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Why Are My Drains Clogged — And What Can I Do About It?

You likely give very little thought to your home’s plumbing system and drains until they’re not working as they should. Small clogs festering in your pipes can build up over time, leading to more significant blockages that can cause issues like slow water drainage, eventual corrosion, flooding, and even sewage backup; all of which can be costly to fix. Knowing some of the most common causes of clogged drains is the first step to preventing them, so let’s do a quick rundown of the top offenders and what, if anything, you can do about them.


It doesn’t take long for hair to build up in your shower or bathtub drain, leading to clogs that prevent the bathtub from draining properly. To make matters worse, hair tends to bind with body oils and other substances.

The fix: Install a hair catcher on your drain to prevent hair from getting in your pipes to start with.


It seems counterintuitive, but soaps made from fat or grease bases can combine with minerals in the water, leaving behind a hard residue called soap scum. Soap scum clogs pipes and stains your bathroom fixtures.

The fix: Buy soap-free washes and call on your local lumber to pressure clean your pipes regularly.

Food Waste

Food that ends up in the kitchen sink invariably ends up in the kitchen sink drain. Coffee grounds and grease are among the worst when it comes to clogging your drains.

The fix: Use a snake or auger to attempt to remove the clog. Your plumber may need to be called out for help. In the future, use your garbage disposal for kitchen food waste. If you don’t have one, then think about starting a compost bin.

Baby or “Flushable” Wipes

These products should never be flushed down the toilet. They’re far too bulky and definitely have the capacity to cause a clog.

The fix: Try plunging or snaking the line to move the blockage through. Call out your plumber if necessary.

Feminine Products

Pads and tampons flushed down the toilet usually cause clogs. Tampons are especially bad to flush since they can absorb up to tenfold their size, increasing the clog’s severity.

The fix: Plunge or auger the toilet to try to remove the clog. If neither works, call on your plumber for professional drain cleaning service.

Cat Litter

Cat litter is made from sand, silica, and clay, making it unsuitable for your pipe system. Never flush it or pour it down the sink as it can cause large clogs in your drain.

The fix: If you have a clog due to cat litter, your plumber has the equipment and skills to resolve it, so give him a call.

If you’re unsure how to perform these fixes on your plumbing, you’re not alone. Trust Cornerstone Services with your plumbing repair and replacement needs.


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