A blocked drain is a common problem that happens to almost everyone at some point. There are many causes of blocked drains, but the most common issues are hair, grease, and soap. Over time, these items can build up and create a blockage.
Usual Causes Of A Clogged Drain
There are many potential causes of a blocked drain depending on where the blockage starts.
Some kitchen sink causes include food waste, grease and cooking oil. When hot fat or oil is poured down a drain, it can solidify and cling to the sides of the pipe. Over time, grease and oil build-up can completely block the drain.
In the bathroom, hair is often the cause of showers and sinks becoming blocked. When hair sheds while showering or washing hair, it can go down the drain and become caught in soap or scum debris. Sooner or later, enough hair will accumulate to create a blockage.
Soap can also lead to bathroom drains becoming blocked. When soap is mixed with water, it forms scum. This scum can attach to the sides of pipes and eventually create a blockage.
Toilet blockages are common, Causes of blocked toilets include when nappies, wet wipes or sanitary products are flushed. These will almost certainly eventually form a blockage, and only toilet paper should be put in a toilet.
In the garden, tree roots can grow into sewer pipes and cause blockages, or the roots can penetrate the pipes leading to breakage.
How To Prevent A Blocked Drain
If you have a blocked drain, it is vital to identify the cause so that you can take measures to prevent it from happening again.
To prevent a blocked drain, there are a few things to bear in mind. For starters, be mindful of what you’re putting down your drains. Avoid pouring oils and greasy substances into sinks. If you need to dispose of grease, pour it into a container and let it solidify before throwing it in the rubbish.
Coffee grounds, eggshells, and fruit peels are also common culprits. Dispose of these items in the bin instead.
Be sure to regularly clean your drains. This will help to remove any potential build-up before it has a chance to cause a blockage. You can use a shop-bought cleaner or make your own by mixing baking soda and vinegar.
You can use a plug hole cover to catch hair and other small items before they go down the drain. You should also avoid putting things like grease and food down the drain, as these can quickly cause a blockage.
If you do notice a slow drain or clog, act right away. The longer you wait, the worse the problem will become. Contact a professional if needed.
How To Clear A Blocked Drain
Blocked drains can cause significant inconvenience and, if left untreated, can lead to severe damage to your property. There are several ways to clear a blocked drain if the blockage is not too stubborn.
As one of the most common causes of a blocked drain is a build-up of grease, pouring abundant hot water down the sink may help.
For other types of clogging, a plunger may be effective in dislodging the blockage and clearing the drain.
In some cases, a drain snake can be used to clear the blockage. This long, flexible rod is inserted into the drain and used to break up the blockage.
However, If tree roots are the problem, the best action is to call a professional plumber to remove the roots. They will use advanced CCTV equipment to see how severe the blockage is. If you have trees on your property, have the roots trimmed back regularly to prevent them from growing into the sewer line.
Warning Signs Of A Blocked Drain
One of the most common signs that a drain is becoming blocked is when water begins to pool around the base of the drain or in the bathtub or sink. Slow draining usually accompanies this. If left untreated, a blockage will eventually cause water to back up completely, making it impossible to use the fixtures.
Another sign that a drain is becoming blocked is an unpleasant smell. This is usually due to what is known as a “fatberg”. A fatberg is a mass of congealed fat, oil, and grease that can build up in a drain and cause it to become blocked. As the fatberg grows, it begins to emit an unpleasant odour.
If you notice either of these signs, it is essential to take action to clear the blockage before it becomes severe.
What To Do If You Have A Clogged Drain
If you have a blocked drain, the first thing can try to unblock it yourself using a method mentioned above. However, you should call a plumber if you cannot clear the drain yourself. Plumbers have the tools and training to unblock drains quickly and safely.