How to prevent blocked drains: tips and tricks....Blocked drains can be a serious problem. A one-off blocked sink is irritating enough, but consistently blockages can be very frustrating and leave you scratching your head as to how to prevent blocked drains. It’s always best to call a
drain unblocking company
to remove the blockage, but there are ways to prevent them from occurring in the first place.
Causes of blockages
Drains can get blocked with a multitude of things - food, grease and hair are the main culprits, but anything big enough to fit down a drain that shouldn’t be there can cause a blockage. In February 2019, the largest fatberg ever discovered in the UK was discovered in the sewers of Liverpool. Comprised of wet wipes, cooking grease, hair and other non-degradable items, it weighed over 400 tonnes and was an incredible 250 metres long.
How to prevent blocked drains
The most obvious way to
prevent a blockage
is to not put things down drains that aren’t meant to go down them. But what does this include?
Common causes and how to prevent
Cooking fat is a big cause of blocked drains as it can congeal in the drain and, in turn, cause other objects to get stuck, resulting in a big blockage. To prevent this from happening, you should store leftover grease in an old tin or cardboard container and then throw it in the bin. Another big blocker is hair - you can stop hair going down the drains by installing a mesh over your drain to catch the hair before it goes down the drainpipe.
You can also brush your hair before you go into the shower, which will dislodge any hair that is loose, preventing it from accumulating in your drains. For pet owners, you should try to wash your pets outside (when the weather permits), laying a cloth or a mesh over the drain to prevent hair from going down.
Other items that cause blockages
It’s not just grease and hair that cause blockages though, there’s a whole host of items that should never be put down your drains. Coffee grounds, wet wipes, feminine hygiene products like tampons and pads, condoms, cotton balls, plasters and more all cause blocks in your drains. Even some fluids aren’t safe for drains - motor oil, anti-freeze and other solvents can all cause damage and block things up, so its best to do some research into how to safely dispose of these.
Taking care of your drains
A good technique for keeping your drains clean is to run hot water down the sink after you use it. Hot water will ensure that oils in food will keep moving down the drain instead of congealing as mentioned before. Another good way of making sure your drains stay healthy is to pour a cup of vinegar or a handful of baking soda down the drain. Leave it to rest for 20-30 minutes, then pour really hot water down after it.
Vinegar and baking soda are excellent cleaning agents and can remove tough sludge from your drains without damaging them. If you’re wondering how to prevent blocked drains using an easy technique, this is the one to go for.
If your drains are still blocked
If you’ve tried some of the techniques above and your drains are still consistently blocked, it’s time to get a CCTV survey done by a drainage professional. This involves a camera being pushed through your drain so the drain engineer can see what’s causing the blockage. You’d be surprised what can be the cause of a blocked drain - from invading tree roots to dead rodents, it’s not always as simple as a few clumps of hair!
So there are some helpful methods that will hopefully prevent your drains from getting blocked up - don’t forget to keep an eye on what you are putting down your drains as this will save you a lot of time and money!