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One of the most daunting things that any homeowner can face is discovering a clogged drain in their home. While this might not be a massive problem to resolve, it is somewhat aggravating — especially when you’re spending more time in your humble abode and just want the water to drain.

However, there are a few different ways to solve the problem at hand — but, first, you must know what the signs of a clogged drain are:

What are the Signs of a Clogged Drain?

Slow-Draining Water

Picture this: You’re hand-washing your dinner dishes and notice that the water in your sink isn’t draining right away. However, once you turn the faucet off, all of that lingering H2O seems to disappear at a glacial pace. Whether you notice the problem with one drain in your home or a few, you have a clog on your hands.

An Indefinite Clog

Of course, one of the most common signs of a clogged drain is when you turn the water on, and it doesn’t seem to leave your sink basin or bathtub. This, many times, indicates that there is a clog and that no water will pass through. Right now, you may be asking yourself, “how does this happen?” Here are a few reasons why a drain can become slow-draining and/or clogged:

What Causes a Clogged Drain?

Disposing of Cooking Byproducts

After you cook a meal, where do you dispose of the grease (or cooking oil) leftover from your culinary masterpiece? Believe it or not, many pour it right down a nearby drain in their home. While this may seem harmless to do, it’s something that is very serious and could cause some severe drainage issues.

Think about it like this: When you’re cooking and grease forms, it’s a liquid (thanks to the heat of the pan). However, the minute that there is no heat applied to the cooking byproduct, it begins to harden — especially when it comes into contact with your cold drainage pipe.

And, over time, any cooking by-product that hardens on the side of the drain will slowly make the pathway for the water to leave the sink much more narrow — which ultimately creates that dreaded clog. However, to avoid this, you’ll want to pour cooking grease into an old container, let it harden, and discard that container in a nearby garbage can.

Tossing Garbage Down the Drain

On the topic of disposing of the wrong items down your drain, let’s talk about garbage. No, we’re not talking about an old piece of furniture or anything substantial in structure but rather small produce stickers, scraps of paper, and the list goes on. Many times, based on their appearance, homeowners will discard smaller pieces of debris by tossing them down a drain.

While they may seem to fit without a problem, they can either get lodged in the drainpipe or, if they’re sticky, can cling to the side of it, collecting any additional debris that may fall down your drain. In a similar fashion to pouring cooking grease down your drain, the garbage that clings to the pipe can create a narrow opening for H2O and lead to a potential clog.

Therefore, to avoid that clog, you’ll want to consider taking any garbage (no matter how small it may be) and tossing it into a nearby trash receptacle. This will save your drain from a clog and will give you peace of mind knowing that your plumbing is out of harm’s way.

What Causes a Slow Drain?

Obstructions in Multiple Drain Pipes

Do you feel as if there are multiple slow drains in your home? If that’s the case, the issue at hand may be that you have a few clogged drains around your humble abode. Think of it like this: although they’re separated in various parts of your living space, all drain pipes eventually lead to the main sewer line. If any of them have a clog or a pre-existing issue to make them drain slowly, then there’s a chance it will interfere with other drains in your home.

Another thing to consider is that there may be an issue with your main sewer line.

Backed Up Main Sewer Line

Now, if you have been very conscious about what you’re putting down your sink drains and toilet, but still run into having a problem with slow drains, chances are, there’s an issue with your main sewer line: it’s backed up. As it’s known, each drain in your home connects to a “mother” drain called the main sewer line. That said, any contaminants from these drains meet in the main sewer line before they are delivered to your town’s sewer line.

However, if your main sewer line is backed up, anything that has been lingering in there will have no place to go and will cause your drains to back up — which is never an ideal situation. Until the problem at hand is fixed, you’ll encounter abnormalities with the drains in your home.

How Can a Clogged Drain Be Cleared?


One of the best ways to eliminate a clogged drain is to consider having a hydro-jetting service. Similar to the idea of how a pressure washer works outside of your home, this innovative drain technology uses a waster-blasting head that is snaked through a drain to provide a high-powered pressure wash.

Furthermore, this minimally invasive procedure will clear that stubborn clog in no time, and it will help clean out the entire pipe, which will further ensure that you have a problem-free drain in the days to come!


An alternative solution to get to the “root” of the problem is to opt for a rooting service. Dating back as far as 1934, this unclogging method will cut up any debris that has formed inside of your plumbing pipes. The way this works is that a long snake with a motorized blade is inserted in the drain. As it progresses through the pipe, it cuts up anything that may be obstructing the pipe.

Some of the many obstructions rooting can remove are:

  • Grease

  • Hair

  • Dirt

  • Tree roots


Another way to clear a clog is to consider snaking. This simple service uses a retractable, flexible auger (reminiscent of a slender cable) that is gradually inserted into the drain to help remove anything clinging to the walls.

How Can I Keep a Drain Problem-Free?

Avoid Chemical Drain Cleaner

Sometimes, a homeowner’s first instinct is to use a chemical drain cleaner to remove any clogs they may run into. While that may be a quick and easy solution, the long-term effects are less than stellar. Relying on chemical drain cleaner can corrode your plumbing pipes over time and may require them to be replaced — if the problem worsens.

Be Mindful of What You Dispose Of

As mentioned earlier, there are many ways that a drain can clog — but many times, the obstruction is due to disposing of items that should be tossed in a garbage can rather than poked through the holes of the drain opening.

Some of the most common items include:

  • Cotton swabs

  • Produce stickers

  • Cooking grease/oil

  • Hair trimmings

  • Small paper debris

To prevent a problem from happening, it’s essential to be mindful of what you put down your plumbing drains. If you’re not sure if something will fit, then it’s best to dispose of it in your trash can merely.

Learn more about how to keep your drains clog-free!

Los Angeles Plumbing Repair Specialists You Can Trust!

Our experts at Red Lilly Plumbing are here to help with any of your plumbing needs from a clogged pipe to total repair. Contact us today at (323) 319-4102 to book an appointment!
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