Blocked drains are a problem that is as frequent as it is annoying. What makes it even worse is that it seems we have zero influence on when we’ll step into the bathroom drowned in spilled water. In reality, though, we can postpone these unfortunate events by learning about the causes, and we can do our best to prepare ourselves for the day of reckoning, which makes our lives a lot easier. So, let’s see how to prevent and deal with the everlasting danger of blocked drains.
The most common causes of blocked drains
Let’s start with prevention. Here are the things you should keep out of your drains to keep them clean and flowing.
Grease and fat – The fatty substances we flush down the sinks are incredibly sticky and quickly build layers of the clog. The good news is that oil recycling is taking roots in Australia so you can turn your oil leftovers into cosmetics and biofuel.
Sanitary products – Some of the female and baby sanitary products take a lot of time to break down in water. That is why it is best to dispose of these products in the garbage bin.
Hair – One of the prime clogged drain suspects. Once it finds a way in, you can only hope for the best. That is why you need to protect your drains with proper guards.
Toilet paper – Toilet paper is designed to quickly dissolve in water, but only when it’s used in lesser amounts.
Food remains – Much like fat and grease, food remains are instant clog makers. They should be disposed of elsewhere.
Trees and leaves – Although it seems unlikely, garden maintenance has a great impact on drain behavior. If you allow tree branches and leaves into drains, they can cause major trouble.
How to deal with blocked drains
Unfortunately, no matter how cautious you are, you will, at some point, need to address this problem head-on. Depending on the severity of the situation, you can use some of the methods we will talk below.
Vinegar and baking soda
One of the easiest ways to deal with mild drain problems. Just pour a cup of baking soda into the drain and follow it by the same amount of apple cider vinegar. When the solution stops bubbling, run hot water down the drain. If the problem persists, let the plunger do the rest of the job.
Unclogging with a plumbing snake
A plumbing snake is a very useful tool that can easily reach any kind of clog, no matter how deep it is hidden in the maze of urban pipe layouts. However, using a plumbing snake requires some skill and buying the tool only to use it a couple of times a year doesn’t make too much financial sense. Since repairs of blocked drains in Perth and other big cities have become very affordable, it is better to leave more severe problems to professionals.
Replace the P-trap
P-traps are the plastic drainpipe curves situated below the sink. In most cases, they are the bottleneck causing the issue. If that’s the case, place a bucket below the sink to catch any eventual debris, unfasten the P-trap and replace it with a new one. Even if this doesn’t solve the problem, removing the P-trap will allow you easier access to the actual clog.
Use chemical drain cleaners
Chemical drain cleaners are a very effective way to deal with smaller clogs (especially the ones caused by organic materials). However, they are extremely toxic and cause pipe damage, so they should be saved as the last resort.
We hope these few tips will make your occasional plumbing problems at least a bit easier. Sure, the drains will always find a way to catch us off guard, but we can at least postpone that day as much as possible and be prepared for when it finally arrives.