Different drain blockages require different solutions. Hot water works best on fats and oils, plungers are good at extracting materials stuck in pipe bends and you can fashion a pretty useful hook or poker using a wire coat hanger to retrieve items that are ‘accidentally’ flushed down the toilet by your two-year-old.
While you might be familiar with getting out the plunger or rinsing your drain with bicarb soda to unblock drains inside your home, what about exterior drain blockage problems?
A problem that can impact your drainage is tree root damage. When the pipes running underground become old and fragile, tiny tree roots can work their way inside, getting a direct link to your wastewater.
This can be a stressful situation when the roots strengthen and take over the pipes. The good news is that high-pressure water jets are used to cut tree roots so that trees don’t need to be removed. Severely damaged pipes might need to be replaced, but other than that, tree root blockages are not as dire a situation as they might first seem.
As well as tree roots, other common drain blockages that occur around the home include:
Never flush anything down the toilet other than natural waste and toilet paper. Tissues, wet wipes, nappies and sanitary items do not flush.
Kids throw the darndest things down toilets, but accidents can happen as well if a decorative item sitting on top of the toilet system slips.
Cat litter is designed to absorb liquid and expand. This makes it a bad substance to introduce to your toilet where it will clump and swell, filling the pipe.
Cooking oil is thick and sticky and doesn’t bond with water. This build up over time also acts like a thick bubble that catches other waste.
It’s never okay to allow food to wash down your sink. Even small amounts of food can cause grease and grime to build up. The best way to look after your kitchen sink is by using a drain sieve or catcher. This will trap any food scraps so you can throw them into the bin or compost and keep your drains clear.
The minerals in town water can cause an inner lining to form in the pipes and make your drains more susceptible to blocks from other materials.
The ends of soap bars take a long time to break down inside the drain bend and can cause other items to become trapped against it and block the water.
Even if only one strand of long hair gets tangled around the drain it creates a line for other hairs as well as products like soap and conditioner to catch and clump. You can use a mesh drain cover to prevent this or make sure you clean the drain of hair strands frequently.
Outside drains can become blocked, especially if you don’t have gutter guards. Leaves, sticks and even soil can be swept into outside drains and cause congestion in the pipes.
Avoiding blocked drains is simple enough when you know how. You can care for your pipes and protect the health of your family and save money and time by keeping your drains clear pipes.