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Peaden Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical Blog

What’s Clogging My Drain? A Guide to Common Obstructions


If we surveyed a hundred homeowners about the most common and irritating problem they encounter with their plumbing, we imagine that 80% would say “clogged or slow drains.” Everyone has run into this plumbing nuisance at one time or another, and there’s no single method to effectively unclog any blocked drain. Often, it takes professionals using equipment like drain cameras and hydro-jetters to open up an obstructed drain.

What is currently clogging up your drain? You might have an idea, but below we’ll list the most common types of drain obstructions so you’ll know what you’re facing.

Common Drain Obstructions

Soap Scum

Soap scum is a frequent culprit behind slow and clogged drains, especially in bathrooms. When soap mixes with the minerals in water, it creates a sticky residue that can adhere to the walls of pipes. Over time, this residue builds up, narrowing the passageway and trapping other debris, which leads to blockages. Regular cleaning and using water softeners can help reduce soap scum accumulation.


Hair is another common drain obstruction, particularly in showers and sinks. It easily binds with soap scum and other sticky substances to form dense clogs that are difficult to remove. Hair catchers and regular maintenance can prevent hair from creating a tangled mess inside your pipes.

F.O.G. (Fats, Oils, Grease)

Fats, oils, and grease, collectively known as F.O.G., are notorious for causing severe blockages in kitchen drains. These substances might be liquid when hot, but they solidify as they cool, coating the inside of pipes and trapping food particles. Avoid pouring grease down the drain and dispose of it in a container instead.

Mineral Deposits

In areas with hard water, mineral deposits can gradually build up inside pipes, reducing their diameter and causing slow drainage. This buildup can become quite hard and is difficult to remove without professional help. Installing a water softener can minimize mineral deposits and prolong the life of your plumbing.

Dropped Objects

Accidentally dropping small objects like jewelry, bottle caps, or toys into drains can cause immediate and stubborn clogs. These objects create a physical barrier that can trap other debris, leading to a complete blockage. Using drain covers and being cautious around sinks can prevent these incidents.

Taking Action Against Clogs

No matter what type of obstruction you’re facing—and you may not know what it is at first—that best first choice to tackle it is to use a basic plunger. Sometimes this can dislodge simple obstructions; but if the clog quickly comes back, you may wish to consult a professional plumber. Next, you can try simple drain snakes, which can sometimes break apart or remove obstacles. 

If these tactics don’t work, leave the chemical drain cleaners on the shelf, as they can often cause harm to the drain and don’t offer long-lasting solutions. Instead, call the Peaden pros for professional drain cleaning in Mobile, AL. We use the best technology and modern practices to truly clean drains so it’s difficult for any type of clog to come back.

Call today to discover The Peaden Way: Service Is Our Passion, Safety Is Our Priority, Satisfaction Is Our Promise.

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