5 Signs Your Pipes Are Clogged

5 Signs Your Pipes Are Clogged
crawfordmech May 15, 2023

Dealing with plumbing issues can be stressful and confusing — it’s difficult to tell where the problem is coming from and what causes it. One of the common causes of water issues is pipe clogs, which can be challenging to spot at first. They take time to build up and might not be noticeable until they’re bad. If you’re experiencing issues with your water fixtures, clogs could be the cause.

While you can survey the issue yourself, it’s always best to call in an expert for plumbing problems. They have the experience, tools and knowledge to safely and efficiently identify and fix your clog. If you suspect you’re dealing with a pipe clog, keep reading for certain signs you might have noticed. 

What Causes Pipe Clogs?

Clogged pipes are caused by debris building up inside the pipe. Anything that isn’t water flows down the drain and into the pipes, where it can become stuck. Over time, too much material in your pipe will create a blockage. Blockages stick in place and prevent all the water from flowing through correctly. If left unaddressed, they can damage your pipes and create expensive water and repair bills.

1. Water Pressure and Water Flow Changes

If you notice your water pressure changing and spot impacted water flow, it could be clogged pipes. Rapid changes in water pressure and flow often mean you’ve got a clog in the pipes. Clogs build up in your pipes, eventually becoming large enough to block off a significant portion of the pipe. Once this happens, the water pressure and flow can’t operate normally, and you’ll begin to see changes in your water output.

You shouldn’t have pressure or flow issues in multiple areas unless the clog is deep down the line. While low water pressure can be a sign you need a new water line, significant drops in water pressure and flow are almost always caused by a clog. Breaking it up or removing it should help restore your water pressure and flow. If you can identify where the clog is and inform your plumbing specialist, it will make the issue much easier to solve.

2. Unusual Odors

Smelling unusual odors is one of the first signs of a blockage forming. It’ll smell more unpleasant the longer it sticks around and come from your drain. While there’s no specific clog smell, it’s usually caused by old food or hair that has gotten stuck. If you’re noticing a strange smell coming from your drains, you likely have a blockage beginning to form.

Many blockages are too stuck for at-home remedies. If you’re dealing with highly unpleasant smells from a blockage, it’s time to call in a specialist. Once the blockage has collected enough debris, it’ll become a stubborn clog affecting your water pressure and flow. Look out for unusual smells when using your drains — you want to catch a blockage as early as possible.

3. Backed-Up Drains

Backed-Up Drains

Clogs can quickly cause backed-up drains in your home. You might notice water coming up from your sink while running the dishwasher or muddy water coming from your tub. These are both signs of clogged drains.

If you’re spotting the signs of backed-up drains, you should contact an expert immediately. Backed-up water flowing up shows you have a serious issue on your hands. Backed-up fixtures can cause significant damage to your home if they overflow and leave their fixture. Additionally, backed-up debris can lead to toxic sewage exposure, making your household sick. Call an expert when you notice backed-up water to prevent significant, expensive issues.

4. Increased Water Bills

If you start to notice your water bills increasing out of nowhere, it could be a clog. First, check to make sure the issue isn’t from excess water usage in your household. Look for leaks, too-long showers and open hoses. If you’ve checked all your water usage and can’t find the source of the excess water, it could be a clog.

Once a clog gets too big, it can block lots of water, causing excess pressure on your pipes. With too much pressure, your pipes will crack and allow water to escape. Every time you turn on the fixture to use water, it pushes significant amounts of water out of the crack instead of out of the fixture. Contact an expert once you notice rising water bills with no cause to find the root of the problem.

5. Debris in Your Water

While some debris coming out of your pipes isn’t anything to worry about, regular water debris is another story. If you regularly see gunk and debris coming out of your fixtures, you’ve got a clogged pipe on your hands.

Clogs like this are often caused by improper waste disposal down your drain, so avoid putting food and oil waste into your drains in the future. Get an expert to come out and help you remove the clog so your fixture lines can run clear once again.

What to Avoid Putting Down the Drain

Once a plumbing expert removes your clog, you’ll want to take good care of your drains to avoid this happening again. Repeat clogs and blockages put excess strain on your pipes, leading to increased wear and repair needs. Stay vigilant about keeping debris out of your pipes to help protect them from further damage.

Here are some things you should keep out of your drains:

  • Grease
  • Cooking oils and fats
  • Paper
  • Fruit and vegetable skins
  • Animal bones
  • Stringy food
  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Medication
  • Household cleaners

Hair can cause problem clogs if too much accumulates. Prevent hair clogs by investing in a drain cover that catches hair and try to clean it out regularly. While you can’t prevent all hair from going down the drain, you can reduce the amount that ends up in your pipes.

Choose Crawford Mechanical Services for Your Plumbing Issues

Choose Crawford Mechanical Services for Your Plumbing Issues

Clogs can cause significant headaches and damage — don’t let them get in the way of your water use. With over 25 years of experience serving the greater Columbus, Ohio, area, you can trust us to deliver high-quality, lasting plumbing services every time.

Our family-owned business specializes in residential and commercial plumbing to help you with all your plumbing problems. From pipe clog fixes to water heater servicing, you can trust our team to deliver expert solutions to your plumbing issues.

If you’re dealing with clogged pipes or need assistance with your plumbing, contact us today. Our plumbers have over 40 years of experience — we’ll help you get the services you need when you need them.

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