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Common Causes of Drain Clogs

Do you suspect you’re dealing with clogged drains and pipes in your home? If you answered yes, take some small solace in the knowledge that you’re certainly not alone: one of the most common problems that professional plumbers like those at Snyder Air Conditioning, Plumbing, and Electric deal with are drains that have become completely clogged. 

Just because clogged drains are a typical occurrence, though, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take them seriously. Water that gets blocked up in your pipes due to a clogged drain can eventually cause you a slew of problems: flooded basements, reduced water pressure, and completely backed-up pipes are just a few that come to mind. 

Doesn’t sound fun, right? 

Luckily, there are plenty of tips you can follow to prevent the headaches that come with a clogged drain in your home. And for your convenience, the plumbing pros at Snyder Air Conditioning, Plumbing, and Electric have put together a list of the biggest tips to keep in mind to help you keep clogged pipes at bay for as long as possible. 

If you’re a homeowner living in and around the Southwest Florida community, then read on to discover the most common causes of clogged drains and the best ways to prevent them!

Cause #1: Residue Left Behind by Soap

The bar of soap you use in the shower leaves behind a little bit of residue every time you use it. That residue often finds its way into your drain. When this happens, nasty scum starts accumulating in your drain from soap residue that’s been left behind. 

Now, we’re not saying that you need to stop using your soap bar in the shower. What we may be so bold to suggest, though, is that you find a different variety of bar soap to start using. 

Although your preferred brand of bar soap may smell great and leave you feeling fresh and clean, it may also be contributing to a clogged shower drain. Lots of bar soaps build up a small film on your hands when you use it to clean yourself, and this same film often makes its way into your drain. 

This film is responsible for the buildup of scum that we commonly see. If you know you’re dealing with a shower drain that seems clogged, the type of soap you use may be a factor. 

We recommend that you switch to liquid soap to prevent soap scum from clogging your shower drain and potentially causing your home’s plumbing pipes to clog. Liquid soap doesn’t create the same kind of thin film on your hands that bar soap does, and it doesn’t leave behind any gross scum in your shower drain, either. Plus, liquid soap doesn’t make the bottom of your shower floor slippery — no more cause for concern that you’ll slip and fall when getting in and out of the shower! 

If you’re dead-set on sticking with a brand of bar soap you love, we suggest that you regularly clean your shower drain to reduce the risk of backed-up pipes. If you’re not sure how to do this yourself, the pros at Snyder Air Conditioning, Plumbing, and Electric are happy to lend a hand to keep water freely flowing through your drain!

Cause #2: Fats and Food Oil

We as U.S. homeowners are spoiled in that most of us have a garbage disposal readily available in our kitchens. Americans love using their garbage disposal, especially after they come home from work and don’t feel like washing lots of pots and pans after making dinner. 

In fact, many of us often get rid of waste left behind in the sink by simply dumping it all down the sink drain! After all, that’s much easier than putting your leftover bits of food and waste into the trash bag and throwing it out yourself. 

But before you push the garbage disposal button and say goodbye to food leftover in the sink, you should know about the things you should NEVER dump down the drain. Always resist the urge to get rid of fats, greasy food, and oil left behind from your last meal by putting it down your garbage disposal. Dumping this stuff down the sink drain is simply asking to back up your water flow and cause problems with your plumbing.

Why is this the case, you may ask? Well, for starters, things like food oil, fats, and even bigger pieces of leftover food don’t get broken up properly by your garbage disposal. Instead, they either get lodged somewhere down your drain or harden completely and prevent your water from flowing normally. Be particularly careful about putting fats and oils down your drain since, once they’re down there, they’ll likely stay there permanently and never get broken up into smaller particles.

So, if you can’t dump your cooking oils and fats down the drain and get rid of them with your disposal, what do you do with them instead? Easy: throw them into a heat- and melt-proof container, let them harden, and then simply wipe down your container with a dry towel or cloth. And don’t forget to throw all that junk away afterward!

Cause #3: Mud, Dirt, and Debris

Coming inside from a long day spent ankle deep in the dirt? Whether you’ve been playing sports, mowing your lawn, or simply taking a stroll along a nature path, you’re likely going to track dirt, debris, and mud inside your home. And where is all that gunk going to go if you don’t wipe it off your shoes before hopping into the shower? You guessed it: right down the shower drain. 

Always get into the habit of shaking off debris from your shoes after spending a lot of time outdoors. It’s impossible, of course, to get every bit of dirt off your feet before you head into the shower, but you can still do your best — otherwise, you’re eventually going to have a shower drain that’s full of mud and muck on your hands.

Keep in mind that when you track in mud, you’re probably also bringing things like weeds and pebbles with you as well. Weeds and pebbles stick to the mud on your shoes, and they can sometimes find their way into your shower drain. 

If these weeds and pebbles get into your drain, they’re probably going to lodge themselves in your pipes and cause your pipes to get backed up. Not only that, they can even cause damage to the inside of your plumbing pipes if they’re lodged for long enough. 

If you think you’ve gotten pebbles and weeds lodged in your shower pipes after spending time outside, you may want to contact plumbing pros like those at Snyder Air Conditioning, Plumbing, and Electric to try and flush out your shower drain. Otherwise, it’s only a matter of time until all of the mud and dirt you’ve tracked into your shower causes you serious plumbing issues that can’t be fixed overnight.

Cause #4: Hair

Ah yes, hair — this cause for clogged drains is probably the one that most frequently comes to mind when talking about backed-up plumbing pipes. Hair that’s become tangled around a drain is one of the most common culprits responsible for backed-up plumbing pipes; thankfully, it’s also incredibly easy to prevent hair from clogging your drain

If you or someone in your family has long or curly hair that’s likely to tangle itself around a drain, then we highly recommend that you invest in a drain cover to keep hair at bay. Drain covers are cheap, easy to find, and even easier to dispose of once they’ve gotten too dirty to keep using. You can purchase drain covers at your closest hardware store and get them set up around your drain in just a couple of minutes. 

Cause #5: Toilet Paper

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention things that clog your toilet, too. It’s surprisingly common for too much toilet paper to clog up a toilet — a clogged toilet can’t flush very well, and a toilet that doesn’t flush very well leads to backed-up pipes and overflowing!

An easy way to prevent clogged toilets due to toilet paper is to simply, well, use less toilet paper. Be more conservative when it comes to using toilet paper after you’ve done your duty in the bathroom and try to only flush as much as your toilet can reliably break down. Toilets can only break down so much toilet paper at a time, and if you try to flush too much paper at once, your toilet paper will clump up and get lodged inside of your toilet.

Still Experiencing Drain Problems? The Team at Snyder Air Conditioning, Plumbing, and Electric Is Here To Help

Although we haven’t listed every cause for a clogged drain, we’ve tried to cover the most common causes we see on a day-to-day basis. So, if you’re still experiencing problems with a clogged drain, it may be time to give us a call

If you’re living in or around Jacksonville, Florida, the plumbing pros at Snyder Air Conditioning, Plumbing, and Electric are ready to put their more than 40 years of experience to work for you. We’ll inspect the drains in your home to quickly get to the bottom of what’s causing your problems and offer solutions to your issues.

Need to schedule an appointment with us or learn more about how we can help? Give us a call today at (904) 877-9836!

where you’ll find snyder

Snyder Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electric serves families across Florida. You'll find our technicians are just a short phone call away in neighborhoods throughout these counties:


  • Alachua
  • Baker
  • Clay
  • Duval
  • Flagler
  • Nassau
  • St. Johns


  • Broward
  • Martin
  • Miami-Dade
  • Palm Beach
  • St. Lucie

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