Hopefully you don’t ever find yourself asking the question “why is my drain clogged” in an emergency. If you do, it might be for one of the following reasons, but instead of reading this blog, call Mr. Swirl now! It’s an emergency and we are the best plumbers in Maple Ridge, Coquitlam or anywhere in the Lower Mainland to get it done fast and efficiently.
We hope you’re reading this blog preventively to learn about your drains and how to keep them safe and unclogged. We’ll cover some of the most common reasons for clogged drains out in the Lower Mainland and some stories from our friendly plumbers.
It’s funny to think that soap can create a clogged drain, it’s maybe the most common things to go down our drains. Whether we’re taking a shower, washing hands, washing dishes, doing laundry etc. we’re always using soap! For the most part that’s ok, but excessive soap use can clog you drain.
The problem with soap is that it sticks to the wall of pipes and builds up. This effectively decreases the diameter of the pipe, slowly choking it out. This is most likely to occur in shower drains and washing machines and can be something to look out for and monitor in both.
One thing to avoid in order to minimize the chance at a kitchen sink clog, is to never put absorbent foods like oatmeal, pasta or rice in your sink, even with a garbage disposal unit. These types of food will only absorb more water and start to expand inside your pipes creating a clog. Coffee grinds are also a definite no when it comes to kitchen sinks. Coffee grinds are made perfectly to not break down with water, when they start to pile up they are a huge offender for plugged drains.
Rice passed through a garburator and clogging a drain.
Oil, Grease & Fat
Speaking of things not to put down your kitchen sink, oils, grease and fat should never go down the drain. We all love some freshly cooked bacon on a Sunday morning, but nothing is worse than when you pour the excess fat down your drain and have a clogged sink on Sunday afternoon. These types of substances naturally solidify with time and pretty much create a cork in your pipes. Grease, oil and fat are essentially the perfect weapon to combat healthy pipes, the ticking time bomb of plumbing.
I know what you’re thinking “I don’t put roots down my drain”. Well even though you don’t put roots down your drain, they’re still one of the biggest causes of clogged drains.
Roots don’t attack your drains up at the top, but deep underground. Your pipes and tree roots share the same soil and when those trees are thirsty they seek out moisture which can be found in pipes. The roots will slip through joints or punch through pipes to get to that water. This is bad news for you because it will likely cause a leak and/or catch things coming through your piping creating a plug and a clogged drain all the way up the line.
Another huge offender when it comes to clogged drains is hair. We’ve all seen photos of the nasty hair balls that come out of plugged drains, it’s gross! Unfortunately it’s just another one of those things that seems like it was created just to mess with your healthy drains. Hair wraps around itself, ties knots, latches onto anything in its way and grabs anything solid trying to pass by it.
Getting hair down your shower drain is somewhat unavoidable without using a filter overtop (which we would recommend). If you do suspect that there is a hairball stuck in your drain, we suggest using Mr. Swirl’s all-natural drain cleaner! Our drain cleaner doesn’t use chemicals, which uses natural bacteria’s that are effective in destroying anything in their path. They are also super effective with clearing out hair that is blocking pipes.
Clogged toilet from a combination of roots, hair, dirt and more.
When it comes to clogged drains, dirt is the icing on the cake. Small dirt particles might not cause a clog all by themselves, however dirt will collect with whatever else is in your pipes. Soap, hair, fat, anything we talk about in this blog will often grab any dirt passing by and create an even more monstrous clog. Any of these items on their own, may or may not cause a full clog. However, sometimes they may be hovering just on the edge and along comes some dirt to force a full out plugged drain.
Wet Wipes, Feminine Products & Other Not Toilet Paper Wipes
Toilet Paper was made for drainage! There’s a reason why we use it and as plumbers we just wish everyone would stick to that reason. However, many people decide to use alternative products that are not meant to go down the toilet. These as well as a lot of feminine products, are not supposed to go down the drain because they bunch up, and are notorious clog causers.
The safe rule to abide by when it comes to these sort of products is to read the package, then do some additional research. Before starting to flush any sort of new product, please check the packaging, it should say if it is flushable or not. If the packaging says it’s flushable, still do your research! Look into customer reviews, specifics, and your plumbing system before you start flushing.
Excessive Toilet Paper
That’s right, you still need to be careful with toilet paper too! Loading up your toilet full with toilet paper is never a good idea. Please be mindful with the amount of toilet paper you flush, and if it’s necessary there is no shame in using 2 or 3 flushes for a messy job.
Objects, Toys and Clothing
We’ve all dropped our phone in the toilet once or twice, it happens. What if you never got it out, or more likely your kid flushes something and doesn’t tell you. Believe it or not, it happens all the time! Children might just be one of the biggest threats to your healthy drains. A toy, a sock, their toothbrush are all likely suspects to get flushed down the toilet by a naughty toddler.
Of course, these types of items are highly likely to create a clog! In one month, Mr. Swirl the Friendly Plumber was called to solve 3 different jobs containing a clogged drain caused by a cucumber, a face cloth and an electric razor vibrating inside the pipe, all flushed at the hands of the homeowners child.
Cat Litter or Dog Bags
It would seem to make sense wouldn’t it, we flush human waste why not our pets waste. Pet waste can be flushed as long as it’s just waste. If there is cat litter involved or a dog bag, the case is not the same! Either of these could be the culprit of a big bad clog in your toilet.
If one thing is for certain, when you run into a clogged drain Mr. Swirl should be the first call you make. Get one of our friendly plumbers out to your clogged drain in Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam or anywhere in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley or Greater Vancouver Area.
Even if your clog has been solved, we’re sure you’re curious as to what caused it and how to avoid another one. We hope with the help of this blog you Lower Mainland residents are armed with knowledge to fight potential clogs.