How to Prevent Drain Blockages
Common Causes of Blocked Drains
The cost of clearing a blocked drain can be anything from £100 + VAT. It’s a good idea therefore to try to limit the need to call out a drainage expert.
This article contains suggested ways to prevent drains from becoming blocked.
First let’s look at the most common causes of blocked drains:
- Sanitary products, cotton buds or baby wipes put down the toilet
- Grease or fat put down kitchen sink
- Hair clogging the bath or shower drain
- Children; not falling in, but dropping toys or, say, car keys down the toilet.
- Dead leaves gathering round any drain or drain cover will find their way into the drain (NB Including from gutters)
- And, possibly the most expensive to resolve are collapsed drains often caused by tree roots seeking out a nutrient rich source of water.
How to prevent drain blockages
The obvious way to prevent a blockage is to prevent the items above finding their way into a drain. Following are some suggested ways to help:
- Keep a waste bin in the bathroom for all sanitary waste products.
- Properly scrape plates, pans and crockery into the bin before washing them (either in a Dishwasher or sink)
- Always use a detergent / washing up liquid to break down oils and fats.
- Regularly clean hair from shower and bath waste traps. Ensure the trap / grate fitted allows this to be done easily.
- Keep external drains, gutters and down pipes clear of debris and other vegetation (Clean gutters every year)
- Children and Tree roots are less easily monitored.
Symptoms of a blocked drain
Of course, water not draining away from sinks, basins, baths or showers is the obvious sign. There are though some early warning signs that there may be a blockage building.
- A gurgling sound when baths, basin etc are draining. Its’ trapped air forcing its way up through the water draining away.
- Slow draining sinks, toilets, baths and showers
- The water level in the toilet rising higher than usual and also falling lower than usual
- Bad or sulphurous smells emanating from drains.
HomeForce Tip – How to clear a blocked toilet.
A blocked toilet is many peoples idea of the the worst kind of blockage. Though often it can be fixed relatively simply.
This is the first thing most Drainage Experts will try.
Assuming the water is draining away but just very slowly then wait until it has drained as much as it will. Then fill a bucket with hot (or cold if you prefer) water. Now pour the bucket straight down the toilet from as high above the toilet as you can hold it. The pressure of the water being poured from height will mostly clear blockages that are around the U-Bend or just into the main soil pipe. Try it two or three times before reaching for the phone and calling a drainage expert.