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Serving Orange County

- SINCE 1981 -

Serving Orange County

- SINCE 1981 -


Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30-5:30PM
Saturday: 8:00-1:00PM


Saddleback Plumbing Heating & Air Blog

What Is Causing the Clogs in My Drains?


The clogged drain is almost the definition of “household nuisance.” We’ve all dealt with one before, we know we’ll deal with more in the future. The good news is that unclogging drains isn’t difficult—as long as you know the right steps. Use a plunger or a hand-cranked drain snake. If that doesn’t fix the clog, don’t use chemical drain cleaners. Instead, call us for professional plumbing in Ladera Ranch, CA and we will remove the clog, thoroughly, quickly, and without damaging the drainpipes.

But drain clogs aren’t a singular problem—they’re the result of different problems. “What is causing the clogs in my drains?” is the right question to ask, because it goes a long way toward prevention of clogs in the future. So we’ll guide you through the most common sources of drain clogs.


Hair tangles and clots are the most frequent cause of shower and bathroom sink drain clogs. Hair can easily get stuck in the p-trap of a drain, which is the curved section of the drainpipe right below the drain. Once hair gets stuck, it will start to trap more hair, eventually leading to a slow and then stopped drain. Plungers usually won’t do much good, although drain snakes may help a little. The best prevention tool is to place drain strainers into the drains. You can purchase these at most home improvement stores.

FOG (Fats, Oils, Grease)

Now let’s switch over to the kitchen drains, where the big enemy is FOG. This acronym covers the various cooking oils that can end up poured down the drain. FOG is liquid when hot, but when it cools it becomes a tough solid that’s hard to remove. Full drain cleaning with hydro-jetters is usually necessary to get rid of FOG build-up. To help prevent this, take precautions to pour FOG into a separate receptacle, which you can then move to the trash.

Soap Scum

This can affect all drains in the house, although it’s a bigger concern for bathroom drains. Soap scum not only creates potential clogging, it can chemically damage pipe material. Even if you aren’t dealing with regular clogs because of soap scum, regular drain cleaning to remove it can significantly increase the life of your drainpipes.

Hard water deposits

The minerals of hard water leave a flaky yellow scale behind on pipe interiors. (You’ll also notice this on fixtures, which is a warning of hard water trouble.) As this builds up, it will make clogging more frequent, and eventually create high water pressure issues. Removing hard water deposits takes powerful hydro-jetting equipment. We also strongly recommend installing a water softener for your house if hard water deposits are a major problem.

Accidental objects

This is a broad category that covers items that may accidentally fall down drains: children’s toys, toothpaste caps, small electronics, etc. You’ll often need to call a plumber to find out how to remove obstructions like this.

Saddleback Plumbing Heating & Air has served Orange County since 1981. Call us for whatever drain or other plumbing work your house needs.

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