Estes Plumber performing a drain cleaning

Clogged Drain: Common Causes and How to Fix 

Estes Services 

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Are you encountering a clogged drain in your home? Clogged drains can be an annoying but common occurrence as a homeowner that you have to fix. Some common symptoms are indicative of clogged drains include excessive water build-up in your sinks to smelly odors, which can get worse the longer you delay finding a remedy.

As a homeowner, it's ultimately your responsibility to take care of your piping and fix clogged drains. In fact, according to Policygenius, homeowners insurance doesn't typically cover maintenance issues like clogged pipes.

That's why, in this article, we will discuss the common causes of clogged drains and how to fix them (the right way). It's that Easy; It's Estes!

Clogged Drains Common Causes

At some point or another, almost every homeowner has experienced clogged drains. It comes along with the territory when you're in a busy household. Although it can be prevented with careful use and proper maintenance, it is very common to experience clogged drains, so know that, while it can be embarrassing, you are not alone.

Clogged drains can appear in various locations throughout your home, including in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, outdoor kitchen, etc. There are several common causes of clogged drains, including but not limited to the following;

  • Grease and oil (kitchen)

  • Hair (bathroom)

  • Dirt (bathroom)

  • Food scraps (kitchen)

  • Mineral buildup/soap scum (all)

  • Paper products (bathroom)

  • Tree roots*

As you can see, the most common causes of clogged drains in the kitchen include grease and oil, as well as food scraps. In the bathroom, hair and dirt can wreak havoc on your sink over time, leading to badly clogged drains. In the laundry room, you are likely to encounter mineral buildup from heavy usage of water and soap.

(We have put an asterisk after tree roots in our list because if you are experiencing clogs in multiple drains, this could be indicative of a more serious problem with your plumbing system that may require a sewer line repair.)

If left untreated, a clogged drain not only produces foul odors but it can also put a strain on your plumbing system due to excessive buildup of the substances in the drain. As a result, it's important to have your clogged drains fixed.

It's always best to consult with an expert plumber if you are unsure about what is clogging your home's drains. If the clog is minor, there could be a few simple remedies you could follow at home; however, a DIY approach could cause more issues for your plumbing system if you're not careful, so it's not recommended.

How to Unclog a Drain

There are a few simple and easy solutions to try if you do believe the clogged drain is minor and can be done at the comfort of your own expense. If it's a small clog, you may be able to fix the clogged drain with one of the following remedies:

Boiling Water

You could try to loosen the clog with boiling water. You would have to boil water and pour it slowly down the drain. Repeat as necessary. If you opt to try this, exercise an abundance of caution, as there is a risk for steam burns and scalding. Not to mention, you could be using up a lot of water.

Additionally, you should not use this method if your home has either porcelain sinks or pipes made of PVC, CPVC, or Pex. A porcelain sink could crack from the heat, and such type of PVC, CPVC, or Pex piping cannot sustain the heat and could cause damage to your plumbing system, even making it harder to unclog. Unsure if your piping is made of this material? Then, the boiling water option isn't the right choice for you.


You could try using a plunger in the sink to unclog it, as you would do in a toilet. There are compact sink plungers available on the marketplace. Though, be sure to use the plunger gently, as too much force can damage the piping and create leaks. You don't want to create more problems with a DIY plunger attempt!

Sometimes, it can help to add a bit of dishwashing liquid soap to the clogged water when you're using a plunger. If this doesn't work, it's probably time to try another option or leave it to the professional plumbers to solve.

Drain Snake

Another option is a drain snake. Essentially, you place the snake down the drain until you reach the clog, at which point you would continue pushing the snake handle and rotating it.

Avoid Chemical Drain Cleaners

A word of caution: many homeowners tend to think of chemical drain cleaners, such as liquid drain cleaners, to unclog a drain. These drain cleaners are not recommended, as they contain toxic chemicals that can damage or weaken your home's plumbing pipes. When it comes to these chemical drain cleaning options, don't do it.

It's time to call a professional, which brings us to our last point:

Call a Professional

The easiest and tried-and-true method to unclog a drain and fix it is to call a licensed and trained plumbing professional. While you can attempt other various options yourself, it can be risky, time-consuming, and, not to mention, messy. A licensed and trained Atlanta plumbing professional knows all the steps and tools to effectively and quickly unclog your drain and keep your home plumbing system safe all year long.

Contact Our Drain Cleaning Professionals for Service

Clogged drains are a common household problem, and they can happen to anyone. If you are encountering a clogged drain, don't fret: give our drain cleaning professionals a call today. Don't sacrifice your comfort or allow the problem to fester any further.

Keeping your drains clog-free is your responsibility and an important part of any home maintenance routine. That's why our Plumbing Plan, which is one of our popular Maintenance Membership Plans, provides you with a comprehensive plumbing maintenance check and a cleaning of visible clogs at sink stoppers, starting at just $8.25 a month.

At Estes Services, we understand the importance of clog-free drains. Whether you need a clogged drain fixed today or are looking for a proper maintenance routine to prevent clogs from happening again, we've got you covered.

Since 1949, we have been serving the greater Atlanta area with top-quality service. When you have a clogged drain, give our plumbers a call, or schedule service online. It's that Easy; It's Estes!