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8 Things That Can Clog Your Pipes

A drain clog being removed

Many items can cause a clog in the drains and sewer pipes in your home. You should take care to avoid putting any of these items down your drains to keep them running smoothly. Most of these items may seem harmless, but over time they may be damaging to your piping.

1. Hair

Hair is one of the most common causes of clogs. Hair is consistently rinsed down the shower drain. Over time it can easily clog it up. Hair wraps itself around soap scum and other debris in the drain and eventually create a large blockage. To avoid this, you can get a hair drain cover, or frequently clean the hair from your drains.

2. Eggshells

Eggshells seem harmless, but they can back up your pipes. There is an old wives’ tale that says eggshells can sharpen the blades in your garbage disposal—but this is not the case. As they break into tiny pieces, they can easily get caught in your pipes and eventually create a clog. Avoid the hassle of clogged pipes by throwing your eggshells in the garbage can or compost.

3. Potato Peels

Another seemingly harmless food waste that can wreak havoc on your drains is potato peels. Putting potato peels down your garbage disposal is a bad idea. The starch in potatoes will cause the peels to stick to the blades and pipes, blocking the drain and causing other food wastes to be caught with it. To avoid the potato peel problem, peel your potatoes directly into the garbage can, or peel them in the sink but use a paper towel to cover your drain and collect all the peels for disposal in the garbage.

4. Soap Scum

Soap washes down our drain so often, over time soap residue can build up. Soap scum can cling to the walls of our pipes and cause problems, especially when your water is hard. You might want to install a water softener to eliminate soap scum caused by hard water. It’s a good practice to have a plumber come check your pipes every few years to make sure everything is running smoothly.

5. Grease

Grease can solidify in your drainpipe and create a gooey blockage. Instead of tossing cooking oil or grease down the drain, let it cool and throw it away in the garbage. Another way to avoid grease clog is to clean your kitchen drain periodically with Total-C, which is a professional drain cleaner that uses enzymes to “eat” away grease buildups. You can learn more about Total-C professional drain cleaner here.

6. Hygiene Products

Feminine hygiene products, diapers, and baby wipes are often the culprit of a toilet clog. These products are not water soluble. They expand in volume in water and readily create major blockages. You can avoid this problem by not flushing them down the toilet.

7. Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds can clump together and form a thick paste in your pipes. Be sure to compost or trash these instead of disposing them down your drain. If you do put them down the drain, you’ll likely see them again soon in a clogged pipe.

8. “Flushable” Wipes

Despite their claims, most flushable wipes aren’t very flushable, meaning, they can easily clog your toilet and pipes in your bathroom after prolonged usage. These wipes can cause a major clog.   So don’t flush wipes into the toilet. Dispose them in regular garbage. Living without a working toilet or kitchen sink can get uncomfortable very quickly, let us help out! If you’re facing clogged pipes, contact Black Diamond Electric, Plumbing, Heating and Air for assistance. Our team of drain professionals will have your drains running smoothly again in no time.

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