If your blender isn’t blending, or your hose isn’t hose-ing, you’d probably throw those bad boys out and get something new. But what if your drain isn’t draining? Clogs in your toilet, shower, or kitchen can harbor some ungodly smells and cause thousands of dollars worth of home damage if they’re not fixed in a timely manner—it’s up to you to diagnose the problem as quickly as possible, and call in the professional plumbing reinforcements for help if you need them.
In this blog, the New Orleans plumbing experts at Acadian Plumbing will discuss some of the most common items that can clog your drains, and give you tips for what you can do about it. Identify one of these common suspects for drain problems, and ensure your drains will drain for years to come!
Suspect No. 1: Hair
If you have a clogged shower drain and a long-haired roommate or significant other, it’s virtually guaranteed that hair is creating a blockage. The average human sheds over 100 strands of hair per day—and a large majority of these hairs are knocked loose by a forceful shampooing or rinse in the shower. It’s no wonder that shower drains across the country are clogged! Fortunately, this is an easier problem to prevent than to fix.
To keep hair out of your drain, walk on down to the local hardware store and buy yourself a hair stopper drain cover for five to 10 bucks. Hair can’t block your drain if it never makes it in your drain in the first place!
If you currently have a nasty hairball causing drain backups, avoid environmentally destructive products like Drano and call your plumbing professionals to clear the clog manually. Drano only works so well—let your trusty plumber take care of it so you can evict your clog without doing damage to your local water supply or your metal pipes.
Suspect No. 2: Soap
How can something that’s designed to go down your drain actually cause clogging problems? It has to do with the fact that many types of soap—especially traditional soap bars—use lard or grease as a base. Just like bacon grease can clog your kitchen drain, soap grease can clog your shower drain—and that can lead to backups.
If you’ve been using the same Irish spring soap bar for decades, there’s no need to worry—get your local plumber to pressure clean your shower drains to eliminate existing soap buildup, and switch to a lard/soap-free wash for your showers in the future.
Suspect No. 3: Food Waste
One of the biggest misconceptions in the world of plumbing is that garbage disposals are meant for food waste. They’re not—they’re meant to handle food scraps stuck on your plate, not heaping helpings of bacon grease, chunks of baked potatoes, or sticky bits of rice. If you have a clog in your garbage disposal, it’s probably because you’re pushing it to its limits and it can’t keep up.
Instead of using your garbage disposal for food waste, toss it in your garbage—or even better, a composting system! You’ll be able to reuse all that food waste to create healthy soil for your yard, garden, or herb collection so your plants can grow strong and get the nutrients they need. Plus, you won’t have to call your New Orleans plumber to take care of any clogs!
Suspect No. 4: Toilet Paper
There’s a long list of reasons why toilet paper is probably not the best way to take care of bathroom business—ask Europeans, who use bidets and never seem to have clogged toilets, strange infections, or that terrible situation where they need toilet paper but there’s only one square left on the roll and nobody is home.
It doesn’t matter which way you wipe it—toilet paper can cause backups and floods in your home that can create hundreds, if not thousands of dollars worth of damage, regardless of whether you use that single-ply stuff or the heavy-duty, reinforced TP. (Don’t even get us started on the fully grown adults who use baby wipes.)
Toilets, especially the cheaper ones, just don’t have the horsepower to handle large clumps of toilet paper. If you get a monster TP clog that’s damaging your plumbing system, you have no choice but to call the plumbing professionals. Otherwise, your clog might cause enough damage to wipe your bank account clean.
Suspect No. 5: Small Objects
Do you really trust your small children? The answer should be “no,” especially when it comes to the likelihood of them trying to flush LEGOs, stuffed animals, and pairs of your socks down the toilet. We really can’t blame kids in this scenario—they’re obviously curious about how toilets work, where bathroom business goes after its flushed, and what kinds of objects can feasibly be flushed. Kids these days, am I right?
If you have a killer toilet clog that can’t be worked out with a plunger, and your child is acting suspicious for some reason, there’s a very good chance they either used way too much toilet paper to get the job done, or they flushed their Kylo Ren action figure down the toilet because that’s what naughty Sith lords deserve. Whatever the case, this is a job for a professional plumber—and if you’re curious about what kinds of items we’ve removed from clogged toilets, we’ll just say that if you can imagine it, we’ve seen it in stuck in a toilet.
Suspect No. 6: Dirt
While some of us are office dandies with clean fingernails and perfectly pressed suits, others spend our days getting down and dirty—plumbers come to mind, for some reason. When you work long hours in the dirt, mud, concrete mix—whatever it might be—you develop a layer of gunk on your clothes and your skin. We all get filthy sometimes—and it goes without saying that there’s nothing more satisfying than pressure-washing that gunk right off of you by taking a piping hot, seemingly endless shower.
Unfortunately, a lot of that gunk can build up in your shower drain over the years, and that can lead to clogs and backups. By cleaning your person, you’re dirtying your pipes—that’s just the way it goes.
Once again, this is a job for the plumbing professionals and not a bottle of Drano. The only thing that will get rid of dirt buildup like this is a good pressure washing for your pipes—and to minimize damage, wipe yourself down with a few paper towels to get rid of larger dirt chunks before you hop in the shower to really clean yourself off.
Suspect No.7: Tree Roots
You might ask—what kind of maniac would toss tree roots down a drain and clog it up? Not so fast, unskilled detective—it’s the tree branches that are committing the crime here. If you have small cracks in the underground pipes beneath your home, they’ll almost certainly leak tiny amounts of water into the soil—and you bet tree roots are going to flock to this moisture that, in some areas, might be hard to come by.
This is a problem that’s extremely hard to detect, and only a true master plumber can diagnose it. When all else fails, and your child truly didn’t not flush anything down the toilet, don’t rule this out—the clog doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Call the Plumbing Pros
We get it—clogged drains can be confusing, frustrating, smelly, and disgusting. If you don’t want to take care of it, call the pros at Acadian plumbing. Our expert plumbing team has seen every clog in the book, and we’re happy to tackle yours whenever things get backed up. Schedule an appointment with us today, and keep your home clog-free!