Common Causes of Plumbing Clogs

Today I’m sharing some of the common causes of plumbing clogs. Also, I am sharing tips to help you prevent them to begin with!

We all dread the household flooding that results from plumbing clogs! In addition, we all want our plumbing to work effectively 100% of the time. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Clogs can cause minor water backups in the sink or flooding a room entirely. From firsthand knowledge, I can tell you that neither one is my idea of a good time.

Some plumbing clogs are caused by old, outdated systems. These are mechanical failures that require a professional plumber. And fast! Make sure you have the name of a good plumber, who is licensed and insured somewhere on hand. It’s best to do this before you need him!

On the other hand, some household clogs are caused by largely preventable plumbing clogs. These are floods that are caused by you and your family. To be sure, these are not intentional. Those floods are caused by backups of water that happen when you clog your drains.

1-OIL & GREASE IN THE KITCHEN SINKoil-grease-in-the-kitchen-sink

One of the most frequent household clogs is caused by oils and greasy films that accumulate down the kitchen sink. We rinse our dishes and load the dishwasher, right? Yes. And that’s the problem.

Over time, we rinse butter, oil, salad dressing, and gravy particles down the sink. This can cause a bad grease clog.

Think about this: If you warm up butter, it melts. When you cool butter, it solidifies. So imagine the greasy bits down the trap of your kitchen sink. When you are running cold water, it can solidify. Over time, this builds up into a disaster waiting to happen.

Before you rinse your plate into the sink, take a second to scrape the plate off into the trash can. If your dinner had excessive oil, such as salad dressing, you can even blot it off with paper towel.

2-FOREIGN OBJECTS DOWN THE TOILETforeign-objects-down-the-toilet

Another common cause of household clogging is the toilet. When this clogs and backs up, it can make a very serious flood in your bathroom. In the worst case scenario, you might even need to replace flooring and cabinetry!

One thing that happens more often than you would think is children who flush toys, books, stuffed animals, or Mommy’s makeup bag down the commode. As funny as that sounds, it’s a serious problem that can cause major damage.

Educate Little Jenny as soon as she is old enough to use the toilet alone. Make sure that she understands that it’s very, very naughty to to flush away Teddy Bear. And if she flushes away Teddy he won’t ever be able to play with her again.

3-”SAFE TO FLUSH” ITEMS…THAT REALLY AREN’Tsafe-to-flush-items-that-really-arent

Items are often marked “safe to flush,” “bio-degradable,” or “septic safe” when they are…but, really they aren’t.

The two items topping this list are hygiene wipes and tampons. Both are labelled as safe to flush. These items are technically bio-degradable. Yes, they will break down…over time. However, they take a much greater time to break down than plain old toilet tissue. In addition, they are heavier in weight than toilet tissue. This means that they can get caught in bends of pipes and stuck there due to their heavier weight.

Therefore, don’t flush tampons, hygiene wipes, or baby wipes down the toilet. You are simply asking for trouble…and a major flood…in the not too distant future.

In short, don’t flush anything other than toilet tissue down your toilet.


The bathroom sink provides a perfect storm for clogs. Their cause is most frequently build up of hair in the sink. We stand by the sink, in the bathroom mirror, to primp and prep for the day. This is place where we brush and style hair, tweeze eyebrows, trim mustaches and beards.

Stray hairs are usually swished down the sink without a care. This is a huge mistake. Over a period of months, these tiny amounts of hair accumulate down the line. This is usually an accumulation in the trap under the sink. This can cause a big clog, and it can happen rather quickly!

Instead of swishing this hair down the drain, take a piece of tissue and wipe it out. Dispose of it in the trash can.

Following these easy tips can save you the aggravation of a clog and maybe even the cost of a plumber!


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