Why is Your Drain Clogged in the First Place?
At Cooke’s Plumbing and Septic, the number 1 issue that our professional plumbers have to deal with is fixing clogged pipes so the number one question we get asked is ‘Can You Repair Our Clogged Drain?’.
While we’re glad to help people throughout Port St. Lucie, Stuart and the rest of the Treasure Coast area, these clogs sometimes involve simple fixes that you can do yourself. Before you can fix it, however, you need to know just what the problem is.
What Are the Main Causes of Clogs?
That actually depends on where the drain is. In the bathroom sink, the most likely culprits of clogs are hair, dirt, soap or cotton balls. In the toilet, toilet clogs can be caused by paper buildup, which is caused by using too much toilet paper in one sitting. Other likely culprits include wipes, diapers, tampons and even cat litter.
In the kitchen sink, the usual suspects include food waste, oil, grease or plant leaves.
They can also include large bones and carcassas, especially after feasts like Thanksgiving – our busiest day of the year here in Stuart and Port St. Lucie!
On top of all that, every drain is subject to the risk of clogs caused by mineral buildup from hard water, especially in Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River Counties. They can also be clogged by tree roots, and this is especially true of older pipes that may have small cracks in them. ( this is where the concept of ‘rooter’ comes from ) Fortunately, most of these clogs are easily treatable.
So…How Do You Fix a Clogged Drain?
For hair clogs in the bathroom sink, your first step is to remove and clean the drain stopper. Next, make sure that the overflow drain is blocked. This will keep air from getting into the pipe. Then, take a standard drain plunger and plunge the drain until the clog comes out.
If it doesn’t come out this way, then use a plumber’s snake or a pipe cleaner to draw the hair out. Finally, you can choose to use a liquid drain cleaner, but you should know that these can cause damage to some older pipes. Plungers can also be used for dealing with cotton balls, toilet paper and feminine hygiene products. They can also get rid of dirt clogs.
What About Soap or Oil?
These can be a little harder to treat, but it isn’t impossible. First, try plunging. If that doesn’t work, then fill a glass with detergent and hot water. Mix it up, pour it into the drain and turn your water on to flush it down. Once that’s done, you should be able to plunge it with more success. Soap clogs can be removed by pressure cleaning the drain, which can be done by homeowners like you.
Are There Any Clogs That Require Professional Help?
Plant clogs and some more persistent clogs caused by solid objects can’t be addressed using tools that you have around the house. Only professional plumbers like Justin, Andrew, Mike and Coleman at Cooke’s Plumbing and Septic can fix the problem. In the same way, only professionals can descale your plumbing if a clog is caused by mineral buildup.
So, now you know a bit more about how to fix a clogged drain. Come back to our blog next month for another helpful plumber tip.