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To some, clogged drains can be a rare occurrence. To others, it can be déjà vu over and over again. In fact, even though clogged drains result in similar issues, the cause of the clog can vary. For this reason, a long-lasting fix will differ according to the location and nature of the clog. Here are the most common reasons for a clogged drain and a rundown of how to solve them.

Isolated Events

These are typically cases where something went down the drain that shouldn’t have. In the kitchen, it could be too much grease or a substance such as scraps, coffee grounds or vegetable peels. In the toilet, it could be due to flushing products other than toilet paper. In many cases, these conditions may respond to DIY solutions. For the kitchen sink, hot water and vigorous effort with a sink plunger may dislodge the clog and wash it down the pipe. A toilet clog may be cleared by use of a special toilet plunger—typical sink plungers aren’t effective. If these fail, call a pro.

Trap Matters

Soap scum and hair clot inside the u-shaped trap under a bathroom sink or the tub/shower drain. Hot water usually won’t affect it and a plunger probably won’t push it out of the way. Trap snares, thin flexible plastic rods about 20 inches long, can probe into the trap and extract matted hair and soap. If you’re a handy do-it-yourself type of person, loosen the two large slip nuts located on either side of the trap, remove the trap and clean it out manually. Still having trouble? Call a plumber.

Deeper Issues

Repeated clogs are often the result of sludge accumulation deep inside drain pipes. Sludge is a sticky amalgam of grease, food particles, soap scum, dissolved minerals, and bacteria growth unofficially known as “bio slime.” Sludge accumulation gradually narrows the inside diameter of the pipe until it is completely obstructed. Common methods such as running a consumer-grade drain snake down the pipe may poke a hole in gooey sludge and temporarily restore flow. However, the hole quickly closes again and obstructs proper draining.

Drain unclogging isn’t really the issue. Drain cleaning is needed to remove sludge. Professional plumbing services include hydro-jetting that utilizes high-pressure jets of hot water to scour the inside of pipe surfaces and flush away sludge. Another method, power-rodding, incorporates a snake with powered cutting blades sized to the diameter of the pipe that obliterates sludge accumulation and cleans the pipe.

Do you need a plumber to help with your drain clogs? Arch Plumbing is located in Saint Charles, Missouri and has been in the service business since 2008 providing quality plumbing services.