Know the causes for clogged drains

 

Root Damage:

  • Tree roots growing into the joints or cracks of old sewer pipes in search of the water and nutrients that the sewer pipes carry is one primary cause of root damage. Concrete or clay pipes installed between 1920 and1970 are the usually the most vulnerable to this. They were not always water tight when installed which allows the roots to freely grow into the pipe.
  • Concrete and clay pipes can get crushed by tree roots growing into the sewer pipe causing major separations or by roots encasing the pipe, ultimately crushing it as they grow larger in diameter. Crushed pipes can also be caused by the weight of the soil. Concrete and clay pipes become more brittle as they get older. Erosion from water flow thins the inside of the pipe walls which leaves them very weak.

 

Offset Pipes

Old concrete and clay pipes were installed mostly in 3’ sections. Over many decades of the ground shifting and settling, these pipes can get moved around; and due to the short pipe lengths, they are not always moved in a way that allows good flow from the home to the municipal sewer system. Often times, pipes are moved up, which certainly does not work with a gravity drain system.

 

Soap build up

Soap buildup occurs mostly in secondary drains like showers, lavatories and laundry drains. As the soap is carried down the drain, it will, over time accumulate on the walls of the pipe. Although this happens slowly, the water can back up very suddenly as the drain pipe is reduced in diameter by the buildup.

 

Grease build up

Grease buildup occurs just like soap buildup, only much faster. This occurs mostly in kitchen sink drains. As the grease is carried down the pipe by hot water from rinsing dishes and dishwashers, it is cooled by the vent pipes allowing cold air into the drain system. When the hot grease cools, it sticks to the pipe walls restricting the amount of water the pipe can drain.

 

Are your drains or sewer pipes not flowing or flowing slowly? They may be clogged. Avoid the temptation to use caustic chemicals found in most hardware stores. They are less effective at removing most clogs and over time can add to the damage of older pipes.

We recommend starting with cabling solutions and hydro-jetting for cleaning the build up on the inside of pipe walls.