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Causes Of Drain Clogs And Blockages

Knowing the cause of a problem is effective for tackling the situation.

Kitchen Sink Drain Clog

The things that contribute to the kitchen sink getting clogged include:

1. Oil, Fat and Grease Deposits

Oil, fat and grease is one of the most common causes of kitchen sink blockage. Oils and fats (usually dissolved in warm liquid) goes down rapidly into the drain when they’re in a liquid state. When the fat gets cold and becomes thick, it then coats the interior of the pipe. These deposits gradually build up in the pipe till it slows down the drain or completely blocks the drain.

2. Food and Vegetable Particles

Food and vegetable particles like potato peels, seeds, fragments of bone, and eggshells can get lodged into the P-trap beneath the sink as the P-traps are curved. The food particles get trapped in there leading to a drain blockage.

Bathroom Sink Drain Clog

Factors contributing to bathroom blocked drains are:

1. Soap Residues

Greasy soap scum and residue can form a layer of coat around the interior of the pipe causing it to clog. In worse cases, the soap residue build-up can damage or weaken the pipes.

2. Chunks of Hair

This is one of the main reasons a bathroom sink clogs. Hair gets flushed down the drain easily, and over time it accumulates inside the pipe and causes the drain to clog.

3. Wipes, Diapers and Feminine Products

Generally, only toilet paper and human waste should be flushed down a toilet, but oftentimes we find ourselves flushing used wipes, pads, diapers (very unsuitable) down the toilet drain. Tampons are very tricky; they look small and appear suitable to flush down the drain but usually get 10 times bigger in size after absorbing fluids. All these things are too thick and stocky to flush. Flushing them down the drain can result in a blocked toilet.

4. Accumulation of Much Toilet Paper

Tissue paper is suitable to be flushed down the drain, but when in excess, and not properly dissolved can cause the drain to clog. Fluffed tissue paper is most likely to clog the drain, it should be used in small amounts.

Signs Of A Clogged Drain

Here are common ways to tell that your drain is clogged:

  • If the toilet bubbles and makes a gurgling sound
  • The toilet refuses to flush
  • Water drains slowly from the sink, bathtub, showers
  • Unpleasant smells oozing out from the drains
  • Puddles of water on floors around the sink, showers, bathtub
  • Water backs up to the sink, bathtub

Ways To Clean And Unclog The Drain

You can use chemical drain cleaners that are commercially available in places such as the supermarket. The problem with these commercially available drain cleaners is that the chemicals used in its formulation can cause corrosion to the pipes and cause them not to break down quicker. DIY drain cleaner is another good option as it costs little to nothing, unlike commercially available drain cleaners that can be expensive. Let’s quickly run through a few DIY drain cleaners.

DIY And Homemade Drain Cleaners

These can be made out of things available in your kitchen/home and easy to make too. They include:

Hot Water, Baking Soda and Vinegar

Set hot water to boil. Pour the boiling water down the drain/sink. Mix a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar. Pour the above mixture into the drain/sink and allow it to sit for 5-15 minutes. Pour another cup of boiling water into the drain.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

Pour a mixture of baking soda and vinegar into your drain, allow it to sit for some time, then run cold water over it, that should help clean the drain.

Salt and Baking Soda

Mix some salt and some baking soda in warm water, pour the mixture into the drain, give it some time and then run warm water over it.

Boiled Water and Salt

Add some salt to boiling water, pour the mixture down the drain. The salt will help dissolve the grease, emulsified fats and oil deposited into the pipes while the hot water helps with the flushing.

Liquid Dish Soap and Hot Water

Try a mixture of liquid dish soap and hot water. It helps to clean out the drain by flushing down minor deposits of debris in the pipe.

Other Effective Ways To Clean Your Drain

If none of the DIY/homemade drain cleaners worked, you can try other methods like:

Use of a Household Plunger

A plunger (a tool that is made of rubber suction cup, attached to a plastic or wooden stick) is something almost found in every household. A plunger works by force of suction and compression. It forces air into the drain and increases the amount of pressure when pressed continuously without breaking the seal for 20-30 sec, this pressure forces the clog down the drain. Fix your plunger directly over the drain opening, press continuously for a period of 20-30 sec, that should do the trick.

Cleaning Out the P-trap

The P-trap is the curved drainpipe beneath the sink. Place an empty pan or bucket beneath the sink to catch the water and debris that might fall out. Uncork the p-trap from the drainpipe and get rid of every debris and dirt stuck in it. Tighten the P-trap back, ensure its properly fixed, then run warm or cold water over the drain for a little while.

Ways To Keep Your Drain Clog-Free

  • Avoid getting hairs, seeds, bones, and other food particles down the drain.
  • Plant trees away from the drainage system to prevent tree roots in drain pipes.
  • Use hair and food particle traps over the drain in your kitchen sink, bathtubs, and showers.
  • Check your garbage disposal to ensure it’s in good condition, and always replace it when it’s old and worn out.
  • Don’t overload your garbage disposal, load items little at a time into it as clogged garbage disposal can lead to a clogged drain.
  • Don’t put broken glass into your garbage disposal, it can damage the blades of the shredder.
  • Always pour a mixture of vinegar and baking soda down the drain twice or thrice a month to keep your drain clean and prevent it from clogging.

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Christopher Chow

I called Hero Plumbing to unblock a shower drain and was unable to get a quote over the phone, but Sam the owner was here same day. After his first try, he made quick work of the blockage. I opted to also get the acid cleaner stuff poured down. Sam had run out, but made a trip to go pick some up to finish the job. If you opt for this treatment make sure you can easily air the bathroom as it’s extremely strong and produces a lot of fumes. Great Service and Honest Pricing.

Sarah Lincon

Hero Plumbing has been excellent since there first phone call.
I spoke to a gentlemen names Sam which he organised a technician to come and replace our hot water heater.
The technician was excellent called me 30mins before arrival explained the whole job to me and gave me an upfront price.
Excellent work Hero team.
We are a Hero member now and always look forward to working with them.

Jared Evans

We've used Hero Plumbing previously. Both times reliable and flexible with changing times (helpful during covid ISO periods!)
Hayden was on time and explained the issue clearly, fixed it,then also did some extra checks on water pressure and taps to ensure there were no underlying issues.
Would recommend their services.

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Hero Plumbing has been our go to plumber for years.

They replaced our hot water system with excellent workmanship, professionalism and in a timely manner - as always!

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Brilliant service from the first phone call to Hero Plumbing as Sam the manager booked us in very efficiently. I received a confirmation  email, a phone call on approach and all went smoothly & work conducted was beautiful . The team did a great job even dig up on our sewer and cut concrete & repaired the issue and our sewer is running like a dream.
Thanks for your great efforts guys!

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