10 Tips To Avoiding A Blocked Drain (All You Need To Know)
MAY 05, 2022
A blocked drain is no fun for anyone! Blocked drains can quickly lead to all kinds of plumbing issues and when ignored, have the power to affect your home’s entire plumbing system.
In this article, we’ll take you through our Top 10 Tips on How to Avoid a Blocked Drain (and call out from us).
A quick note from VIP Drains, your blocked drain specialists:
If you put the “right” things down your drain then you shouldn’t have a blockage issue. However, if you are experiencing consistently blocked drains and you’re confident that you’re not pushing the “wrong” things down the pipes, then you may have an underlying issue you can’t see (like a tree root infiltration). It’s best to book in an expert to come and investigate. Contact our team today and get an inspection booked i
Here are the Top 10 Tips to Prevent Blocked Drains
10 TIPS TO AVOIDING A BLOCKED DRAIN
Pay attention to this list and you will be on your way to ensuring you bypass the blocked drain call out to any plumber!
1. Prevention and Early Detection.
Like most things in plumbing, prevention and early detection are essential when dealing with a blocked drain. Be aware of what you and your family dispose of down your drains and make sure you’re not knowingly putting the “wrong” things down the drain.
2. Keep Kitchen Scraps Out Of Your Drain.
It’s so easy when you’re in the kitchen to watch every little crumb go down the drain, but a lot of kitchen scraps have no place in your drains and pipes and can wreck havoc along the way. Here’s a list of the most common kitchen scraps that definitely do not belong in your drains:
Coffee grounds — coffee grounds are not easily dissolved and will block drains faster than you think.
Pasta, rice, and bread offcuts – these materials expand with water and will not move easily through a drain. These food products will be caught in your drains super fast.
Meat and poultry scraps (including fish bones) – The fat from any meat scraps gets caught easily and will create a back up of debris. Fishbones only makes the clog worse as they get caught in any small blockages that already exist.
Vegetable ends, peels and cut-offs — If you’ve ever peeled a carrot over the sink and thought “it’s fine” as you’ve watched it disappear you wouldn’t be alone, but vegetable ends and peels block up your drain in no time, especially when they get caught with other kitchen scraps.
Eggshells – not easily ground up and a big one for blocking other materials from moving through a pipe!
3. Bathroom Junk Doesn’t Belong In A Drain.
Bathroom drains can get blocked within minutes when the incorrect materials are pushed through them. Here’s a snapshot of the main offenders:
Hair – Human, pet, doll, any hair – keep it out of your drains.
Baby wipes, napkins, paper towels – Never ever to be put down any drain.
Tampons, maxi pads, other feminine hygiene products – Yep, these are not to be forced or flushed down any drain.
Soap – Soap can clog drains faster than you might think — mostly when the residue builds up and catches other things.
Cotton balls, cotton swabs, fabric softener/dryer sheets, or similar fibrous materials — All of these are not easily disolved and should not be in any drain.
Razors, blades, syringes, needles — Not only can these can cause serious injury to municipal sewage workers and to wildlife if they find their way out of your drains and into the public system. Be safe and dispose of these dangerous items in the correct manor (check with your local pharmacy).
Pills and medications – Many pharmacies will “take back” leftover medications, or check with your doctor or local public health authority for similar disposal programs if you’re unsure about how to dispose of them.
Face, body lotions, and cosmetics – While anything that goes in or on your body might seem safe, these items can be potentially toxic to wildlife and/or leech into our drinking water.
Other “flushable” products — include “flushable” toilet wipes, baby wipes and sanitary products. Most often these things don’t break down as well as the manufacturer claims, especially if you have a septic system.
Band‐aids and dental floss — these products can wrap around smaller blockages and turn them into a serious blocked drain.
Condoms, balloons, or rubber gloves – these materials will inflate and can create a blocked drain pretty fast!
4. Keep Grease And Oil Out Of Your Drains.
Grease, fats, or oils from cooking can block your kitchen drain faster than you think. Hot oil cools somewhere, congeals and becomes thick and uneasy to move. Other fats, oils and debris then get caught and lodged, creating big problems. think twice before you pour that hot oil down the drain. Oils, fats and grease (including meat fats, lard, vegetable oils, butter, margarine, and dairy products) should never be put down a drain.
5. Use A Sink Strainer.
Using a sink strainer will help to prevent debris from entering your drain. They are brilliant at catching such things as small food scraps and bathroom debris (and hair!). This enables for you to dispose of this debris in your rubbish, as opposed to down your drain.
6. Only Flush Toilet Paper Down The Toilet.
Even when a product says “flushable” any drain expert will argue it’s not true! Think of the 3 P’s when flushing: Pee, Poop, Paper – toilet paper. Items like baby wipes, nappies, paper towel and sanitary items will be too heavy for the toilet and plumbing system to handle. Keep a bin handy to dispose of these items.
7. Every Week, Pour Some Boiling Water Down Your Drains.
This will help to keep your drains sparkling clean and clear. You can add some bi-carb and vinegar too for an eco-friendly clean.
8. Be Mindful Of Your Outside Drains.
Outside drains around the garden or your stormwater drain can easily get blocked, especially after a big rain event or a sudden storm. Here are some things to be mindful of:
Soil, grass and garden scraps – including weeds! Outside, garden drains can become blocked super fast with this material.
Bottle caps and straws – whether metal or plastic, straws will create blockages and take a long time to break down. After that big family BBQ make sure all these items are in the bin, not down the drain.
Check your gutters for debris like twigs, leaves and dirt – especially coming into storm season.
9. Have Everyone At The Home On The Same Page.
It’s no use you being strict on what you do and don’t pass through your drains if your kids or spouse are unknowingly putting all the things you’re avoiding down them! Make a family list of what can go down a drain (it’s a pretty short list) and what cannot go down a drain!
Here’s a tip: With little kids, explain that toys do not get flushed. Your little ones can start to learn about what does and does not go down the toilet from a young age to save an overflow and flooded bathroom!
10. Call An Expert Early.
We hear this a lot ‘It’s been an issue for a while’. The thing about plumbing (especially blocked drains), is that when something isn’t right, they’ll be some obvious signs. When ignored, these signs can lead to major issues. So get on the phone ASAP and call an expert when you suspect you have a blocked drain.
If you have a blocked drain that boiling water can’t seem to solve, you will most likely be in need of a plumber. If that is the case, feel free to contact our team at VIP Drains today!
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