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Merry Messes: 5 Causes of Clogged Drains During the Holidays

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The holiday season is a time for joy, celebration, and, unfortunately, plumbing problems. One common issue many households face during this festive period is clogged drains. Understanding the causes of clogged drains can help prevent these plumbing mishaps and ensure a smoother holiday season.

In this blog, we will explore five primary causes of clogged drains during the holidays and how Lee’s Air, Plumbing & Heating can help keep your drains running smoothly.

1. Food Waste: The Enemy of Kitchen Sinks

During the holidays, kitchens are bustling with activity, leading to an increase in food waste and cooking by-products. One of the main causes of clogged drains in kitchens is the improper disposal of food scraps, grease, and cooking oil down the sink drain. These substances can solidify within the plumbing system, causing severe drain clogs.


If you want to avoid these issues, it’s crucial to dispose of food waste and grease in the trash can rather than down the sink. This simple practice can significantly reduce the likelihood of clogged drains and the need for costly repairs.

In addition to careful disposal of waste, being mindful of how you use your garbage disposal can also play a crucial role in preventing drain clogs. While garbage disposals are designed to handle small amounts of food waste, they are not equipped to process large quantities or certain types of waste like bones, coffee grounds, or eggshells. Overloading the disposal or putting inappropriate items into it can lead to slow drains, as the waste fails to break down properly and starts to accumulate in the pipes.

Regularly cleaning your garbage disposal and using plenty of water when it’s operating can help maintain its efficiency. If you notice slow drains, it’s a sign that a clog may be forming. Addressing these issues early, either through DIY methods or professional assistance, can prevent more severe clogs and ensure that your drain pipes remain clear and functional.

2. Excessive Toilet Paper and Flushable Wipes: A Toilet’s Nightmare

Toilets are another victim of holiday clogs, mainly due to the overuse of toilet paper and the flushing of items like flushable wipes, feminine hygiene products, and cotton swabs. These materials, especially flushable wipes and feminine hygiene products, do not disintegrate quickly and can lead to clogged toilet drains. Encourage guests to use toilet paper sparingly and provide a bin in the bathroom for non-flushable items.


Now that you know toilet paper and flushable wipes can be what causes drains to clog, it’s time to take action. To prevent toilet clogs during holiday gatherings, guests can play a crucial role by being mindful of their bathroom habits. Firstly, it’s essential to use toilet paper sparingly. Instead of using large amounts, try to use just enough to get the job done. This practice not only conserves toilet paper but also reduces the risk of clogging the toilet.

Another effective step is to provide alternatives. Hosts can place a small bin in the bathroom specifically for non-flushable items like wipes, hygiene products, and cotton swabs. This bin should be clearly labeled and easily accessible to encourage proper disposal. Regularly emptying this bin will ensure that it’s always ready for use. Moreover, if there are children among the guests, it’s helpful to remind them about proper toilet use. Simple instructions posted in the bathroom can guide them on how much toilet paper to use and what not to flush. By taking these proactive measures, hosts can significantly reduce the likelihood of dealing with a clogged toilet, ensuring that their holiday gatherings remain festive and hassle-free.

3. Soap Scum and Hair: Silent Culprits in Bathroom Sinks and Showers

Bathroom sinks and shower drains often suffer from clogs due to the buildup of soap scum, hair, and other personal care products. Over time, these materials accumulate and restrict water flow in drain pipes, leading to clogged drains.


Soap scum and hair can be what causes drains to clog, but these pesky blockages can be prevented. Regular maintenance and preventive measures are key to avoiding clogged drains in bathroom sinks and showers. Implementing a routine cleaning schedule can significantly reduce the buildup of soap scum, hair, and other personal care products. This involves frequently cleaning the drain area and the surrounding surfaces where residues tend to accumulate.

Using a drain guard is also highly effective. These guards are designed to catch hair and larger particles before they enter the drain, making it easier to dispose of them in the trash rather than allowing them to wash down the pipes. By combining these practices, you can effectively minimize the risk of clogs and maintain a clean, functional bathroom drainage system.

4. Foreign Objects: The Unexpected Drain Cloggers

During the holidays, drains are more susceptible to being clogged by foreign objects, such as small toys, dental floss, or other debris that accidentally enters the drain. These items can easily cause blockages in your plumbing system. Always keep an eye on small objects and ensure they are kept away from drains to prevent accidental clogs.


Sure, foreign objects can be what causes drains to clog, but this plumbing issue can be easily avoided. It’s essential to educate everyone in the household, especially children, about the importance of not disposing of inappropriate items down the drain. This includes explaining the types of objects that should never be flushed or washed down the sink, like toys, dental floss, cotton swabs, and other small items.

5. Tree Roots and Mineral Buildup: The Invisible Threats

In some cases, the causes of clogged drains might lie outside your home. Tree roots seeking water can invade sewer lines, leading to severe drainage problems. Similarly, mineral buildup in pipes, often due to hard water, can restrict water flow and cause clogged drains.


Regular inspection and maintenance of your plumbing system by a professional plumber are crucial in preventing and resolving drainage issues. This process involves a thorough examination of all pipes and drainage systems to detect any potential problems. A professional plumber has the expertise and tools necessary to identify issues that are not immediately apparent to homeowners. These issues can include small leaks, early signs of pipe corrosion, or gradual mineral buildup, which might not yet be causing significant problems but could lead to major blockages or damage in the future.

During regular maintenance, a plumber might use specialized equipment, such as cameras, to inspect the interior of pipes and identify any intrusions, such as tree roots or obstructions. They can also test water hardness and recommend solutions to prevent mineral buildup in the pipes. By addressing these issues early, homeowners can avoid the inconvenience and expense of major plumbing emergencies.

Why Choose Lee’s for Your Drain Cleaning Needs?

Do you need a plumber in Fresno, CA, or one of the nearby communities? Choosing Lee’s for your drain cleaning needs offers a multitude of benefits stemming from our long-standing reputation and commitment to customer satisfaction. Since 1981, Lee’s has been a reliable presence in the community, expertly addressing a variety of drainage issues. One of the most common problems we tackle is the dreaded drain clog, which can occur in various parts of your home. As you can see, this often results from an accumulation of soap residue, hair, and other debris, particularly in areas like kitchen sink drains and shower drains. These clogs can not only disrupt your daily routine but also lead to more significant problems if left unattended. At Lee’s, our skilled technicians use advanced methods and equipment to clear these blockages effectively, ensuring that water flows smoothly and efficiently through your pipes.

Moreover, Lee’s drain cleaning service goes beyond merely fixing immediate issues. We also focus on preventative measures to avoid future problems, such as sewage backup, which can be a distressing and costly ordeal. Sewage backup often occurs when the main sewer line is obstructed, leading to sewage water flowing back into the home. This can pose serious health risks and cause extensive damage to your property.

By choosing Lee’s, you benefit from a comprehensive approach to drain maintenance. Our experts not only clear existing clogs but also conduct thorough inspections to identify and rectify potential issues before they escalate. With Lee’s, you’re not just getting a quick fix; you’re investing in the long-term health of your home’s plumbing system. And with our 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can rest assured that the job will be done right, offering peace of mind and value for your investment.

Schedule Your Drain Cleaning Today!

Clogged drains can be a significant inconvenience, especially during the holidays when guests are constantly stopping by our homes. By understanding what causes drains to clog, you can take proactive steps to prevent these issues. However, if you find yourself facing a clogged drain, Lee’s Air, Plumbing & Heating is here to help. Our team of experienced professionals can efficiently address your drain cleaning needs, ensuring your plumbing system is in top condition for the holiday season.

Don’t let clogged drains disrupt your festivities. Contact us today to schedule your professional drain cleaning in Fresno, CA, or the surrounding area! Remember, a little maintenance can go a long way in preventing plumbing disasters and keeping your holiday season merry and bright. We look forward to assisting you and making your holidays as joyful and hassle-free as possible!

Thomas Howard

Written by Thomas Howard

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