How to avoid blocked drains

There’s nothing enjoyable about a clogged drain. It can cause mayhem to your day, and at worst, result in hundreds of dollars being spent on professional plumbing costs. If you’ve had to deal with a clogged drain in the past, you will no doubt know how frustrating the issue can be. To avoid such a problem occurring in the future, there are many simple measures you can take to try to keep the wastewater flowing steadily through your pipes, without the threat of obstructions. Here are some handy tips for clog prevention and for keeping your drains clean and odour free, too:

  • The simplest way to prevent food scraps getting into your pipes is by using a hair or food catcher, more commonly known as a ‘strainer’. These are cheap and easy to use. If you don’t already have strainers in your sinks and basins, get some ASAP. Hardware stores and plumbing suppliers have a range of strainers to fit both modern and more traditional sink types.
  • Another very simple strategy is to run piping hot water through your pipes once you’re done washing the dishes etc to prevent any debris that may have made its way through your drain hole from sticking to your pipe’s interior wall.
  • The humble baking soda and vinegar are both excellent household cleaners. Pour a small amount of baking soda followed by hot water down your drains for a quick yet effective clean. It will also remove any odours that may be emanating from your drain. Pouring some vinegar down your drain has a similar effect to the baking soda.
  • Never pour oil and other kitchen fats or coffee grounds down your sink. Oil and other kitchen fats can be poured into a waterproof, disposable container and thrown away. Coffee grounds can be thrown into your compost bin if you have one, or discarded like the oil and kitchen fats. Another easy way to prevent oils and fats from entering your pipes is to wipe clean greasy pans and plates with a paper towel before immersing them in the washing up water.
  • Never place objects in your toilet that should not be flushed. These include wet wipes, which are a common cause of clogs, nappies, sanitary products, plastics etc. They all belong in the bin. Flushing any of these down your toilet is a recipe for disaster, especially if done repeatedly. Furthermore, sending such items through your sewer system can cause harm to the environment – another factor to consider.
  • Another way to avoid build-up of residue in your pipes is to use less detergent etc when cleaning, especially if the cleaners you use are not biodegradable.

As you can see, there are many very simple and inexpensive/cost-free ways of keeping your pipes free of debris and odour. Being mindful of what does and doesn’t go down your pipes is important. Also, taking just a few minutes out of your day or week to flush your pipes using one of the natural cleaning methods mentioned above can play a big part in preventing drain blockages – something that is well worth making an effort for.