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Serving the Northshore and Northwest Chicagoland Area


Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. Blog

What Is Clogging Up My Drain?

sewer-line-with-tree-rootsOne of the key services we offer our clients is professional drain cleaning in Evanston, IL, and throughout our wide service area. We recommend drain cleaning as part of regular annual maintenance for your plumbing.

But drain cleaning is most often deployed as a way to thoroughly remove drain clogs and get rid of slow drains. If you’ve got a stopped drain that you can’t open with a plunger or a simple drain snake, don’t reach for chemical drain cleaners! Instead, reach for your phone and give us a call for drain cleaning, any time of the day or night.

Let’s look a bit closer into what’s clogged your drain in the first place. You may already know the problem, like an object that accidentally rolled down the drain like a children’s toy or the cap of a bottle near the bathroom sink. But other types of clogging can sneak up on you, like…

Soap scum

This can affect bathroom and kitchen drains, although the bathroom drains tend to have it the worst. Soap scum is the residue left over when soap doesn’t completely dissolve in water. Not only will it build up to the point where it can clog a drain, but it’s also potentially damaging to drainpipes because of chemical reactions with the piping material.


This type of clog is common for showers and bathtubs. Hair that goes down the drain can often get caught in the p-trap (the curved section of pipe underneath the drain), where it will continue to catch more hair until a complete snarl develops and blocks the drain. Hair clogs are obstinate and often require professional drain cleaning to remove. You can help stop hair clogs with special shower and sink drain covers and strainers.

Solidified FOG

FOG is an acronym for fats, oils, and grease, which are major enemies of sink drains. FOG looks harmless when in hot, liquid form, but it solidifies when it cools and adheres to drainpipe walls. Not only does FOG risk clogging a drain, but it can also create terrible odors and lead to sewer flies. Professional hydro-jetting is the best method to thoroughly clean out layers of fats, oils, and grease from drains.

Hard water minerals

If your home has hard water, calcium deposits will begin to build up in the drain lines. This is one of the toughest types of build-up to remove, and it almost always requires professional drain cleaning. We also recommend looking into installing a whole-house water softener to alleviate this and other problems due to hard water.

Roof infiltration

If you have multiple drain clogs at one time, you might have roofs infiltrating the sewer line. This is a serious problem, but hydro-jetting is powerful enough to cut through the roots that have grown into the pipeline and clear it out.

When in doubt, let our professionals find out what’s wrong with your drains. We use the best in video inspection technology so we know the right way to approach drain clogs. 

Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. serves the Northshore and Northwest Chicagoland. We have 24/7 service available for when you have emergency drain unclogging needs.

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