Thursday, 14 February 2019

Causes and Prevention of Blocked Drain

For homeowners, a blocked drain is a hassle. Confusions regarding how bad the block is, whether they can clear on their own or need to call a plumber, or what the cost would be, can bother big time. Thanks to the numerous chemical and hardware available in the supermarket, most homeowners go with the economical DIY option these days.

Hardware like plungers, augers and drain busters are somewhat effective when it comes to clearing a mid-level block. However, chemical drain cleaners prove to a waste of money and do more harm than good by corroding the metal components of your drain and releasing toxic fumes while dissolving the blockage.

blocked drain concord
Blocked Drain

What Are the Common Causes of The Blocked Drains?

Grease:

Kitchen sinks, over time, tend to have a lot of vegetable oil and animal fat solidified in them causing a blocked drain. Although such blockages aren’t difficult to remove in home kitchens, restaurant and commercial kitchens would probably need professional plumbing services.

Broken or Damaged pipes:

As houses grow older, the pipes in them become more susceptible, cracking due to erosion and weakness of the material, growing tree roots, digging damage, or the ground shifting. Regular inspection and maintenance by a certified plumber keeps you away from this problem and replacing old pipes with new PVC plumbing ensures the longevity of drainage systems.

Foreign objects:

Many plumbers state they have seen it all when they are clearing a blocked drain. Toys, sanitary napkins, garment, air fresheners, tools, rubber tubes, beer cans, and coils of hair are things commonly found. Plumbers often use a CCTV drain inspection camera to identify the block and effectively clear a drain obstructed by a foreign object.

Tree roots:

When tree roots grow and expand seeking water, they destroy everything on their way including walls and underground pipes, thus causing severe water damage and blocked the drain. In this case, as well, plumbers bring in a CCTV drain camera to inspect and identify the issue and finally provide the best solution to clear the blockage and prevention further damage.

Incorrect installation:

Shoddy installation work can also cause severe drain blockages. If the drains are not installed without enough grading or a ‘fall’ of at least 20mm for a 1m pipe length, waste wouldn’t be adequately disposed of. Eventually, the pipe gets prone to build-up causing a blocked drain. If the blockage is due to improper installation, the only way to correct it is by re-laying the entire network, which can be a costly affair.

Preventing drain blockages:

Being careful of what you put down the drain is the basic and most important way to prevent blocked drain in your home or place of business. Things to avoid flushing down include hair, soap scum, toothpaste, foreign objects, cooking grease, and food scraps. Here are some tips: 
  • Flushing drains with boiling water or a mixture of salt, cream of tartar and baking soda can help keep the drains unobstructed.
  • Cooking oil should be poured in a glass jar and disposed of along with other rubbish.
  • Brush your hair before you enter the shower.
  • Scrape off food from your dishes before washing them over the sink. The golden rule is if you cannot eat it, it should not go down the toilet.
  • In case of a blocked drain inside, try using a plunger or if it’s outside, use a power auger. 
If everything else fails, you can always call in your friendly neighborhood plumber to get you out of the mess caused by blocked drain. Still and all, it’s good to remember that prevention is always better than cure.

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