Drain cleaning services are easily the most common service call from customers. Our plumbing technicians have an arsenal of specialized hand augers, cable machines (aka, snakes), and jetter machines to clear a clogged drain. 

An ounce of prevention can save you from the nuisance and potentially expensive experience of backed-up drains. In addition to a sewer maintenance program to identify problems in the early stage, we've listed below the common causes of sewer clogs and how to prevent them.

Clearing a drain with the sewer cable machine

Drain Clog Prevention

Wipes removed from sewer drain line

The common causes of a clogged sewer line

  • Flushable wipesAs the use of "flushable" wipes have gained in popularity and use over the past decade, its become evident that "flushable" is misleading; just because it can, doesn't mean it should. Especially if your drains are draining slowly, which may indicate you already have a partial blockage. When those wipes enter the drain line, they will compact over time, creating a full clog. Flushing wipes can lead to a lengthy, labor-intensive service call. 

  • Flushing other hygiene products-  Similar to flushable wipes, other hygiene products like Q-tips or feminine hygiene products are not meant to be flushed down the toilet. Tissues and paper towels are other common products that cause problems since they are designed not to break down. 

  • Improper use of garbage disposals- Improper use of your garbage disposal can contribute to a build-up in the main line. A garbage disposal should only be used for small amounts of scraps. Garbage disposals are only meant for biodegradable materials. The grinder chops it up into manageable sizes then disposes of it properly. Potato peels, eggshells and coffee grounds are some of the main culprits.

  • Greases and fats- If you pour hot grease down your drain, you may not realize that the hot liquid will immediately solidify once it hits your cold pipes, creating a grease blockage. Grease blockages can be tough to clear out, and most of the time, they have to be jetted out. Grease from cooking in a residential setting should be captured, cooled, and thrown into the bin. Large scale kitchens, such as restaurants, need to utilize a grease trap according to state and local plumbing code. 

  • Tree-root intrusion: Clay pipe was the standard pipe material for many years. Clay is susceptible to deterioration over time due to the nature of the material. Roots grow through the openings and expand, damaging the piping. Roots can also grow through partially collapsed pipe or rotted cast iron. If a sewer line has a large root blockage, the sanitary system will shut down and the situation becomes an emergency situation very quickly.

Even with the best of prevention and despite a regimented maintenance program, clogs do happen. When you notice a drain draining slowly, its best to act early and quickly. If you find yourself in this situation, we have drain specialist with the tools and knowledge ready to assist you.