If you find that one or more of your drains keep clogging and you are making repeat calls to a plumber, there's a chance that your problem is something a little more complicated than a simple drain clog. Plumbing issues can be difficult to diagnose when you can't see most of what you're working with, but for repeat clogging issues, here are three common causes and how your next service call may finally be your last.
Too Much Hair or Gunk
Clearing a drain clog is only effective if you also are able to stop whatever caused the clog in the first place. This is most commonly hair or other materials like soaps, body washes, or oils being sent down the drain that collect in places like the P trap. If you find that you commonly need to ask a plumber to clear these types of clogs, there are a few preventative steps you can take.
Apart from being more careful about what you send down the drain, you can also ask your plumber to install special screens, catches, or traps in the drains themselves that are designed to catch most of these materials or chemicals before they can get lodged in your pipes. This makes it much easier to resolve slowing drainage by cleaning the screens rather than having to dig deep into the pipes to remove any blocks.
You can also regularly use drain-clearing chemical solutions on a regular basis to prevent problems from building up, and you can make sure you use pipe-safe solutions so this doesn't cause any long-term damage to your pipes. Ask your plumber what solutions are safe to use in the types of pipes you have installed.
A Deep Clog
If you find yourself constantly clearing the same drains, it's possible that the actual problem may be somewhere deeper down. A deeper clog can occur where multiple smaller drain pipes meet, such as a bathtub, bathroom sink, and washing machine. When this occurs, water can back up in the lowest-lying drain first—in most cases, a bathtub—even if there is no clog in your bathtub's drain.
To fix deep clogs, plumbers will use a "snake," which is a much longer drain-clearing tool designed to travel far down into the pipes and dislodge whatever is clogging the pipe. Deep clogs are harder to find because they aren't immediately noticeable; some water will drain and everything will seem fine because it takes some time for the water to back up. If your clogs keep happening in the same drains even though it seems like they shouldn't be, ask a plumber to check for a clog deeper down in your pipes.
Drain Vents Are Clogged
A rarer problem that can cause the illusion of clogs is a blockage in your pipes' vents themselves. The vents are installed to prevent air pressure from building up in the pipes. When this happens, your drains may go more slowly even if the pipes below are completely clear. This can often give the illusion of clogged or partially clogged that can have you trying to repeatedly clear drains that are already perfectly fine.
It can be a challenge to find where your vents are and even more difficult to clean them, so ask drain cleaning services for help. He may also be able to tell you if there's anything you can do to protect your vents in the future, such as installing a grate to prevent any debris from falling inside to clog them.