Home life can be stressful enough without having to deal with a clogged drain. Threatening to disrupt your day, a sink or toilet that fills up is more than just an inconvenience, it can fast prove a nightmare.
You’ve heard the expression ‘prevention is better than the cure’ and it’s the reason we’ve compiled this definitive guide to ensuring you never have to deal with a blocked drain again – it’s the simple things, isn’t it?
But thanks to this informative article, you’ll have one household worry off your mind at least. Read on…
The answer to this one’s quite simple: if your sink or toilet is filling up with water that simply won’t drain away (or is trickling down the plug hole or toilet bowl a little too slowly) you have an issue on your hands.
The good news is, though, there are plenty of ways you can stop this occurring in the first place – and a few preventative measures may save you money and hassle later down the line.
The fact is, a blocked drain is never convenient; it always happens at the worst time and usually sets you back a good few pounds. Add to that the fact that the drain will probably smell and you have a recipe for disaster – or at the very least a highly-stressed you.
More than that though, a blocked, foul-smelling drain can actually result in health problems for you and your family – and you may be forced to spend a fortune on a plumber to spend mere minutes fixing the issue.
Away from your own home, larger clogs in the main lines can put added strain on our municipal sewage and wastewater systems, which could cause problems for your neighbourhood and for the environment in general.
With proper drain maintenance, though, all these issues can be avoided.
Clean Your Drains – This is more a preventative measure, really, but if you spot an issue it’s certainly worth having a go at cleaning your drains in the event of a clog.
Don’t be tempted to think of your drains as ‘out of sight, out of mind’. Instead, with good, regular maintenance you can save yourself a fortune and put your mind at rest. Keeping the drains clean is important to your family’s health, so here’s what to do:
Clogged shower drain? First, start by removing hair, soap scum or any other debris which is sitting in the plug hole. If there’s still a blockage, use a little wire or the end of a coat hanger to carefully poke a little way down into the drain itself, pulling up any hair or debris as you go. Always wear rubber gloves and ensure you test the blockage afterwards, simply by turning on the shower and seeing if the problem persists – do this once a week, particularly if the build up of hair is an issue.
If you’re dealing with a clogged bathroom sink, remove any pop-up stoppers and put any debris in the trash, before rinsing the stopper off and putting it back. Use the same method of a bent wire or coat hanger to clean out any debris which is sitting in and around the plug hole.
Using a disposer brush, make sure you clean your refuse disposal around once a month. If you can’t get hold of a disposer brush, instead grind up some table salt with a few cups of ice. This works to cut through grease and slime, then simply flush it out with cold water. After, you can rinse out the disposal area with some cold water, followed by a squirt of lemon, to keep things fresh-smelling.
Around once a month, remove the overflow plate in your bath tub, raising the pop-up assembly to reach the rocker arm or spring. Now, simply remove any debris and rinse well before putting it back into position.
Another job to do around once a month is to grab some bacteriological drain cleaner in a bid to maintain all the drains in your home; doing so might just save you some money in the long run. Choose a biodegradable, non-corrosive product which won’t damage your home plumbing system and enjoy all the assurance you need that you’re keeping on top of things.
Now that you’ve spent so long unclogging an already-blocked drain, you’ll want to ensure your hard work hasn’t gone to waste. With that in mind, here are some handy prevention tips to ensure you can keep things ticking over quite nicely.
Consider Placing Mesh Screens Over Your Drains – These will catch the hair that builds up over time. One of the easiest methods to prevent a clogged drain, it’s also one of the cheapest.
Don’t Be Tempted to Comb Your Hair in the Shower – Doing so will almost certainly cause a hair blockage later down the line. Instead, brush your hair before you get in the shower or bath, which should go some way to reduce the number of strands which end up sitting in and around your plug hole. The same goes for pets; make sure you wash them outside – and not in the bath or shower cubicle – when the weather is warm enough.
Start a Compost Bin – Save water and energy by not being so dependent on the rubbish disposal. By putting fewer solid substances down the drain, you’ll be saving yourself money and time later. Instead, start a compost bin and you may find that this erases the problem.
Buy a Plunger – A plunger or drain snake can be vital when it comes to the regular and safe maintenance of your home’s drains. Often – and despite your best intentions – clogs can occur, but you might not need to call out a drainage company if you can deal with it yourself thanks to a plunger. Don’t be tempted to use any harsh chemical cleaners. Instead, simply grab your plunger and put it to good use.
Don’t look at your drains as a rubbish bag – they’re not! Minimise blockages by ensuring that the following substances and materials don’t make their way down the bath, sink or kitchen plug hole:
Of course, a lot of the items on the above list go without saying; we’re sure you know not to put nail varnish down your drains, after all. That said, it’s surprising what kind of substances homeowners let slip through the net when it comes to their sink holes.
Everything from motor oil and small bottle caps can pose a problem, so make sure you don’t allow anything like this to come into contact with your plug holes. If you think any of the above substances or materials have, act fast and try to dig them out as soon as you notice a problem. And if in doubt – and you don’t think a substance should go down the plug hole – don’t put it down there. Instead, pop it in the rubbish bin (providing it can be safely disposed of in there too) and you won’t have to ring a professional drainage company later.
It’s important also that you educate your kids when it comes to possible drain blockages. Small toys and even hair can be one of the biggest causes of a clogged drain, so do make them aware that they shouldn’t be putting little pieces of Lego, for example, down the plug hole.
Once the whole family knows exactly what they’re doing and you put a few simple prevention steps in place, you may find that you don’t have to deal with a blocked drain anytime soon.
So, you’ve got a blocked drain and you’ve tried our tips, yet still the issue persists? Now’s the time to call out the professionals, who will deal with the matter quickly and efficiently and give you some maintenance tips for the future as well.
You’ll kick yourself if you spend money calling out a professional drainage team, only to find that the issue returns a few short weeks later. Prevention is certainly key, so put some steps in place now to stop a blocked drain reoccurring and you’ll save yourself time, money and hassle later – good luck!