How to Keep Your Drains from Blocking Up

a blocked up sinkWhen it comes to preventing blocked drains, the easiest solution is to be wary of the things that are washed into them. Much of the debris found when clogged drains require plumbers to clean them out are things that should not have been put down there in the first place.

Examples of this are strands of hair, leftover food scraps, cooking grease, tampons, condoms and soap scum. These objects belong in the trash rather than down the toilet or drain. Constant monitoring and sorting through waste water is not ideal however, so a more acceptable option is to place a screen on top of the drain to catch debris. To stop people flushing objects down the toilet that may cause blockages, educate the people who use your bathroom on what should and shouldn’t be flushed away. We spoke with Doug from Brisbane, owner of a locally renowned blocked drain company about how to prevent drainage issues.

The use of a screen, sometimes known as a drain-gate, is one of the easiest way to prevent clogged drains. Using a grate to cover the drain opening should help keep things like food scraps and hair strands from getting trapped in the drain pipes where they can build up and eventually block the flow of water. Of course, the debris the collects on the screen will need to be cleaned off on occasion. This can still be a somewhat unpleasant job but the more regularly it is undertaken the easier it will be.

The drain screen, however, is not completely capable of keeping out all types of scraps from entering the inner areas of the drain pipe. As such, there is a need to look for a few other means of preventing clogged drains. One of these is the idea of pouring hot water across the drain which should be ideally done immediately after using the sink. This stops oils and fats from solidifying in the pipework eventually causing blockages.

An example of a drain grate or drain screen

An example of a drain grate or drain screen

Oils and fats from the kitchen have a tendency to stick onto the pipe surfaces where they can easily build up choke the drains. Hot water helps to prevent this from happening as it softens the fats and flushes them out of the piping. Apart from hot water, baking soda is another effective means to help avoid clogged drains. This works best when used alongside hot water. After throwing three spoonful of baking soda down the drain, follow up immediately with a flush of very hot water. The baking soda acts as an absorbing agent to effectively minimize odors coming from the drain, as well as an alkalizing agent to break up clogs.

Another highly-effective way of preventing blocked drains is the use of vinegar. Vinegar contains a powerful substance known as acetic acid. This particular property of vinegar allows it to become a solvent which helps it to remove debris in the pipework that may have built up over time. In order for vinegar to effectively act as a drain cleaning material, at least one cup of it has to be used. This should be poured down the drain and left alone for about half an hour. Afterwards, just as in the case with baking soda, the vinegar solution should be followed up and flushed out by hot water.

In some cases, a single cleaning agent may not be sufficient to preventing clogged drains. If this is the case for your blocked drain you can try a combination of specialized solutions. Some suggestions we found online were made up from a combination of vinegar, baking soda, water, ice cubes, and even fresh lemon juice. If you’ve tried everything you can and still aren’t able to alleviate the blockage, get in touch with a local drain cleaning company and have a professional tackle the job. Remember, sometimes drain blockages are caused by tree roots and broken pipes etc., things that are completely beyond your control. It doesn’t matter what kind of solvent or chemical cocktail you pour down the sink, it may never be enough to fix the issue.