Five of the most common reasons your drains might become blocked;
and what you can do to help prevent blockages from happening at all…
Unless you happen to work with drains, pipes and gutters every day, it is unlikely that you will give them much thought. Why would you? They are typically underground, you cannot see them, and when working correctly they efficiently carry waste water away from your property. In short, drains are brilliant! That is… until you have a problem, and it can happen to anyone at any time!
Blocked drains, toilets, sinks and gutters occur every day in homes and businesses across Leicester, the Midlands, and the whole of the UK. If not dealt with correctly they can cause anxiety and inconvenience for homeowners, and serious interruptions for businesses.
In this article we talk about five of the most common reasons that drains may become blocked. As you will see avoiding placing certain items into sinks, toilets, baths and showers can significantly help to reduce the risk of suffering an untimely blockage.
1. Hair, Soap, Food and General Household Waste
These are often disposed of via plugholes during washing-up, bathing and showering. Over time, and usually unseen by the homeowner materials build up in pipes and eventually the pressure of waste-water is not enough to pass through the pipe or drain.
There are many solid items which you should avoid forcing down the plughole, including, food, soap and fat. If they will not pass through the plughole on their own, it is best to remove them and dispose of them by some other means.
2. Grease and Fat
These should never be poured into sinks or drains. Over time fatty deposits adhere themselves to the inside of pipes and solidify, meaning that eventually no water can pass through. You will usually only find this out when your kitchen sink stops draining, or a drain/manhole in your garden fills up and overflows – often with foul smelling water. This is not a pleasant experience and may require the assistance of a drainage expert.
In 2013 a so-called “fatberg” weighing 10 tonnes and measuring 40 meters in length was discovered when it broke a London sewer, at great expense to the local water authority! https://bit.ly/2z1QJSb
3. Disposable Baby and Cleaning Wipes
In our opinion, these should never be placed into your toilet - even if the manufacturers call them flushable. According to experts, most wipes on the market do not biodegrade quickly enough to ensure that they will not cause problems underground. In London, the local authority believe that wipes were at least partly responsible for the 2013 “fatberg”.
We would always advise that it is safest to not flush anything other than actual loo-roll down your toilet!
4. Foreign Objects Like Toys, Bottles and Garden Tools
These can accidentally find their way into waste pipes, drains and gutters; sometimes how they got there is impossible to explain, but it does happen! This can cause a build-up of other waste around the object which might stop the free-flow of water.
In this circumstance it may be necessary to call in a drainage expert, who will usually try to clear the blockage using either drain-rods or drain-jetting techniques. If these are unsuccessful the engineer may recommend a CCTV Camera Survey, where a camera is pushed into the blocked pipe to send back pictures of the offending object. Then a decision can be made as to how it can best be removed, to cause minimal cost and disruption to the homeowner or business.
5. Broken or Damaged Underground Pipes
Problems underground can stop waste water from flowing away. This can be caused by a number of things including tree and plant roots, subsidence and land moving underground.
A CCTV survey can be carried out by a drainage expert to diagnose the problem, which can then be repaired by digging/excavating to the pipe and replacing the damaged section; or remotely by using a clever device called a patch-liner, which fills any cracks with a special hard setting resin, without even having to dig into the ground – super clever, and causing minimal disruption and cost.
This list of potential drain-blockers is certainly not exhaustive but avoiding putting the things we have mentioned into your waste water system will definitely improve your chances of not suffering an unwelcome blockage.
If you do need help or advice from friendly, trusted experts with many years of experience, please contact AllDrains Services today on 0116 3483485. We don’t charge for call-outs, have no hidden costs, and will have your drains clear and flowing in no time.
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