Clogged Pipes in Plumbing System and What Causes Them

A plumbing system is an integral part of a building because it delivers water and disposes of the waste when we clean ourselves. In turn, any problem with the system can be annoying and inconvenient because of its role in our lives.

Plumbing origin and importance

Plumbing systems are critical for public health and sanitation. Plumbing does not only refer to the piping mechanism in delivering water. It also refers to how wastes such as bath water and anything that goes down the drain is carried to a sewage system. Thus, a sewage system is a part or a subsystem of the plumbing system because they are interconnected.

The system can be consisted of pipes, valves, pumps, meters, and others. Pipes are the most identifiable part of a plumbing system, and coincidentally, plumbing was coined after plumbum – which is Latin word for lead, a common piping material in the Roman era.

Piping problems

Pipes are crucial as it is used to deliver water supply and to remove waste. Pipes get the most problem in the plumbing and sewage system because it is the most widely used.

Blockage or clogs are common problems and can be solved by removing the clog. It can be removed by the traditional snaking method, which is fairly effective. Another method is sewer pipe jetting in Utah and other states, which fall under plumbing services. One of the main causes of blocked pipes in sewer systems is the accumulation of hair.

There are many other things that can cause significant problems in the sewage system, it is as follows:

  1. Hair. As mentioned earlier, it is one of the leading causes of clogs in pipes. We cannot really control hair fall as it can be natural to shed some hair almost every day. What we can control is how we trap and dispose of the hair. Drainages in the shower and bath should have guards to sift flowing water from debris.

Hair caught on the guards should also be properly disposed of. Flushing it down would also create clogs, so it has to be thrown in the trash.

  1. Soap. Traditional bar soaps are made from grease, fat, or tallow. Clumps of soap can combine with minerals in the water and can build up over time, causing a clog.

This can also cause soap scum which stains tiles and bathroom fittings. You can prevent this from happening by using soap-free washes and occasionally cleaning soap buildup by pressure cleaning the pipes through jetting.

  1. Dirt. Clothes and the skin can get dirty, this can also contribute to blockages in pipes if it accumulates. Shake off the dust from clothes before washing, and make sure to wash or wipe off the dirt from the skin before washing in the bath to prevent clogs.
  2. Food waste. This should never go down the kitchen drain even if you have a garbage disposal installed because it can still block pipes. Instead, throw the food waste in a compost pile. Grease or oil should not be disposed of in the drain too, it can solidify and cause clogs.
  3. Toilet paper. Commonly, this waste should be thrown in the trash but it can sometimes find its way in drainage and the toilet. Some toilet papers do not tear easily or do not degrade well which can cause a blockage.
  4. Prescription drugs. Not all medications should be flushed down. Some of them have gel or film coatings that can cause buildup and eventually lead to a blockage. You may dispose of your prescription drugs through take-back programs which varies state to state. Some medicines are specifically labeled with instructions for flushing if take-back options are unavailable.

Fixing clogged pipes

The first step to preventing problems in sewage pipes is knowing which items are safe to go down the drain and which are not. Generally, no waste should pass the drain if it’s meant to be thrown in the garbage bin. But if you suspect that there may be problems with the pipes in the plumbing and sewage system, you better call the professionals to properly assess the problem.

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