How to prevent blocked drains
Blocked drains are no fun at all. They’re inconvenient, often smell bad and if left untreated may cause chronic problems to your home’s plumbing system. The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to prevent your house drainage system from clogging up. Here we’ll talk you through some of the main causes of blocked pipes and the steps you can take to keep your drains in tip-top condition.
Use sink strainers
Sink strainers are small metal, mesh or silicone sieves that can be placed over plugholes to protect your drains. The idea is that they only let water pass through, preventing larger items from entering your drainage system and blocking it up.
It’s a good idea to use sink strainers or drain covers (as they’re sometimes known) in both your kitchen and bathroom sinks. They’ll catch food waste in your kitchen and things like hair, bath salts and beauty product residue in your bathroom – all things that could potentially clog up your drains.
If you are wondering how to prevent hair blocking shower drains, we’d also suggest using drain covers here too. Hair is one of the main culprits for blocked bath drains and showers. It tends to bind together, with the oils from other soap and beauty products, creating a blockage that water simply can’t shift. Having a drain cover in place will save you having to pull it out of your plug every time you take a shower – a task no one wants to do!
Sink strainers need to be removed and cleaned regularly to remain effective. They come in a range of sizes, so if you’re looking to buy new ones, make sure you measure your plugs first.
Don’t pour oil or grease down your drains
Oil and grease are both enemies of your drains. Pouring them down your kitchen sink is a sure-fire way to get your house drainage system clogged. Remember just because they slip easily down the plughole, it doesn’t mean they aren’t doing expensive damage far beyond it.
Whilst your drain is capable of handling liquids like water and milk without any problems, cooking oil and grease are a whole other story. These products tend to set within pipes, creating a solid blockage that can be difficult to remove. Other food and soap debris then get stuck behind them, creating an even bigger problem.
Even if you’re lucky to escape blockages in your household plumbing system, oil and grease can cause issues further along the line. Many underground sewers get blocked up this way, which can end up causing problems and inconveniences for a whole neighbourhood.
Be careful what you flush down the toilet
Toilet drainage systems can handle human waste and toilet paper just fine but flushing away other products can quickly lead to a blockage. We’re talking baby wipes and things like sanitary towels, which are much thicker and do not break down in the same way toilet paper does. It’s best to dispose of these in a bin to avoid blocked pipes and drains.
If you’re still having problems with blocked toilets and drains, you may need to consider the type of toilet paper you’re using. Toilet paper blocking drains isn’t a common issue, however, the more luxury multi-ply sheets have been known to do it. If you’ve got to use it, try to use less of it at one time to prevent blockages.
Are your outdoor drains blocked?
Sometimes the problem may not start inside your home. Leaves and other debris from your garden can get washed into your outdoor drains and cause obstructions. Keep your garden tidy and sweep away leaves to prevent them from blocking your drains.
Best way to clean drains
Wondering what to pour down clogged drain systems? You’ll find a whole range of drain unblocking products in the cleaning aisle of your local supermarket. The chemicals in these cleaning products will cut through small blockages in your drains and remove gunk to prevent bigger clogs from forming.
If you’re after an eco-friendly alternative for clearing blocked drains, try using a mix of baking soda and vinegar instead. Pour a jug of boiling water down your sink, followed by a cup of baking soda, a cup of vinegar and then another jug of hot water. This chemical-free mixture is the best kitchen sink unblocker and your answer for how to unblock a drain shower too.
Try using a plunger
If you notice that your sink or bath is draining water very slowly, it’s worth having a go with the plunger. A small blockage may be dislodged by a quick blast of water. Fill up your sink or both with water and place the plunger over the drain. Plunge gently to flush water down your drains rapidly. Keep in mind that if you plunge too hard, it could break the seals on your blocked pipes and cause a leak.
Call a qualified plumber
Unfortunately, if the blockage is on the larger side, it may not be something you can clear yourself. Assistance from a professional plumber will be required to solve your blocked drain problem. Plumbers have all sorts of handy tools that will enable them to locate, access and remove the blockage quickly and safely. They will also be able to troubleshoot your blocked drains issue and provide guidance on what you can do to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Home cover for blocked drains
Even the most careful homeowners run into problems with their drains from time-to-time. The best way to eliminate the worry of expensive call out charges and repair costs is to take out cover for blocked drains.
You’ll greatly benefit from taking out comprehensive home cover. Hometree offers home cover you can trust, with quick and convenient call-outs and a 24/7 UK helpline. What’s more, we don’t put caps on claims and if you don’t claim, your price will always stay the same!