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What Causes Clogged Drains?

We all dread the tell-tale signs of a clogged drain — backed up water and no way to tell what’s causing the clog. When your kitchen or shower drain forms a clog, your whole day can get thrown off. You can’t wash dishes, clean food or shower efficiently. We’re usually so eager to figure out how to unclog a drain that we never stop and wonder what caused it in the first place.

Mission Air Conditioning & Plumbing provides the top Houston drain cleaning services, but we want our customers to be as knowledgeable as possible about why those tough drain clogs form. Once you’re aware of the materials that cause a clog, you may be able to prevent it from happening so often!

Sources of Drain Clogs

Our drains seem like magic portals that take waste, trash and water away from our homes, but drain pipes are actually not designed for many of the objects that are put down drains. Keep in mind that drain pipes are only so big, and they find it difficult to operate correctly when certain things enter the pipe.

Foreign Objects

It may seem obvious, but when foreign objects accidentally go down the sink or drain, the pipes are not equipped to handle it. Toys, feminine products, silverware and other items will likely cause an immediate problem due to their size and inability to dissolve. If you know an object has gone down the drain, don’t assume the problem will solve itself. Call for professional help to snake the pipes and make sure the pathway is clear for the future. 

Food Waste

Although garbage disposals help us grind up food waste and send it on its way down the pipe, there are many foods that simply aren’t meant to be disposed of down the drain. Some of these might surprise you, but you should not be putting them down your drain:

  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Pasta, rice or potatoes
  • Corn husks
  • Grease

These materials absorb water, turn into pastes and generally make the perfect clog in your drain. Most of the time, heavier particles like these sink to the bottom of pipes and can’t be flushed out with the flow of water. Not only does this pose a problem for your drain, but it also wears down your garbage disposal and makes breakdowns more likely.

Hair

Although it’s nearly impossible to control every piece of hair that goes down your shower drain, hair is the number one cause of shower and bathtub drain clogs. Hair has surprising strength and is flexible enough to twist, knot and create chaos in your drain. If you don’t have a hair catcher at the mouth of the drain, you’ve most likely had to clear out your drain or call a professional before. 

Soap & Grease

Many people don’t know that soaps are often made with greases. Grease is harmful to any drain. It clings to the sides of pipes and hardens, narrowing the passage and contributing to other materials forming a clog. It’s important to avoid putting grease down your drain at all costs. Most people pour cooking grease into a separate container, wait for it to congeal and deposit it in the trash.

Paper Products

Those tiny pieces of paper towel that accidentally make it down your drain are no big deal — until they are. Toilet paper, paper towels and other paper products might be compostable, but they are also highly absorbent. Manufacturers pride themselves on making their paper products capable of cleaning up tough messes, but that also means that these products can make a huge mess in your drains.

Metal, Plastic or Trash

In case you’ve never heard this, NO trash, metal or plastic can be put down any of your drains. These materials are not compostable, usually not flexible and cause massive problems in your pipes. Take it to the trash unless you want a huge bill on your hands when you need your entire plumbing system repaired or replaced!

Need Drain Clog Services?

Even if you put one of these items down your drain, the team at Mission Air Conditioning & Plumbing will always show up to help you. We want your home to run flawlessly, and we can make that happen. Give us a call!

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