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How to Deal With a Clogged Drain: Mississauga Homeowner's Guide

Early in 2020, the spread of the coronavirus led to a toilet paper shortage in a number of nations. Some people who couldn't get their hands on a roll turned to other materials, like "flushable" wipes, baby wipes, paper towels, and more.

Unfortunately, this also led to a spike in Mississauga clogged drains calls as homeowners became more desperate for a toilet paper alternative. Some areas even put out desperate pleas to residents to only flush toilet paper down their drains.

While toilet paper may no longer be in short supply, there are plenty of other things that can lead to clogged drains throughout your home. Whether in your kitchen, bathroom, or elsewhere, dealing with a drain cleaning can be frustrating, time-consuming, and sometimes gross.

Before you can figure out how to fix a drain clog issue, you'll want to get to the root of your problem. Keep reading to learn what might be causing your clogged drain in Mississauga.

Figuring Out the Root of Your Clogged Drain

The reason your drain is clogged will affect how you go about fixing it. In some cases, clogs may be as easy to fix as simply flushing some liquid down the line. However, we do not recommend this, not only are these chemicals really bad for the environment, these corrosive chemicals are also very bad for your pipes. In others, more extensive work might be required.

Bathroom Drains

Clogged bathroom drains are an unpleasant, but unfortunately common problem. Odds are you've dealt with a slow-draining or totally blocked drain at least once or twice before.

Unlike the drains in your kitchen or perhaps from your basement floor, it's almost impossible to stop things from going down your bathroom drain.

Hair poses the biggest issue in bathroom drains. Even a small amount of hair can become a blockage. That's because as the hair gets caught, soap and other residue going down the drain can turn that hair into a major blockage.

While you can put down traps to help catch hair before it goes down your drain, even this may not be enough to catch every strand.

Besides your tub, shower and sink, we also have to consider that other drain — your toilet. It might not clog as often as your bathtub or sink drain, but it can still happen. This is especially true if you flush things you shouldn't.

From kids flushing toys down the drain to soft wet wipes, flushing anything but toilet paper down your toilet is a big mistake and can lead to a clog. If you have a septic tank, you need to be even more careful about what you're flushing.

Whatever you do, make sure that you and any visitors are never flushing anything but toilet paper down the drain.

Kitchen Drains

Kitchen drains may be even easier to clog than your bathroom drains. This is especially true if you love to cook.

Many common kitchen ingredients can cause a major jam when they go down your drain, even if you have a garbage disposal.

In your kitchen, common foods that you should properly dispose of include:

  • Cooking oils, including olive oil and salad dressing

  • Grease

  • Coffee grounds

  • Eggshells

  • Butter or margarine

  • Flour

  • Rice or pasta

  • Chicken or other animal bones

  • Potato peels

  • Seeds

  • Produce stickers

  • Raw meat

Floor Drains

Having a drain in the floor of your basement or garage is great for helping get rid of moisture that gets into your basement. It can also help make cleanup easy after working on projects.

Unfortunately, floor drains can become a catch-all for a variety of things that shouldn't be going down them. From paint, sawdust, and other byproducts of DIY projects to hair, dust, and other debris, if you're rinsing your floors often, sooner or later you'll wind up with a clog.

Outside Causes of a Clogged Drain

Sometimes the cause of your clogged drain isn't something that you've rinsed or flushed.

Tree roots can also lead to a backed-up drain. Spreading roots can damage pipes and force their way inside. As the tree or other plant continues to grow, these roots continue forcing their way into your pipes.

Over time, this will misalign your drain pipe and keep water from flowing. It can also cause water to be re-routed into your yard instead of continuing to the sewers.

Either way, this will cause your drains to begin running slow and can cause water to begin backing up in your tubs, sinks, or on the floor.

Sometimes it doesn't take roots to damage your pipes. Old pipes may begin to disintegrate over time. They can also become clogged with mineral deposits left behind by years of water flowing through them.

If your yard has had water damage, it can also shift your pipes. If they are no longer properly angled to allow water to flow downhill, this can cause your pipes to back up as well.

How to Unclog a Drain

Unclogging a drain is harder than clogging one. What is clogging your drain, and how bad the clog is, will affect how you should go about clearing it.

Drain cleaners are sold at most grocery and hardware stores. Most promise to quickly and effectively unclog your drains, even when there's a serious blockage.

However, many of these can also damage your pipes and drains.

Besides containing toxic chemicals you shouldn't handle on your own, they can also gnaw through your pipes, leaving them thin and even more prone to damage.

A drain snake can sometimes help dislodge whatever is blocking your drain. But if the snake won't go down the drain, don't force it. It could mean that you're facing a very big blockage or using the wrong sized snake.

If the source of your clogged drain is tree roots or damaged pipes, you won't be able to do much on your own either.

In either case, it's best to call in the professionals to deal with your clogged drains and get them flowing smoothly again.

Choosing the Right Mississauga Plumbers

When it comes time to call a plumber, make sure that you're choosing the right one for the job.

The last thing you want to do when you're facing a drain emergency is to get a plumber that isn't equipped to handle whatever is causing your mess.

Look for plumbers that don't merely treat interior clogs, but who can also help with tree roots or other pipe damage around the home.

Preventing a Drain Clog in the Future

Once you cleared out your clogged drain, it's a good idea to make sure that you aren't doing the same things that clogged it in the first place.

Stopping a Bathroom Clog

In your bathroom, stopping as much hair as possible from going down your drains is a great start. Luckily, there are tons of devices that can help with that.

From mesh covers to strainers, these are designed to catch hair as the water washes it towards your drain. You will have to clean these out often to make sure that they remain effective.

If you don't want to add one of these devices, or you just want to help reduce the amount of hair that goes into them, you can also brush your hair before you bathe or shower.

This will help pull out any loose strands, so they don't wind up in your drain.

Stopping a Kitchen Clog

With a little care, it's even easier to stop your kitchen drain from clogging. All you have to do is stop rinsing food down the drain.

The foods listed above are the most important ones to stop flushing down the sink. But if you know that you'll have trouble remembering which ones are okay to flush and which ones aren't, the best thing you can do is stop flushing any food at all.

Instead, scrape plates and bowls, and dump leftovers into the garbage instead.

If you don't have a garbage disposal, you shouldn't rinse any food or scraps down the sink.

If you do have one, make sure to run the garbage disposal often. This will help break down large pieces of food so that they are more likely to go down the drain easily and without getting stuck.

Whatever you do, never flush liquids like oils or grease down your drain. While it might seem like they would flow easily, the opposite is true.

As soon as they reach room temperature, these will become less liquid and more solid, causing a messy, stinky blockage in your drains that can be very difficult to clear.

Rather than pouring them down the drain, learn how to properly dispose of grease and oils. One good method is by pouring them into a container that you can then throw away. Old coffee cans or an empty plastic bottle are a great choice.

You can also learn how to clean and re-use oils, fats and grease, saving both your drains and some money!

Stopping a Clogged Floor Drain

Perhaps the easiest kind of drain to keep from clogging are floor drains.

Before you use them to drain away the water used to clean your floors, take the time to sweep or vacuum your floors.

Also, remember to never use your floor drains to dump paint or other household materials.

Other Ways to Stop Your Drains and Pipes from Clogging

Concerning your home’s exterior, there are a few things you can do to prevent damage to your pipes.

First, avoid planting trees or shrubs that are known for their big, expansive root systems. If you do want to plant, locate your pipes in your yard and try to plant as far from them as possible.

If you know that your pipes are old, it's a good idea to get them replaced or at least inspected before damage has a chance to occur.

Even a small leak in your pipes can lead to a big problem more quickly than you might think. As soon as you know that there is a problem somewhere in your pipes, get it fixed as quickly as possible.

When it comes time to replace or add pipes and drains to your home, double-check with a professional to make sure that they are the right size. Adding too small of a drain or pipe can keep water from draining properly.

Having your drains cleaned regularly by a professional is also a great way to stop clogs before they can happen. This can also help you fight back against mineral scale forming in your drains.

Dealing with a Clogged Drain Mississauga

Whether it's in your bathroom, kitchen, or elsewhere in your home, a clogged drain can be a major problem.

It might mean not being able to shower or use a sink. Or it could lead to water backing up into your home, which can, in turn, cause even more damage.

If you're dealing with a clogged drain in Mississauga, we can help.

Contact our trusted Mississauga plumbers today for help with an emergency or to schedule a visit to have your drains flushed and cleaned!