Finding out you have a blocked drain when you’re already late for work on a grizzly Monday morning, is not what want after a nice, relaxing weekend. But such is life, and the curve balls it throws at us. But, you’re not alone. Blocked drains are a very common problem. And while there are certain precautions you can take to try and prevent it from re-occurring, sometimes it’s beyond your control.
The following are some of the most common causes of blocked drains:
This is by far, one of the most common culprits of blocked drains. Stray hairs get caught up in the plug and subsequently down the drain too. While one or two little stragglers are hardly likely to cause much damage, those that have a chance to build up over time can stop water from passing through altogether. There are devices you can pick up for a couple of quid that will catch hair before it goes down the plug hole. These are pretty good in helping to avoid a blocked drain. Or, simply remember to check and clear regularly any accumulation of hair in the plughole.
While this is another very common causer of blocked drains, it’s also one of the easier to deal with. Fat is very sticky and anytime it’s poured down the drain it tends to attach itself to the pipes inside. The more it builds up, the harder it becomes for water to pass through. Just be mindful of this the next time you’re dealing with any leftover fat from cooking. Instead of simply pouring hot oil down the drain, wait until it cools and then transfer it into a small container of some kind. Then, empty this pot once every few days. A much healthier process all around!
3. Toiletries and toilet paper
Baby wipes are the bane of many plumber’s existence. While these things may look nice and flushable (and to a certain extent they are), they do not disperse in water the same way as toilet paper. And because of their texture, they often get snagged on the insides of the drain, which can cause a blockage. Toilet paper is not quite so much as an issue as it is designed to be flushed. The problem arises when excessive amounts are flushed all at once, causing pieces to clump together, creating a pretty solid obstruction. Some toilet paper blockages are easily cleared through the use of a plunger, but if your toilet isn’t draining at all, you may need to call in the cavalry.
4. Trees and leaves
Unlike those listed above, this one isn’t really caused by humans, but more, by mother nature herself. Falling tree branches and leaves can easily clog up your outer drain if not regularly maintained. Tree roots should also be kept an eye on as they grow towards the nearest source of water, and if these get wrapped around your drains, you may have more than just a simple blockage to deal with. Once inside your pipes, tree roots grow at a fast rate as it’s the perfect environment for them. The more they grow, the more they obstruct water flow, eventually causing the pipes to crack.
5. Foreign objects
Another of the most common causes of blocked drains is that of foreign objects getting stuck. It’s amazing what people have flushed over the years. Those things found most often include baby wipes, cotton pads, and sanitary products. But there have been instances of blocked drains being caused by other more inventive items such as car keys, reptiles, false teeth, and even reptiles!
Even if you’re not sure what is causing your drain to be blocked, it needs to be cleared. A blocked drain can cause a whole plethora of problems if not addressed. If it’s food stuck down there, it could start to rot. And the smell of rotting food is never a nice thing to wake up to. Also, with rotting food, a build up of maggots, flies, or bacteria could arise. It may be that it’s just a build up of toilet roll, or something as simple as a few leaves blocking your pipes. But whatever the issue, the sooner it gets sorted, the less damage it can potentially cause.
Don’t worry if you don’t feel able to tackle your blocked drain issue as there are specialists out there who can help, even at short notice. So, fret no more. Simply give them a call, then sit back and let the pros take it from there.