5 Common Causes of Clogged Pipes

Are you experiencing issues with the pipes at your home or business? Are they not draining like they should? If so, you could potentially have a clogged pipe. Let's take a look at some of the most common causes for clogged pipes, as well as how to handle them.

1. Soap Buildup

The buildup of soap is common in showers, bathroom sinks and laundry drains. Water carries the lather from hand, body and laundry soap down the drain. However, over time residue from the soap will begin to collect on the walls of the pipe. Eventually, this buildup will reduce the diameter of the pipe, and slow the flow of water.

2. Grease Buildup

Is your sink clogged? A common culprit of clogged pipes in kitchen sinks is grease build up. This is especially true of commercial and restaurant kitchens that receive heavy use. The grease is carried into the pipes by the hot water used in washing dishes by hand or in a dishwasher. The grease is then cooled by vent pipes that allow cold air to enter into the drain system. As the hot grease is cooled, it sticks to the interior of the pipes, which again, restricts the amount of water that can pass through the drain.

3. Root Damage

One cause of clogged pipes that can be trickier to diagnose is one you can't see – tree roots. Pipe intrusion by tree roots is especially common in older concrete or clay pipes. That is because they weren't always water tight when they were installed. As a result, they often develop joints or cracks that allow roots to grow within the pipes, limiting the amount of water that can travel through.

4. Hair

Another source of clogged pipes in the shower is hair. Much like soap, hair will gradually accumulate in the pipes over time until it begins to block the pipe, preventing water from easily flowing down the drain. Fortunately, this is one issue that easier to prevent by installing a hair strainer drain-cover to trap hair and prevent it from going down the drain.

5. Foreign Objects

No, we don't mean items you picked up while traveling to Europe. We're talking about things that are flushed down toilets that could cause problems for your pipes, like:

  • Diaper wipes.
  • Feminine hygiene projects.
  • Dental floss.
  • Common-tipped swabs.

Since these objects do not dissolve or break apart in water, they can easily clog pipes if they become stuck. As parents of young children are aware, toys being flushed down the toilet can also cause problems.

The Solution

There are several home remedies you can try to break up or dissolve certain types of clogs, including:

However, depending on the severity of the clog, you may want to call the professionals at EcoClean. We can take care of everything from a clogged restaurant sink to a backed-up sewer to root-infested pipes. Our trained professionals can handle even the most stubbornly-clogged pipes. If you have a clogged sink, clogged drain or clogged toilet, give us a call at 207-420-2114. We offer service seven days a week, 24 hours a day.