Ottawa homes are as unique as the families that reside within them, but most Ottawa homes are going to experience the same plumbing issues. Clogged drains are incredibly common, and there are several ways clogs can happen. Blockages aren’t always serious, but sometimes you are going to need to call in a professional plumber for help. 


Below, we have a list of reasons why Ottawa resident’s drains get clogged, followed with ways to solve those clogs. Learning how to prevent clogs or how to fix them easily can help save you time and money. 


Common Reasons Ottawa Drains Get Clogged and Their Solutions

Clogs will often consist of a number of things instead of one problem, but most often consist of the following substances:


  • Soap 
  • Oil, grease, and fat
  • Hair 
  • Dirt 
  • Wads of toilet paper
  • Wipes and diapers
  • Food waste
  • Feminine products
  • Tree roots, plants, and leaves
  • Mineral build-up
  • Accidentally flushed objects 


Relevant: How to Unclog a Bathroom Sink


Now let’s go into detail about these things that clogs drains and ways to solve the issue. 


1. Soap

The residue from soap, fittingly called “soap scum,” will accumulate in the shower, bathroom, and laundry drains. The residue will constrict the diameter of the pipeline, making it more difficult for waste water to pass through. Then, other materials stick to the soap scum, clogging the pipe further. 


To stop soap scum, try swapping to soap-free solutions. You can also use pressure cleaning to remove built up soap from pipes. 


2. Oil, Grease, and Fat

Like soap scum, a mixture of grease, oil, and fat pose a serious threat to the plumbing system. Simply running hot water while pouring grease down the kitchen sink isn’t going to help. Over time, the oils and fats will solidify along the pipe, clogging it. 


Throw away any and all grease. You can do this by wiping up small amounts with a paper towel. Larger amounts should be poured into a jar or can then tossed into the garbage. 


3. Hair

Whether it’s human hair, animal fur, or even something stringy, like dental floss, the risk for clogging is the same. Stringy things can knot up and combine with other substances, such as oils, grease, and soup. Stubborn clogs often contain dense tangles of hair, especially in sinks, tubs, and sinks. 


To prevent hair from clogging drains, make sure you are using a drain guard. This will stop hair from going down the drain. Clean it regularly. 


If you believe hair is congesting the drain, a plunger works well. You can also try a mixture of vinegar and baking soda to clean scum from the drain. If the clog is stubborn, get a plumber’s snake to dislodge it. 


4. Dirt

Many homeowners think that they can wash dirt down the drain without any problems. The bad news is that dirt builds up, especially when mixed with soap scum, grease, oil, and food particles. 


Try to rinse mud and dirt from your skin with a hose outside or brush it off into a garbage bin before washing your hands. 


When a clog is made of dirt and other substances, the best solution is using an auger, drain cleaner, or plunging. Each one is effective. 


5. Wipes and Diapers

The only things that should ever be flushed down a toilet is human waste and toilet paper. Anything else, such as wipes and baby diapers, are far too dense and will cause blockages. Even quilted toilet paper will cause clogs when used excessively. 


Dispose of wipes and diapers in the trash can. If you accidentally flush either of these items, you may have to plunge it loose. 


6. Mineral Build-Up

Is the water hard where you live? Then the possibility of your drains getting clogged by excess minerals is high. Those built up minerals will congest the pipes, similar to soap scum and oils. 


The best way to circumvent mineral build-up is to install a water softener. If build-up has already set in, a professional plumber will be able to descale them. 


7. Food Waste

For those with garbage disposals installed in the kitchen sink, food waste clogs are all the more prevalent. You wouldn’t think so, but the reality is that people overestimated the power of the garburator. Bones, coffee grounds, and tea leaves should never be ground up with the garbage disposal, since they don’t break down well. 


Call in a professional to detach the garbage disposal, inspect and clean it regularly. Also, try to avoid putting too much food waste down the drain, even if you have a powerful garbage disposal. 


8. Feminine Products

Feminine hygiene products are far too thick and absorbent to go down a drain. They aren’t made to break down like toilet paper, either. Tampons are often the culprit, because they can swell beyond their initial size. Never flush them. 


Clogs caused by flushed feminine products can sometimes be removed by a plunger or auger, but the thicker the clog, the more necessary a call to the plumber becomes. 


9. Tree Roots

One tiny crack with running water is going to draw in tree roots like moths to light. Once the roots get inside the pipe, they will grow, becoming more and more of an obstruction. 


There is little you can do to prevent trees from seeking out water. The best prevention and solution is to call in a professional. Have the plumber survey your pipes for blockages. Should they find one, they will be able to fix the problem, though that sometimes means expensive excavation. 


10. Accidentally Flushed Objects

Small objects sometimes accidentally fall into the toilet bowl or down the sink when the guard isn’t in place, especially if we’re talking about children’s toys. Those small objects could get stuck in the line and cause clogging. 


Try to educate your children not to play near the sink and toilet. Also, try not to flush anything that isn’t human waste or toilet paper. Protect any openings to the drain with guards and plugs. 


Should a small object get lodged in the drain pipe, you may need to call in a professional. They will have the right tools to dislodge the item. Plunging may not be effective. 


Final Thoughts on Clogged Drains

Clogged drains are incredibly common, but they can also be easily fixed. Knowing the causes can help you keep an eye out for problems before they worsen. As soon as you hear gurgling or find that there is some backup, it is time to try some of the solutions we have listed. If most fixtures in your house are acting up, however, that could mean the problem has already outgrown plunging. You will need a professional plumber that offers drain services to help.