A Homeowner’s Guide to Preventing Blockages
The drainage system is a vital part of a functioning household. Without it in full working order problems such as blocked toilets, overflowing drains and raw sewage seeping on to properties becomes a real concern – not just for homeowners but also the environment. To make sure these worries never become a reality, follow these proactive steps for looking after your drainage system.
Maintaining Healthy Sink and Shower Drains
To start off, the contents that flow from the kitchen and bathroom sinks and shower can have a great effect on the drains leading to the sewer and the sewer itself.
Products such as toothpaste, shampoo, shower gel and washing up liquid are safe to flow through these drainage pipes, but there is a whole host of other contents that you should avoid pouring down the sink, including:
• Olive oil
• Kitchen oil
• Kitchen roll
• Cooking oil
Kitchen roll is a given, but oils and fats such as lard and olive oil are often casually poured down the drain by homeowners. The problem is grease, fat and oil solidify as they cool, building up in sewers and piping.
To prevent this happening, use a container (a fat trap) to collect these pollutants in their liquid form and drop the container off at a recycling location or dispose of in the bin. For solidified fat, this can be scraped off and also put in the bin before washing up.
Other steps to take include:
• Preventing hairs and larger solids from passing in to the drain from the shower with a plughole protector
• Clearing outdoor gutters of leaves and fat
• Lagging the condensate pipe that drains from your heating system
• Preventing limescale by washing indoor drains with soda crystals
What is Safe to Flush?
The drain leading from the toilet is also susceptible to blockages and can affect the flow of sewage greatly if the wrong things are flushed on a regular basis. Essentially, there are only two things that should be flushed down a toilet: toilet roll and human waste. The following items are things that should be disposed of in the bin, rather than flushed down the toilet.
• Baby wipes
• Dental floss
• Cotton wool
• Cotton buds
• Sanitary towels
While some of these items may flush successfully, over time they will build up in the sewers below and cause overflows at drains, in toilets and on streets. This is not a particularly pleasant sight or smell and can be distressing for many.
Even when flushing toilet paper, every toilet has its limits. Only use the necessary amount and look out for the signs that a block may be developing so you can plunge the problem easily without the need for a plumber.
Tools to Keep Handy in Case of a Blockage
As well as a plunger, in case of blockages you’ll likely need the following tools:
• Rubber gloves
• Soda and Vinegar
If the problem is too severe, call a plumber.
Keeping Your Drains Healthy While Protecting the Environment
With these handy tips, blockages will be a thing of the past and you’ll be helping keep you area’s sewers in full working order while protecting the environment in no time.