As the old saying goes ‘prevention is better than cure’ and believe it or not, this axiom holds true for your plumbing as well. Keeping your drains free from clogs and blockages is not always as straightforward as it seems, especially during the holiday seasons or at birthday parties, when the increased human traffic places a strain on your home’s drainage capacity.
Correct Waste Disposal
To avoid calling the emergency plumber at these inconvenient times, ensure that the kitchen sink is not used as a food disposal. Sink drains are only designed to deal with water drainage and small bits of food waste. While the waste disposal can deal with smaller leftovers from large meals, it’s best to ensure that leftover food is scraped off into your dustbin before washing. Furthermore, pieces of paper napkins and towels are certainly not meant to go down the drain, so don’t assume the waste disposal will make short work of these items – it won’t and blockages will be inevitable.
Keep Your Drains Clean
A huge problem with blocked drains, which most people are not aware of and emergency plumbers despise, is the build-up of fats and oil which occurs when poured down the sink. If this is then followed by hot water, the fats and oil congeal along the pipes when they cool, wreaking havoc on your plumbing. Rather ensure that used oil and large fat deposits are disposed of in the waste bin, preferably sealed in an airtight container. If, however, oil does find its way down the plug hole, immediately rinse for 2 minutes with cold water to help flush it through the pipes.
Proper Toilet Use
You know what your toilet is meant for, or so your emergency plumber would think! While normal waste and toilet paper flow through pipes as per their design, they are not built to cope with small children who think it’s a great plan to drop toys in the bowl, or slightly inebriated guests who can’t seem to find the wastepaper bin that you have kindly provided. This results in all kinds of items trying to be flushed down including sanitary towels, entire toilet rolls, toy cars, paper (the normal kind) and cotton wool swabs. Your toilet drains don’t like these things and will get blocked as a result. If guests are staying over which results in increased shower usage, hair clogs become a problem too. Ask them to clear the drainage sill after they use the shower and allow a short break between periods of use to help ensure that the pipes are properly drained.
If Nothing Works, Call an Emergency Plumber
A number of blockages can be dealt with without the help of your emergency plumber. Often an extended ‘flushing’ with cold water can sort the blockage out, or it can be carefully removed by hand. Dumping a bucket of water into toilet bowls can effectively boost your ‘flush’ and dislodge a blockage. Remove hair and soap scud from plugholes before they wind up in your plumbing. But if you still can’t unblock the clog, then you have to make the call!