Drain Cleaning: What You Can See, And What You Cannot

Posted on: 4 May 2018

You think that drain cleaning is just a matter of pulling a few loose strands of hair from the drain, right? You probably also think that a drain cannot become clogged so long as those hairs are removed after every shower. Unfortunately, a lot more goes down the drain than what you typically see as a small mat of hair sitting on top of the drain. Here is more information about what you cannot see in your drain, to encourage you to go beyond just cleaning what you can see.

Hair from the Human Head 

On average, an adult loses about 150 hairs each day. Not all of them are lost in the shower, but a shower certainly loosens a large majority of them. The rough estimate is about one third to one-half of the usual daily hairs lost are lost in the shower because you are washing the loose ones down the drain.

Think about that a second. The hair that you remove from the drain after your shower does not even come close to a mat of fifty to seventy-five hairs, so where did the rest go? They went down the drain, of course! That is just the hair from your head, too; not the hair from the rest of your body, which is also shed in the shower and washed down the drain.

Dead Skin

In addition to the lost hair, the human body sheds thousands of dead skin cells daily. Some of it is shed on your clothes, some of it is shed onto other people, pets, and even furniture. Finally, while you shower, you lose a lot more, especially if you loofah or scrub your skin in the shower. Since it is nearly impossible to see dead skin in the wet shower, you cannot see all of the dead skin flow down the drain to join the hair that got away from the drain catcher.

Bacteria

Bacteria already exists in a drain. The bacteria you wash off your body joins this bacteria in the drain, along with your dead skin and the hair you just lost. Now there is an accumulation of human cast-off cells, fibers, and tissues with bacteria that formulate a nice little clog over time. You missed the entire process of accumulation while you were busy cleaning up, and there was no way to prevent it from happening. Right about now, you are probably thrilled that you called a plumber to clean that drain and clear that mysterious clog.

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Knowing When It’s Time to Call the Plumber

My name is Jason Lawrence, or around my house I’m sometimes known as “Daddy Fix-It.” My wife Sarah and I have four children all under the age of ten. I didn’t start out as a guy who was handy around the house, but I am learning to become a do-it-yourselfer for sure. Did I mention that I’m a bit stubborn? There are times I struggle with projects a little too long, and it takes my wife stepping in to convince me that it’s time to call a professional. I’ve become especially handy with plumbing projects. I don’t know why kids think toys belong in the toilet and doll hair is good for the bathtub drain, but around here those are weekly events. I’m going to share some of my experiences, how I fixed some of our plumbing problems, and when it becomes time to call the plumber.

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