Blocked drains are extremely inconvenient, and can make your home life miserable. A blocked drain often makes a room smell bad, and could cause significant health problems for inhabitants.
This is why it is helpful to be proactive in caring for your drains. When you are aware of the most common causes of a blocked drain, you have a better idea of what to do to prevent this problem from arising.
Why do my drains keep getting blocked?
You probably don’t think about them every day, perhaps even taking them for granted, but your drains are an integral part of your home’s plumbing system.
It is only when drains are clogged or blocked that you realise how crucial they are, not only in managing water and waste flow, but in running your everyday life.
Some of the most common reasons drains become blocked are as follows:
Hair and Soap Scum
Long hair and soap scum cause a blockage when left untreated. Over time, they accumulate and hinder water flow in a shower, toilet space or bathroom sink.
Grease and Fat
Kitchen sinks often get clogged with grease, cooking oil, fats, and other food scraps, including coffee grounds, which solidify and obstruct your pipes.
Items like sanitary towels, toilet paper, baby wipes, paper towels, or toys can accidentally end up in the u bend, causing chronic problems.
Plants and Leaves
Outside drains suffer blockages due to leaves, tree roots, or other garden debris.
Now you know the common cause of pipe and drain blockages and blocked pipes at home, you can prevent blocked drains.
You can prevent blocked drains
While there is a lot of information on how to unblock a drain, it is far more beneficial to be proactive in caring for your plug holes, kitchen drain or bathroom sink.
By choosing some of the following steps, you significantly reduce the likelihood of your drains suffering a blockage.
Simple tips to consider for the maintenance of all drain types
Place screens over drains to catch hair and other objects.
Instead of pouring grease down the sink, collect it in a container and dispose of it in the trash.
Regularly inspect outdoor drains and keep them clear of leaves and other debris.
Mind the Toilet
Only flush toilet paper and human waste. Avoid flushing sanitary products and wet wipes.
Kitchen sink and drain care tips
Use a Sink Strainer: Use a kitchen sink strainer to catch food particles and other materials.
Dispose of Food Waste Properly: Scrape plates into the trash before washing them.
Run Hot Water: After using the kitchen sink, run hot water to help dissolve and flush away residue.
Bathroom drain care tips
Brush Your Hair Before Showering: This will reduce the amount of hair going down the drain.
Dispose of Items Properly: Ensure personal items and cleaning products are disposed of in the trash, not the toilet.
Is it necessary to hire a professional company to maintain drains?
If you follow the tips above, you should find it is possible to care for your drains in an effective and efficient manner.
However, some people prefer the peace of mind that comes with hiring professionals, and here are two ways you can keep your drains, bathroom and kitchen sink in excellent condition by hiring an external professional.
Routine Cleaning: Have a professional plumber clean your drains annually to prevent build-up and detect potential issues that indicate drain blockages.
Upgrade Your Pipes: If your home is older, consider upgrading your plumbing to modern, blockage-resistant piping.
None of these tips are too arduous, time-consuming or expensive (although please ensure you are happy with the cost of hiring a professional if you decide to do so), which means you can be proactive in caring for your drains.
Knowing you don’t face the horrors of smelly drains, unhygienic situations, and greater costs to repair or remove a blocked drain is all the incentive most households need to be on top of maintaining their drains.
Should you pour bleach down a drain?
Pouring bleach down the drain in small amounts is generally safe, and can help with disinfection and neutralising nasty odours.
However, it’s not a solution for clearing blocked drains. You might even find that excessive use of bleach is harmful as it may corrode pipes, especially old or plastic pipes, and is harmful to the environment.
It’s always better to use bleach cautiously and consider eco-friendly alternatives for keeping your drains clean and tidy.
Similarly, chemical drain cleaners can corrode older pipes, or plastic piping, making this a solution that is best avoided when dealing with a blocked drain.
It is also best to not pour boiling water down kitchen drains to prevent blockages. If you have PVC drain pipes, boiling water can melt the drain. The same is true for porcelain-blocked toilets or an older drainage system, so avoid this step if possible.
How often should you clean drains to avoid a blocked drain?
Developing a routine where you clean your drains on a monthly basis is useful in preventing grease and all manner of debris from piling up, which leads to blocked drains.
Is a slow running drainage system a cause for concern?
If the water runs slowly in your drain, it could be a sign of debris building up or drain blockages. Hopefully, your preventative steps will ensure this doesn’t happen, but if you see these signs, it is time to be more forceful in caring for your drains.
Life is better when you prevent blocked drains at home
Well-maintained drains are often the backbone of a happy home life, and it is only when you have a problem with blocked drains you realise how crucial clean drains are.
With this information, you’ll manage to maintain a great standard of cleanliness in your drains, saving you time, effort, and expense in making your home as pleasant as possible.