Common items that Lead to Clogged Drains

Having a clogged kitchen sink or toilet drain is a surefire way to put a damper on your day. Just because your pipes look like they have a large enough diameter doesn’t mean that you can throw just about anything into it. In fact, some seemingly innocuous items are the top culprits when it comes to clogged drains. Here are some common and not-so-common items that Victoria plumbers say lead to clogged drains:

  • Grease, fat, and leftover food – with their viscous, sticky nature, grease mixed with water literally gum up the works, building up over time. Together with the other debris that gets thrown into sinks and drains, this buildup eventually cause the clogs that cause backed up drains.
  • Coffee grounds – our love for this perk me up can, and does, wreak havoc on our sinks and drains. You’d think that ground coffee should easily pass through household pipes on their way to the sewer, but no, professional plumbers have repeatedly told us that coffee grounds gum up the works. Notice that when you dump your grounds, they tend to clump together? Well, that’s what they do inside your drain pipes.
  • Hair – if you’re observant, you’ll notice hair buildup over a few days whenever you take a shower. Imagine accumulated hair clumping inside your drains and it won’t be a surprise why these are a notorious culprit when it comes to clogged pipes.
  • Toilet paper, paper towels, and wipes – these paper products don’t break up as easily as one would think. These paper products clump with the grease that is already in the system, causing blockages.
  • Adhesive-backed labels – with their sticky backing and gummy nature, these get easily caught up in the plumbing, helping to contribute to buildups and eventual blockage.
  • Cotton balls – just like paper products, these don’t break down easily. Given time and enough buildup, a blockage is a given down the road.
  • Tampons – pretty obvious, one might think. But a lot of people do flush their tampons down the toilet, where they definitely get stuck in the most inconvenient places.
  • Paint – while leftover paint, even water based paint can cause buildup in your pipes and sewer lines, there is also the issue of paint containing hazardous chemicals that could end up in the water supply. In fact, some municipalities forbid even the washing of paintbrushes in the sink for this very reason.

It’s easy to prevent the blockages caused by these common household items. Just be mindful of what they can do and separate them beforehand, treating them as solid waste.

Thanks to Goodsense Plumbing & Drain Cleaning for their article.