Are blocked drains and overflowing toilets becoming a common problem in your home? You don’t need to put up with this any longer! Read on to discover practical tips to prevent blocked drains and make life easier.
Regular Cleaning and Maintenance of Drains
Proper maintenance of your drains and plumbing system can help you avoid a clogged drain emergency and save you costly repairs down the line. Regular inspection and cleaning of your drains can prevent minor backups from becoming a big mess.
Below are some tips to help maintain your plumbing system and prevent blocked drains:
- Schedule regular inspections: Have a professional plumber inspect all of your drains annually to identify any issues that may cause problems down the line.
- Avoid putting certain items down the drain: Do not put grease, fat, coffee grounds, vegetable skins, facial tissue, paper towels or other materials down the drain that have a chance of causing blockages.
- Use screens on older sink strainers: Sink strainers get clogged with food particles, making it easier for kitchen sink drains to become blocked up. A fine mesh screen can capture food debris and make it easier to remove for disposing outside instead of down the sink or garbage disposal.
- Flush pipes with hot water periodically: Hot water helps reduce the build-up of material in your pipes which can lead to slow draining or complete blockages over time. Occasionally fill an empty bucket with very hot tap water and slowly flush it through all of your house’s waste lines (including kitchen, bathroom and laundry). This rinse should be done once or twice a year as part of routine maintenance for optimal performance of all drains in your house.
Proper Disposal of Waste to Prevent Blockages
Blocks in drains are one of the most common plumbing issues and can be easily avoided. One way to prevent blockages is to practise proper disposal when throwing out food, waste, grease and oil.
Large food particles should never be put down a drain as these can create an obstruction and may require specialised equipment to remove them. Food should instead be disposed of in the bin or put into the composting system if you have one.
Grease and oil should never be poured directly down the sink or drain, but instead collected in a container and then discarded once it has cooled and solidified. Grease containers are also available from most local hardware stores that are specifically designed for disposing these type of substances.
Finally, other materials such as paint, chemicals, paper towels and facial tissues should not go down any plumbing systems as they can cause serious clogs which would require specialist removal or repair services. It’s important that all of your family members are aware of the do’s and don’ts when it comes to disposing waste items so that all pipes remain free from blockage for years to come.
Using Drain Covers to Prevent Hair and Other Debris From Entering the Drain
Using drain covers is one of the simplest and most effective methods to help prevent a blocked sink. Purchase a strainer or rubber stopper with tiny holes that will catch any debris such as hair, yarn, and other particles that make be washed down the drain without them getting stuck in the piping.
It’s also important to clean out the drainage area periodically. This will remove any debris that has gotten caught in the cover and it can also be used to measure for clogs in your pipes.
Simply unscrewing and removing your drain cover on a regular basis, ensuring you have washed off any stubborn or stuck-on grime, can help your plumbing remain free-flowing. You can place all of the collected matter directly into your rubbish bin rather than facing a tricky clean up in case of a clog occurring.
It’s important to remember that while some items like hair are easier to remove from drain covers than they would be from pipes deep within the drainage system, it’s still worth being wary of items that could potentially cause blockages should they manage to get past the strainer or rubber stopper if not removed promptly enough.
Avoiding Pouring Grease and Oil Down the Drain
Grease and oil are two of the most common causes of a blocked drain. Pouring them down your drain is a sure-fire way to clog it. Grease and oil can coagulate in the pipes and can mix with bits of food from other dishes, forming a thick sludge that will eventually block your drains.
If you’ve accidentally poured cooking grease or vegetable oil down your sink, you should try to dissolve it right away and prevent the build-up before it becomes an issue. Start by diluting it with boiling hot water – one part water to one part fat or oil should do the trick – while you’re running the hot tap at full blast. You may also consider adding some dish soap, as this helps grease break up into smaller particles so that it can be more easily washed away. Be sure to continue to run hot water for several minutes afterward in order to completely flush out any leftover remnants of grease or oils that still remain in the pipes.
If you are going to dispose of pots and pans that have been cooking with fats or oils, there is a good alternative way of disposing them other than pouring them into the sink. Choose instead to pour residues into an old used container such as an old coffee tin – then once cooled, seal off the can (for example with a lid) and dispose properly through garbage collection services in your area. This will ensure no hazardous materials enter natural waterways, preventing environmental damage as well as keeping your drains running clear for longer periods without having annoying blockages every once in a while!
Regular Flushing of Drains With Hot Water
Preventing a blocked drain starts with good maintenance. Regularly flushing your drains with hot water helps to break down and wash away grease, food debris, and other materials that can accumulate inside the pipes over time. Aim to flush your drains at least once a week, or more if needed. Doing this on a regular basis reduces the chances of clogs forming and makes it easier for plumbers to diagnose and repair future blockages.
When flushing your drains with hot water, start by pouring several cups of hot water down the drain. Follow this up with boiling hot water in short intervals until the water fully runs through the pipe. It is important to note that some plumbing fixtures such as toilets and basins may require their own unique flushing process. As always, it is best consult a professional when you’re uncertain how to proceed.
Bear in mind that while regular flushes are important for keeping your drains clear, they won’t always guarantee against future blockages completely. Should you need assistance with a blocked drain despite having followed appropriate preventative measures in the past, then contact an experienced plumbing service right away. They will be able to identify the cause of any blockage quickly and take the necessary steps for resolving it successfully without causing damage to your fixtures or pipe lines.
Installing a Drain Strainer or Stopper
Installing a drain strainer or stopper can be an effective way to prevent a blocked drain. The strainer catches small particles such as hair, scum or grease and keeps them from entering the larger pipes, thus preventing blockages.
The most common strainers are either made of stainless steel mesh or plastic, and you can choose which style fits best into your drainpipe. It’s also advisable to get a model with rubber seals to ensure a tight fit in the drain.
To install a strainer, first measure the diameter of your drainpipe and then cut the tailpiece of strainer down to size if necessary. When you have placed it in the right position, screw it into place on both sides using hose clamps (for metal strainers). For plastic strainers make sure they are firmly attached by using plumbers’ putty around its base where it meets the top of your pipe.
Another option is to install a drain stopper in lieu of a strainer, as this will both catch debris and act as a plug when needed – for instance when soaking things in water or when taking baths. Again, before you buy one, measure your pipe’s diameter for an accurate fit and take note that some models may need connecting plates for extra support once installed.
Hiring a Professional Plumber for Regular Drain Cleaning
Paying for a professional plumber to come and inspect your pipes and drains is one of the best ways to ensure that your drains aren’t left blocked for long periods of time. Not only does regular inspection allow a plumbing specialist to identify any potential issues before they become major, but it also gives them an opportunity to clean out any dirt or debris that might be causing a potential blockage in the future. Most plumbing services will offer a scheduled maintenance plan at an affordable price – so regular drain cleaning is sure to not break the bank.
Another useful preventive measure when it comes to avoiding blocked drains is regularly flushing your pipes with some basic cleaning solutions. Not only does doing this help remove any built-up dirt and grime, but can also help dissolve any fatty or greasy deposits, preventing them from causing fatbergs (large masses of congealed fat) into your drain system. This can usually be done with little effort by pouring some basic household cleaners like dish soap and vinegar down the sink – but if you would rather leave this task in capable hands, then hiring a professional should do the trick as well.
In conclusion, following these simple steps and preventive measures will help you to avoid blocked drains. Although it is impossible to guarantee that your home’s plumbing system will remain completely clog-free, these tips can help to significantly reduce the risk of blockages and other common problems.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the ways to prevent a blocked drain?
The best way to prevent a blocked drain is to avoid flushing any foreign objects down the toilet, such as wet wipes, sanitary products, hair, and other debris. Additionally, you can use a sink strainer in the kitchen sink to catch food scraps and other debris before it goes down the drain.
What can I do to unclog a blocked drain?
If you already have a blocked drain, you can use a plunger or a drain snake to try to unclog it. Alternatively, try a chemical drain cleaner or a baking soda and vinegar mixture.
Are there any home remedies to prevent a blocked drain?
Yes, there are several home remedies to help prevent a blocked drain. For example, you can use a mix of baking soda and vinegar to help break down grease and debris. You can also use a homemade drain cleaner made out of lemon juice, baking soda, and salt.
Andrew Lee is the founder of My Plumber. He has been in the industry for over 20 years and has extensive experience in all aspects of plumbing. He also enjoys sharing his knowledge with others and has written several articles and given talks on plumbing.