By Charley Parker on 28/07/2017
In this months blog we shield the tarnished issue of blocked drains and how you can prevent them. Blocked drains can be caused by many things, but by far the most common is putting things down your sink or toilet that you shouldn’t. Therefore, I’ve put together a useful list of things that should definitely go in the bin, and not in your waste pipes. Some of them might seem obvious, but you’ll be shocked how many of these we find when we’re out unblocking drains.
1) The biggest cause of a blocked drain is people trying to flush nappies down the toilet. It might seem feasible with the materials that a lot of modern nappies are made from, but they are not designed to be flushed down the toilet. Unfortunately, nappies do not degrade in water and therefore will end up stuck in the pipe and causing a blockage.
2) Hair is also a major reason as to why your showers and sinks block. The longer someone’s hair is, the more likely it is that it will fall out during the washing process. For women, or indeed men with long hair, it doesn’t take long for it to start clogging up the pipes. To prevent this, get a guard or trap that can catch the hair before it is washed down the pipes and this will massively make a difference.
3) A lot of blocked drains are due to a build-up of fat in a u-bend in the drainage system. Oil and fat is heavier than water, so although you can flush it down a toilet or wash it down a sink, as soon as it hits a bend in the pipe it can gather and get stuck and therefore over time it then solidifies and clogs, resulting in a costly blockage. If you do have fat or oil to get rid of the best thing you can do is put it into a sealable container and throw it in the bin.
4) Wipes are another common cause of drain blockages. On their own they seem quite harmless, but together they can cause severe blockages by building up into clumps that then retains water and waste and therefore blocks the pipe not allowing anything to flow through. If you do use wipes, then please throw them in the bin and not down the toilet and the build up can cause immense complications.
5) Women use a wide range of products from sanitary towels to cotton wool buds. All of these items belong in the bin and not in your drains. It’s simple to keep a bin by your sink or toilet, and throw anything that can cause a blockage into the bin, otherwise it is highly likely that over time all these products will build up causing a blockage somewhere in the drainage system that will be very expensive to clear.
6) Food waste is probably the single biggest cause of blocked drains. Everyone usually has something left on their plate after they’ve finished eating and are normally tempted to scrape it away down the sink. But the leftover food then lingers and builds up in your pipework and can cause severe blockages which will produce very strong smells- not pleasant at all. You could get a waste disposal unit for your sink which blends the leftover food into tiny pieces before washing it away, or the best thing would be to throw any leftover food waste into the bin.
I understand that the society we live in today makes it very easy for us to get rid of or dispose products as quickly as we can, as mentioned above like throwing things down the toilet and sink but unless we think about what we’re doing, it’s going to be very hard to prevent blockages, which in the long run will end up costing you unnecessary money. So next time you’re in a rush, take the time to think about how you are getting rid of products/waste and the consequences this will lead to.