Saturday, 01 May 2021 10:53

Most Common Drain Clogging Items To Watch For

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most common drain clogging items

As homeowners, we often imagine that once we flush the toilet or watch water drain down the sink, whatever is with it will magically be whisked away. However, that is not always the case. Even if an item can fit down the drain, that does not mean it gets swept away and properly disposed of. In fact, sometimes, those items do not go anywhere at all, but sit in the bends of your pipes, which can cause problems such as clogging down the road. What items should you as a homeowner watch out for? There are some common drain clogging items to watch out for and avoid putting down your drain to keep the pipes from clogging. 

Common Causes for Clogged Drains 

As a homeowner, renter or even someone working in a shared commercial building, clogged drains are one of the most common plumbing issues you may have faced. From sinks that build up water to toilets that get backed up, problems with clogs can sometimes be serious and require professional help. However, sometimes, you may be able to fix drain clogs before they get too serious. Here is a list of the most common drain clogging items, and how to fix clogs, or even prevent these items from clogging your drains. 


Of course, this one is at the top of the list. Anyone with long hair knows the trials and tribulations of long hair clogging a shower drain. In addition to long human hair, this might also include animal fur or other stringy items, like dental floss. While a single hair does not look like it could do much damage, hair can knot up, combining with other substances like soap and grease, and attach itself to the pipe. 

Fixing Hair Clogs

Some common ways to fix hair clogs include plunging the drain or using drain cleaners, usually available in-home improvement or even grocery stores. You can also use a plumber’s snake if the clog is stubborn. 

Preventing Hair Clogs

To prevent hair from clogging the drain, use a hair strainer or drain guard. Remember to clean it regularly. 

Oil, Grease and Fat

Kitchen waste such as oils, grease and fats can solidify in your pipes, causing a clog. While some people believe that running hot water while you pour oils down the drain will alleviate issues, this does not always work.

Fixing Oil, Grease and Fat Clogs

Plunging the clog can sometimes work. If the clogs are particularly stubborn, try mixing detergent with hot water and pouring the mixture into the sink before plunging again. 

Preventing Oil, Grease and Fat Clogs

Pour large amounts of oil into a can or jar; once cooled, throw the jar into the trash. 

Food Waste

Food waste clogs generally affect the kitchen sink. Even if you have a garbage disposal, food can still build up to clog your pipes. Some of the worst culprits are items like tea leaves or coffee grounds because they do not break down. 

Fixing Food Waste Clog

Food waste can gather in a variety of places in the sink, so plunging, using drain cleaners or a plumber’s snake usually works best. However, food might be gathering in the garbage disposal, so detach the disposal, inspect and clean it, replacing if necessary. 

Preventing Food Waste Clogs

Even if you have a garbage disposal, avoid putting food waste down the drain, especially in large quantities. Instead, set up a compost pile for the bulk of your waste. 

“Flushable” Items

In reality, only toilet paper and human waste should be put into the toilet. However, many products are labeled “flushable” that are not, and some people incorrectly assume that others are OK to flush. Items like cotton swabs, wipes, diapers or feminine hygiene products should never be flushed down your toilet. These items are not made to break down the way that toilet paper is, and due to bulk or shape, can easily cause a blockage. 

Fixing Clogs Caused by “Flushable” Items

Using a plunger or auger can help to clear the clog. 

Preventing “Flushable” Item Clogs

Never flush anything besides toilet paper and human waste, and only use as much toilet paper as needed. Additionally, keep an eye on young kids in the bathroom – sometimes, items like toys tend to make their way into the toilet as well, causing clogging issues! 

Kitty Litter

Cat litter is very bad for pipes. Because cat litter is made to absorb moisture, it creates clumps, leading to large clogs in pipes. 

Fixing Kitty Litter Clogs

Because these clogs are caused by clumping clay, the best way to break up cat little clogs is a combination of plunging and using a toilet snake. 

Preventing Cat Litter Clogs

Do not flush any amount of cat litter down your toilet or drain. Instead, bag it up and throw it away. 

Dealing with Major Clogs 

Do you have a clogged toilet, backed up shower or slow draining sink? If you have tried the above fixes without success, it may be time to call a professional plumber for drain cleaning services. Sometimes, the plumbing issue may be more than a clogged drain. Offset pipes, tree roots or mineral build up can sometimes cause plumbing issues that are better repaired by a professional plumbing company. Contact the team at Central Heating, Cooling, Plumbing and Electrical to schedule an appointment today.

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