok once in a while, but it should be used sparingly as it can damage your pipes over time.

2. Food Scraps

Kitchen drains often become blocked due to food scraps. It’s important to dispose of food scraps properly and avoid pouring grease and oil down the drain. Instead, scrape plates into the trash and wipe excess oil into a container for disposal. A garbage disposal can also help reduce the amount of food scraps that go down your drain, as you can just clear this out instead. Some people also recommend using a solution of baking soda and vinegar on a regular basis to keep your drain unclogged.

3. Foreign Objects

Children’s toys, wipes, and other foreign objects can easily become lodged in pipes and cause a blockage. Keep an eye on what goes down your drain and ensure that children are aware of what should and shouldn’t be flushed or placed in drains. Be aware that wet wipes, even if they are labelled as flushable, should not be flushed as these can cause problems over time.

4. Tree Roots

Tree roots can infiltrate pipes and cause blockages or even burst pipes. Regular maintenance and tree root removal can help prevent these issues. To identify this issue, you may need to find a plumber in your local area, by searching for something such as a plumber in Houston, to inspect the pipes and look for any signs of blockages. And if you notice any trees near your home, make sure to keep them trimmed and away from your pipes.

5. Mineral Build-Up

Mineral build-up is common in areas with hard water. Over time, minerals can accumulate and cause a blockage. Regular cleaning of your pipes and using a water softener can help prevent these issues. The main minerals you’ll find in hard water are calcium and magnesium, so if you notice these substances building up, it’s best to use a pipe cleaner or contact your local plumber to address the issue.

6. Toilet Paper Build-Up

Too much toilet paper can cause a blockage in your toilet or pipes. Use only as much toilet paper as needed and consider using a low-flow toilet. The type of toilet paper you use is also important. Avoid using paper that is too thick or doesn’t dissolve easily, as this can cause a blockage over time. And don’t leave too much toilet paper in the bowl before flushing, as sometimes it’s toilet paper in a large mass that can cause problems.

7. Aging Pipes

Aging pipes can become corroded or damaged, leading to blockages and leaks. Regular maintenance and replacement of old pipes can prevent these issues. Many pipes are made from PVC or copper, and these materials can last a long time with proper care. Sometimes, sections of pipes can become dislodged or squashed, causing blockages. If you notice any signs of corrosion or leaking, contact your local plumber.

8. Flushing Non Flushable Items

Items such as wipes, feminine hygiene products, and cotton swabs should never be flushed. Dispose of non flushable items in the trash. In general, it’s also a better idea for the environment to avoid using products that are not biodegradable or designed to be flushed. There are plenty of reusable or recyclable alternatives to wipes, feminine hygiene products and cotton buds.

9. Outside Debris

Leaves, twigs, and other debris can clog outdoor drains and gutters. Regular cleaning and maintenance of outdoor drains can prevent blockages. Outside debris can get into the pipes by being washed in with rainwater, so it’s important to keep drains and gutters clear. They can also be blocked by soil erosion, so you may want to consider adding an extra layer of protection such as a mesh guard.

10. Incorrectly Installed Pipes

Pipes that are installed incorrectly or at the wrong angle can lead to blockages. Ensure that pipes are installed by a professional plumber and that all angles are correct. And if you don’t know who installed the pipes, it’s best to get them inspected by a professional plumber who can identify any potential issues.

11. Sewer Line Back-Ups

Sometimes, your home’s main sewer line may be blocked due to other blockages on the property. If you have a septic tank, make sure it is regularly maintained and emptied. And if you share a sewer line with other properties, it’s important to be aware of any blockages or issues that could cause back-ups in your home.

12. Leaking Faucets

Leaking faucets can cause water to build up and contribute to a blockage. Make sure all taps are tightly shut and that the washer is replaced if it’s worn or damaged. If you have leaking taps, make sure to get them fixed as soon as possible.

Blocked drains are a common issue for homeowners, but they don’t have to be a constant headache. Understanding the causes of blockages and implementing preventative measures can save you money and stress over time. By following the tips outlined in this post, you can keep your drains running smoothly and avoid serious plumbing issues. Remember, early identification and action is key to preventing blocked drains.

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