A blocked drain can be a pain to deal with. While there are a number of home remedies that can help get rid of one, the best way to go is preventing the problem altogether. Today, we’re sharing eight tips that will help your drain stay clear of blockages before they appear.
#1: Minimise what goes down the drain
Clogged kitchen drains are often caused by food waste from our dishes. Preventing this is simple: wipe most of the food into the bin before the items go into the sink.
You should also buy a sink drain strainer for your kitchen. They are inexpensive, easy to empty and will help to catch any excess food you might have missed. You can also buy drain screens for your shower or bath. These will help catch soap scum and other waste.
#2: Correctly dispose of grease and oil
It might seem easy to tip grease and oil down the kitchen sink. Out of sight, out of mind – right? Well, that’s not exactly the case. You might not be able to see them anymore, but they actually stick to the pipes due to the cool temperatures. They accumulate in lumps and will eventually cause a nasty blocked drain.
Instead, allow the grease to cool and harden. Then scrape it into a sealable container and dispose of it in the rubbish. This way, the grease and oil pose no risk of a blocked drain.
#3: Watch out for harsh chemicals
While an ‘instant-solve’ chemical might seem like the best fix for your blocked drain, it can actually be quite the opposite. They can often be too harsh for older bathroom fixtures and pipes, causing further damage like leaks.
If a mild bathroom cleaner cannot fix your blocked drain, you should consider calling a plumber rather than doing it yourself. Harsh chemicals can pose risks to your health and it is better to hire a professional than putting yourself in danger.
#4: Clean regularly
For areas like bathroom sinks, you cannot completely avoid the buildup of hair and soap scum. The buildup can often collect on the sink stopper, which then affects the drainage speed of your sink.
If you notice your sink is draining slower than usual, that is a sure sign you need to clean the sink stopper. You should try to clean it regularly before it gets to that stage. Use an old toothbrush and a mild bathroom cleaner to scrape away the collected gunk from the stopper and inside the drain.
#5: Be wary of excess toilet paper
We all know that flushing nappies, sanitary products, wet wipes and other heavy paper products down the toilet is a bad idea. It is the same principle with an excessive amount of toilet paper. Too much toilet paper can clog your drains and affect the whole sewerage system.
If you find that toilet paper is a constant cause of blockages in your home, you might want to consider a bidet. If that isn’t an option for you, do some more research into the toilet paper you buy. Thick toilet paper takes longer to break apart and is likelier to cause a blocked drain.
#6: Use the correct amount of washing powder
It can be tempting to put a little extra washing powder in your dishwasher (or not measure at all). But it’s far from a good thing. The excess powder will accumulate and solidify in the pipes, causing a blocked drain.
One way you can avoid or prevent this is to use capsules for your dishwasher instead of powder. That way, you don’t have to think about how much powder you’re putting in since a single capsule is already the recommended amount.
#7: Ensure there are no plants near the drainage
The threat of plant life growing in your sewerage pipes is one that is often overlooked. While it’s easy to overlook at first, over time, the roots can cause a blocked drain. Even worse is the fact that the roots can then cause the wastewater to back up or the pipes to split, leaving you with an expensive (and smelly) problem.
Your drainage system should be very clear of trees, shrubs and other plants. To prevent roots from growing in the drain, you should regularly maintain the area for weeds and plant roots. Trees should be planted far, far away from the drainage pipes.
#8: Hire a plumber for maintenance
Home remedies for a blocked drain can only do so much, as with DIY maintenance. You should still be having a professional plumber assess your pipes approximately one to two times a year.
JPG Plumbing can help to maintain your pipes and fix your blocked drain. We service many suburbs in Melbourne, including Templestowe, Carrum Downs and Wantirna. Call us on 0400 978 442 today to enquire about our services.