We never really pay much attention to our drains until something goes wrong with them, and the most likely problem is having something blocking them, preventing the free flow of water down them. Plumbers are no strangers to clogged drains, and they can tell you horror stories about the type of things they find blocking pipes (everything from pet fur to beer cans and underwear). However, the most common type of blockages occur from the everyday items we use such as oil and fats. Let’s look at some of the easy ways you can avoid blocking your drains, and what you can do in the event of a clogged drain.
Think About What You Put Down The Kitchen Sink
Most household drains are designed to take a lot of wear and tear. They are, after all, pipes for removing waste from your household. However they can become clogged by items that they were not built to carry, such as large quantities of oil, grease and fats from cooking, leftover food and coffee grinds and tea leaves. Over time, even small amounts of these substances can accumulate on the sides of pipes, causing other material to get trapped. This can lead to the slow draining of water, and eventually a complete blockage and backflow issues. Clogs can also lead to a build-up of nasty odours, thanks to the rotting of the material over time. To avoid these issues, get in the habit of:
- Pouring your leftover oil and fats into a container to let them cool, then disposing of them in your rubbish.
- Rinsing off your plates only after you’ve completely scraped them clear of food items.
- Empty coffee grains and tea leaves into the rubbish.
Of course if you’re faced with a serious blockage, you might want to consider calling a blocked drains Perth specialist. They’ll be able to clear your drains quickly using the very best in plumbing equipment.
Get A Drain Protector
Drain protectors or grates are probably the easiest clog prevention technology you can get. They’re generally made out of hardy metal or mesh, and sit on top of your sink’s drain, catching anything that’s not designed to be washed down the pipe. These are particularly good in bathrooms, where hair and excess soap scum can combine to form some of the hardest clogs to get rid of. If you wash your pet in the bath or shower, you may also have the added problem of fine pet hair getting blocked in your drains. To guarantee a good fit, take measurements of your drain opening, and if you’re really organised, take a photo of it. These will help determine the size and shape of the protector that will best fit your drain.
The Lowdown On Drain Cleaners
Drain cleaners have never been more popular, and most of us have at least one type of cleaner in our households, in case of minor clogs in our drains. Most cleaners that you can buy in supermarkets or hardware stores consist of a liquid or powder with a small amount of active ingredient – generally alkaline chemicals such as sodium hypochlorite (bleach), lye, or even sulfuric acid. On the plus side, if used according to the instructions, they will probably be able to shift minor clogs or clear odours coming from your pipes. On the downside, they can be fiddly to use, won’t be able to shift larger clogs, and can be highly toxic. This means that you’ll need to use protection such as gloves and eye wear when using them, and be very careful not to get part of the chemical on your skin or inhale any gases that might come from your drain when you use them. There are, of course, alternative treatments, such as a combination of baking soda and vinegar. These type of remedies that use items readily found in your kitchen may work to ‘freshen up’ your drains and remove odours, however they are unlikely to have any effect if your drain is clogged.
Finally, badly clogged drains should be dealt with by a professional plumber, as they have access to highly effective technology such as CCTV cameras, drain snakes and drain cleaners that aren’t available in stores.