Anatomy of a drain clog

Anatomy of a drain clog

Anatomy of a drain clog

No one likes dealing with a clogged drain. A slowly draining sink or bathtub might be the first indication that you have a drain clog. It’s tempting to want to send a bottle of liquid drain opener down the pipe and hope that it goes away.

But it doesn’t. The caustic chemicals that sit in your drain might remove the drain clog, but they can also damage your plumbing. If you have a septic system, they can also damage your septic tank, and ultimately your drain field.

Over time, repeated use of chemical drain cleaners can corrode the drainpipe to the point that replacement is your only remedy. Pipe replacement – especially if your drains are located in walls or crawl spaces – is expensive, messy and time-consuming. It’s rarely a do-it-yourself job. The caustic chemicals don’t always work because they don’t always address the problem.

What exactly is in a drain clog?

What exactly is a drain clog made of? In part, they’re usually made from the things you send down the drain. In bathrooms, hair and soap scum are major components of drain clogs. Hair is thin and can wrap around structures in the drain. A single hair can catch other hairs to form a growing obstruction. Soap remnants and soap scum can get caught the growing mass of hair. The soap acts as a binder.

And then there’s the stuff that grows in the drain. Organic films grow and thrive in drains. They eat soap, hair and other organic matter, and they also contribute to the problem.

Organic matter isn’t the only problem that occurs in your drains. Water contains inorganic matter – minerals – that build up in the drain. Over time, they form a hard, rock-like coating that slowly but surely closes down the inside diameter of the drain. Left alone, the minerals (which are especially present in hard water) can completely obstruct the drain. It’s as though someone poured cement down your pipes!

Regular drain maintenance, cleaning and inspection can prevent all of these problems. Regular cleaning and inspection by trained professionals can eliminate both organic and mineral deposits before they impact the performance of the drain. Our staff of experts can clear drains with high-powered water jets that eliminate obstructions safely and without damaging your pipes.

We can also perform a video inspection of your sewer or septic connections to spot and remove soft clogs that can prevent your drains from working. Our video inspections can also identify and precisely locate tree root intrusions, collapses or other more serious drain problems.

Annual drain cleanings and inspections can prevent more serious drain problems in the future. Give us a call at Jasco Rooter at (330)262-2564 to schedule your annual drain cleaning today.

Photo Credit: Mike Simpson, via Flickr

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