Prevention is better than cure when it comes to clearing blocked drains.
Understanding what can and can’t be washed down your drains is sometimes difficult. Although it seems like it makes sense to dispose of excess grease and oil down the kitchen sink, it’s unfortunately a surefire way to end up with blocked drains and pipes.
Grease and thicker oils tend to collect in one spot, whether they’re food related oils or hygiene products like soaps, hair products and toothpaste. Cooking oils tend to be sticky, and can trap small bits of food matter as they wash past as well. Without regular drain maintenance and cleaning, your pipes will end up blocked, causing all sorts of problems.
How serious are blocked drains?
It could be worse than you think. A blocked drain might result in:
- Flooding, leakage and water damage
- The persistent bad smell of trapped decaying food
- Backed up pipes
- Stagnant water with a musty smell
The longer you leave it, the more work there will be needed to clear the blockage, so it’s important to make sure you treat your drains regularly. Try using these preventative methods to stop drains clogging up:
- Use a drain strainer to trap large particles before they block your pipes.
- Clear grease and oil from kitchen pans with paper towel and dispose of in your rubbish bin rather than washing it down the sink.
- Make sure your washing up water is as hot as possible to break down greasy and oily products.
- Avoid washing hair or excess product down the drain in the bathroom.
Already noticing some of the warning signs, like your sink taking longer to drain, water pooling around your feet in the shower, or unpleasant smells wafting around your home? Try these DIY methods to shift the blockage and clear the pipe before it becomes a part of a bigger issue.
Some DIY tips to help clear your blocked drains
Pour boiling water down your drain
Boiling water running through the drain can help to melt some of the build up. Pour it slowly in a few stages to give it time to work between each pour. Mix in 1/2 cup salt, 1/2 cup bi-carb soda, and 1 cup vinegar for a natural solution that adds some natural enzymes to help break down the blockage. This will usually only work on smaller blockages, and is best used as a preventative measure on a semi-regular basis.
Try a trusty plunger
It seems like an old-fashioned choice, but for smaller blockages, a plunger might be all you need. Forcing water through the pipe is sometimes enough to clear the clog and allow water to get through. You should still consider using a drain cleaner at this stage to make sure the blockage is completely removed.
Use store-bought chemical substances
Most hardware stores will stock a variety of chemical drain cleaners that can dissolve hair, soap scum and organic waste. These products can be highly dangerous and bad for our environment, so make sure you read all the directions carefully before using them. You can get nasty chemical burns from these products so please be careful and use the proper safety equipment!
Clean the U-Bend
This one’s for our more advanced DIY-ers. Grease and oil often clog the pipes before they get too far into your plumbing system, so cleaning the U-shaped pipe under your sink might do the trick. Put a bucket underneath the u-bend trap to collect any spillages and loosen the slip nuts at both ends of the pipe. When it’s free, empty the contents into your bucket and give the inside a good scrub. After you’ve given the pipe a rinse, reattach it, making sure the nuts are tightened to prevent leaks.
DIY hasn’t worked? Time to call Mott Plumbing.
If your blocked drains call for something a little more serious, professional plumbers like Mott Plumbing will have the tools and experience needed to get to the root of the problem efficiently and effectively. We offer professional and prompt plumbing services to the Adelaide metropolitan area, and will make sure your pipes are clean and clear in no time.
Get in contact to request a quote or find out more about our drain cleaning service.