Blocked drains are a nuisance that many people have encountered at some point. The frustration of slow-draining sinks or water pooling in the shower can disrupt your daily routines. But what causes these blockages, and how can they be prevented? In this article, you may learn about the common culprits behind drain blockages and explore the importance of maintenance techniques like pipe relining to keep your plumbing flowing smoothly.
The Grease Dilemma
Grease is a common offender when it comes to clogged drains. In the kitchen, it often originates from cooking oils, butter, and fatty food remnants that go down the sink. Over time, these substances cool and solidify in the pipes, forming a sticky, stubborn blockage. This can lead to slow draining and, in severe cases, complete pipe blockages.
The Hair Hazard
In the bathroom, hair is a frequent culprit. It might not seem like a major issue at first, but as strands of hair combine with soap scum and other debris, they create a sticky mass that can quickly clog drains. Over-the-counter drain cleaners may provide a temporary solution, but they can also damage pipes in the long run.
Sometimes, objects find their way into drains, causing blockages. Children’s toys, jewellery, or small household items accidentally dropped down the sink or flushed down the toilet can obstruct pipes. Removing these blockages often requires the expertise of a plumber.
Tree Roots and Outdoor Debris
For outdoor drains and sewer lines, tree roots and outdoor debris pose significant risks. Tree roots are naturally drawn to the moisture within pipes, and over time, they can infiltrate and damage the plumbing system. Leaves, twigs, and other outdoor debris can accumulate in drainpipes, leading to blockages and potential damage. Meanwhile, regular maintenance can help prevent these issues.
Preventing Drain Blockages
Preventing drain blockages is often more manageable than dealing with the aftermath. Here are some tips to keep your drains clear:
Dispose of Grease Properly: Instead of pouring grease down the sink, collect it in a container and dispose of it in the trash when it solidifies.
Use Drain Screens: Placing screens or traps over sink and shower drains can catch hair and debris before they enter the pipes.
Regular Cleaning: Periodically clean your drains with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar, followed by hot water, to help break down grease and soap scum.
Be Mindful of What Goes In: Avoid flushing non-flushable items down the toilet, and educate family members about proper disposal practices.
Tree Maintenance: Regularly inspect and trim tree roots near your sewer lines to prevent root infiltration.
The Role of Pipe Relining
In cases where drain blockages persist or pipes are damaged, pipe relining can be a valuable solution. This method involves placing a new lining inside the existing pipe, creating a durable and smooth interior surface. It not only removes blockages but also reinforces and extends the lifespan of your plumbing system.
Understanding the common causes of drain blockages, from grease and hair to foreign objects and outdoor debris, is the first step in preventing plumbing problems. By practising good drain maintenance habits and seeking professional assistance when needed, you can keep your pipes clear and avoid the inconvenience of clogged drains. Also, pipe relining is a reliable solution for persistent blockages and damaged pipes, ensuring the long-term health of your plumbing system. So, don’t let drain blockages disrupt your daily life; take proactive steps to keep your plumbing flowing smoothly.