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Drain clogs are a fairly common occurrence in households, whether from slow buildups of dirt and grime or your child accidentally dropping their toy in the toilet. Believe it or not, many of the most common causes of drain clogs can be avoided with some knowledge of why they occur. Learning about these causes can help you take the small extra steps necessary to help keep your drains clear and your hard-earned cash in your pocket.

Dirt and Grime

While your sink is meant to wash down plenty of things, homeowners tend to wash off everything in their sink. This includes dirt and grime that can pile up and mix with other substances in your drain pipes. Eventually, the grime piles up and creates plumbing issues that you can solve with a drain snake or occasionally lead to serious issues requiring professional assistance.


Even if you have a garbage disposal, don’t let food particles get into your drains. Kitchen sinks usually clog due to remnants of food that solidify when mixed with the other things you wash down. Coffee grounds and tea leaves are some of the most common causes of clogged kitchen drains. To avoid food particles clogging your drains, do your best to remove large clumps of fruits, vegetables, and other products like peanut butter that can stick to the pipes.


Whether human hair or animal fur, hair can combine with soap residue, dirt, and grime to clog your bathtub drains and sewer lines. You shouldn’t let the potential for clogged drains stop you from keeping your hair clean, but you can also prevent clogs by stopping your hair from falling down your bathtub or sink drains. Consider purchasing drain hair catchers to catch the hair that falls, and avoid using drain cleaners that can cause leaks deeper in your sewage system.

Soapy Buildup

Unfortunately, soap scum can cause clogs within your bathroom sinks. Some of your favorite soaps are made of fatty materials that build up over time and combine with your hair to make a giant mess. If you’ve ever seen a mix of hair and soap on drain catchers, you can imagine how difficult it can be for your pipes to handle that mixture. You can do soap-free washes occasionally or sign up for plumbing maintenance plans that help reduce the soap stuck in your drains.

Mineral Buildup

Even the water you use can cause problems within your drains. If you have hard water — or water with a ton of mineral deposits — you can suffer from clogs as these deposits pile up. You’d need to fix this problem by descaling your pipes or installing a water softener to remove the residues from your water.

Grease and Oil

It can be tempting to throw your excess grease and oil from the food you cook down the drain. Unfortunately, this is the best way to quickly ruin your drains. Even if you wash down the grease and oil with water, it will still get stuck in your drains and block plenty of other things from flowing. You can try mixing some detergent and hot water and flush out the drain, and if that doesn’t work, reach out to your local plumbing company.

Small Objects

You might drop an object in your toilet or sink drain without knowing it. For some homeowners, the objects are visible before you flush the toilet or wash it down the sink, but they often sneak into your drains without your knowledge. In addition, avoid flushing wipes, diapers, and paper towels down your toilet drain. Only toilet paper should be sent down toilet drains, as everything else could end up clogging and would require drain cleaning services.

Tree Roots

Yes, tree roots can affect the deeper parts of your drains. As roots grow, they can push against and eventually puncture your drain pipes, especially if your pipes are brittle and small. When the roots come through, they will continue growing and clog your drains. You’d need a professional sewer line repair service to come and repair the damages to your drains.

Unclog Your Drains With a Professional Plumber

If your drains are clogged, you don’t want to sit on the problem and hope it solves itself. Your local plumbing professionals at Rudd Plumbing, Heating and Air can help clear up your drains and keep them operating at full capacity for as long as possible. Clear out hair, mineral buildups, and small objects with our expert drain and toilet clog removal services in Lowcounty, SC, and don’t spend another day inconvenienced by clogs. For more information about our comprehensive suite of offerings, including emergency plumbing services, get in touch with us today!