Blocked drains are a problem many households experience. Even if you take great care of what you put down your drain, blockages can occur. A much larger problem can develop if these blockages are not dealt with quickly.
Causes of Blocked Drains
There are many possible causes for blocked drains; here are some of the common reasons a drain can become blocked:
● Tree Roots
Tree roots can grow so large they break through pipework underground and cause a blockage right through the pipe.
Flushing toiletries and sanitary products down the toilet, such as cotton wool, wipes, and nappies, can quickly cause a blockage.
● Food Scraps
Food scraps can fall down the sink when cooking and washing the dishes, so taking care to avoid this is vital. Coffee grounds and rice are especially bad for your drains.
● Foreign Objects
Educating kids to never put items such as toys down the toilet is essential. Keeping a close eye on younger children to ensure they don’t accidentally drop things in the toilet is a good idea.
● Cat Litter
Cat litter absorbs liquid and expands, so if you try to dispose of it down your drain, it will almost certainly cause a blockage.
● Cooking Oil
Cooking oil is one of the worst items to put down your drain, as it can solidify into lumps causing a significant blockage.
● Mineral Build-Up
Calcium deposits occur naturally in pipework and make it easier for other materials to create a blockage.
When using bars of soap, lumps of it can fall off and wash down the plug hole; if this happens regularly, a blockage can occur.
A surprising amount of hair can become trapped in a plug hole, and this creates a blockage in the drain, causing other debris to become trapped within the hair.
● Natural Debris
Natural debris can be a problem for outside drains caused by leaves and twigs blown by the wind into the drain.
How to Fix a Blocked Drain
As there are so many causes of blocked drains, it is helpful to understand how to fix them yourself. While there are many solutions to fix minor drainage issues, for more severe blockages you will need to call a plumber. Here are some DIY fixes you could try for minor drain blockages:
● Caustic Cleaners
Many products are available to buy that contain caustic ingredients designed to dissolve drain blockages. You should always follow the instructions on the pack when using these products.
● Boiling Water
Another easy method that works for some blockages is boiling water. Pouring boiling water down the plughole can help dissolve and flush away blockages caused by soap build-up and shampoo.
A plunger is a traditional tool used by households to clear blocked drains. This simple method creates a seal around the plughole, and when you pull it away, the vacuum effect helps to dislodge the blockage.
There are many reasons a blocked drain can occur. DIY methods can solve blockages, but in some situations, the best course of action is to leave the clogged drain to the professionals. With professional help, you should be able to get the blockage repaired quickly before it becomes a major problem.