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Performance Plumbing Blog

Plumbing Stoppages and What Causes Them


Plumbing stoppages in St. Peters, MO, are a common problem in many households. They can be a frustrating and inconvenient issue. Picture a clogged sink, a slow-draining bathtub, or a toilet that seems to have a mind of its own. Let’s take a closer look at the world of plumbing stoppages. We’ll explore the common causes behind them and look at effective solutions to keep your pipes flowing smoothly.

Understanding Plumbing Stoppages

Plumbing blockages or clogs occur when there is an obstruction in the pipes that prevents water from flowing freely. These stoppages can happen in various plumbing fixtures, including sinks, toilets, bathtubs, and shower drains. The culprits behind these blockages are diverse. They range from everyday items to more complex issues within the plumbing system.

Common Causes of Plumbing Stoppages

  • One of the main causes of plumbing stoppages is the introduction of foreign objects into the drainage system. Items like hair, soap scum, grease, food particles, and even small objects mistakenly flushed down the toilet can accumulate over time.
  • In outdoor plumbing systems tree roots can infiltrate pipes in search of water. As these roots grow they create blockages by either crushing the pipes or causing debris to accumulate around them.
  • Hard water, rich in minerals like calcium and magnesium, can lead to the accumulation of mineral deposits in pipes. This buildup reduces the diameter of the pipes which restricts water flow and causes stoppages.
  • Structural issues within the plumbing system such as collapsed or damaged pipes can impede water flow. This is often a more severe problem that may require professional intervention to repair or replace affected pipes.

Preventing Plumbing Stoppages

Implementing routine maintenance can help prevent plumbing issues. Regularly cleaning drains of minor blockages can prevent more significant problems from occurring. You can help by avoiding flushing non-flushable items down toilets and disposing of grease and food scraps responsibly. Installing drain strainers in sinks and showers can also help catch hair and debris before they enter the plumbing system.

For homeowners with outdoor plumbing systems, it’s important to be aware of the location of trees and plants in proximity to pipes. Consulting with a professional arborist or plumber can help develop a strategy to manage tree roots and prevent them from causing blockages.

Dealing with Plumbing Stoppages

For minor blockages in sinks and toilets, a plunger can be an effective tool to dislodge the obstruction and restore proper water flow. Commercial drain cleaners can be used to break down organic matter causing blockages. However, caution should be exercised as these chemicals can be harsh and may cause damage to pipes over time.

For more stubborn blockages, a plumbing snake or auger can be used to physically remove the obstruction from the pipes. This is a more thorough and targeted approach, often employed by professional plumbers. In cases of severe blockages, collapsed pipes, or persistent plumbing issues, seeking the expertise of a professional plumber is advisable. They have the tools and knowledge to diagnose and address complex plumbing problems.

Contact Performance Plumbing today for all of your plumbing needs!

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