A drain is the primary plumbing component for removing wastewater and sewage out of a residential or commercial building. Over time, they can develop blockages that can lead to slow drains, stinking drains, gurgling drains, toilet overflows, flooding and water damage to the entire property.
The best way to prevent drain clogs and the problems that they can cause in your home is to have them cleaned professionally on a regular basis. Regular drain cleaning by a professional helps dislodge any blockages that may start to form in your drains, thus keeping the drains flowing smoothly. It also helps keep your drains smelling fresh.
While neglected drains are a common reason for clogged drains, there are several other reasons you may end up with a blocked drain. Continue reading to familiarise yourself with other likely causes of drain blockages.
In the Kitchen: Cooking Fats, Oil and Grease
While cooking fats, oil, and grease may be in liquid form when you're dumping them in your drains, they often congeal and stick to the internal walls of the drains. As the buildup increases over time, it will significantly reduce the flow rate of your drains, resulting in slow drains. Left unaddressed, the partial clog can quickly turn into a complete blockage.
Pro Tip: if you have a garbage disposal installed in your home, use it. If you don't have one, get one installed. If your kitchen is pretty busy, you might need to install a grease trap, too.
In the Bathroom: Human Hair
You might not give much thought to the hair that goes down your shower, bathtub and bathroom sink drains when you're going about your daily personal hygiene and grooming routine, but those small strands of hair can clog up your bathroom drains when they combine with toiletries like toothpaste, soap, shampoo and shaving supplies.
To prevent hair clogs from forming, you should install a hair catcher or screen over your drains. Remove any trapped hair after every bath or shower.
Pro Tip: brushing your hair before bathing or showering will help remove loose hairs that may go down your drains during a bath or shower.
In the Toilet: Tissue Papers and Wet Wipes
Human excreta and toilet paper are the only things that should be flushed down your toilet. While toilet paper alternatives like tissue papers and wet wipes will all do the job (with varying degrees of comfort), they shouldn't be flushed down the toilet.
Sanitary tissues and wipes are not designed to break down when they go down the toilet. Therefore, they can easily clog up your toilet drains.
Pro Tip: as with sanitary tissues and wipes, disposable baby napkins and menstrual hygiene products shouldn't go down your toilet because they won't dissolve when wet. Also, avoid using too much toilet paper because large amounts of it can cause a clog, too.
If you encounter blocked drains you can't fix yourself, you should call a professional blocked drain plumber for assistance.