Clogs happens to the best of us. Even with proper maintenance, clogged drains are sometimes unavoidable. So, when a clog does inevitably happen, it’s important to be prepared for how to fix it. However, the solution for fixing the clog could be different depending on what is causing the clog. Below are four of the most common problems that cause plumbing clogs.

Too Much Hair

Hair is an incredibly common bathroom clog especially for long-haired individuals, though it doesn’t seem like a few strands of hair should be a problem. As you comb your hair above a sink or shower, your hair can go down the drain. While a little bit of hair is harmless, strands can get stuck in the pipe and build up over time. When combined with soap scum, it can lead to a massive clog. In fact, when left to fester, a clogged bathroom drain can start to back up in other areas of your home. Even if your bathroom drains are clear, you could experience backup in the kitchen or laundry room.

If you suspect that hair might be clogging your drain, use a hanger or another wire with a hook at the end to try to pull out the obstruction. This will be better than just trying to push the clog out of the way as the clog may end up in other areas of the house. To prevent future hair clogs, collect stray hairs before they can go down the shower drain and comb your hair away from the sink. There are also products that you can put over your shower drain to prevent hair from going into the pipes.

A Buildup of Minerals

If you live in an area with bad hard water, the clog may be due to a mineral buildup. Similar to hair, minerals can build up over time and they will create huge lime deposits. This can be easily avoided by installing a water filter as well as a water softener.

If left unchecked, it can clog more than just your drains, it can lead to a clogged sewer line. If you are dealing with this problem, there are three ways you can go about fixing it. You can try to boil it out, remove the sediment by hand, or call a professional plumber if the problem has gotten serious

Food

Our kitchen sinks can and do handle a lot between food preparations, dish washing, and other cleaning. Despite that, there are certain things you should never put down the kitchen drain, even when you have a garbage disposal. Certain foods such as coffee grounds, egg shells, tea leaves, and starches like potatoes or pasta can cause clogs in the pipes. These clogs can be difficult to get rid of without expert help. Additionally, these foods can even gum up or damage your disposal blades or system.

Miscellaneous Items

There are many things that should never be put down a drain. In fact, there’s too many things to list. The best rule of thumb when you’re deciding if something is safe to put down the drain is to ask yourself if it was made to go down the drain. If the packaging or advertisements don’t state that it should be put down the drain, don’t try to make it go.

Some items that people often think should go down the drain include paper towels, cat litter, cotton balls, and medication. Additionally, many young children try to flush small toys or stickers.

Although a clog is the most common plumbing issue, it can cause an incredible amount of damage to your home. If you notice that you’re dealing with a stubborn clog, it’s usually best to contact a professional plumbing service before it gets too bad.