Drain and sewer system has become a very important part of modern domestic and commercial properties that we cannot live without. Our homes, hotels, offices, and institutions rely on them to dispose excess water and waste in an effective and hygienic manner. Unfortunately, drain care and maintenance has never been a priority for most property owners and occupants. As long as water is flowing out of the kitchen sink or the bathroom, drainage is the last thing to be bothered about.
But wait until when something goes wrong with your drain, and things get out of hands. Faulty drain system can be a major source of stress and commotion in your home. If you have ever experienced clogged or blocked drains, you know how devastating and costly it can be, not to mention the safety and health risks. Though BDS Drainage can instantly help you in event of drain blockage emergency, preventing such problems is much better as it saves you from panic and future occurrences.
The good news is that you can forget blocked and clogged drain problems, if you take the appropriate preventive measures. We have prepared simple tips to help you care for your drains and ensure that your family or tenants are safe at all times. But before we get there, it is important to understand the common causes of drain and sewer system blockage.
Common Causes of Drain and Sewer System Blockage
1. Unsuitable objects in the toilet drain and kitchen sinks
Flushing materials that do not break or dissolve in water such as wipes, diapers and female hygiene towels is one of the major causes of toilet blockage, as they build up in the drain clogging the drainage pipes. Fat, grease, food particles and soap scum can accumulate on the walls of the kitchen drainage pipes eventually blocking them.
2. Dirt, Hair, Soap Scum and skin Flakes in Bathroom Drain
When you bath, the dirty, hair particles and soap scum flows through the bathroom drain, and can create a major problem when left to accumulate, reducing space for water passage.
3. Foreign Material in the Drain
These include object such as debris, stone particles, and leaves. They may find their way to the drainage. Also pouring paints and other litter into the drain system can clog the pipes and result to blockage.
4. Tree Roots Penetrating Drainage pipe
Roots of big trees can force their way into your drain damaging the pipe resulting into clogging and eventually blocking the drainage pipes.
5. Pipe Freezing
During winter, water can freeze in the pipes blocking the passage either partially or completely. If the appropriate maintenance measures are not taken on time, this freezing and melting process strains the pipes and may lead to permanent damage.
6. Wear and Tear
With time your drainage pipes wears out, especially if the proper maintenance is not done. This can lead to a fault within the system resulting to blockage.
Six Simple Preventive Drain Blockage Care Practices
Want to Prevent Blocked Drains?
Check this – 4 Ways to Prevent Blocked Drains
• Use Plug Screen over the plughole
This is simply some sort of a filter that traps items that can cause blocked drains. The plug screen can be used in kitchen sinks to prevent food particles and other debris and bathroom to prevent soap, hair and dirt from entering the drainage system. They are available in different sizes, so you need to purchase one that can fit on your plughole.
• Avoid Washing Fats or Oils into the kitchen sink
Unlike water and other liquids, oils and fats, though may be in liquid form, will quickly solidify and stick on the walls of the drainage pipes trapping more wastes. You therefore need to avoid such from getting down into the drain to prevent potential blockage. You may use a fat trap to dispose your waste fat and oil products.
• Dispose used fibrous material appropriately
You should use a bin to dispose other wastes such as baby diapers, feminine hygiene wastes, cotton wool and cotton wipes among other items instead of flushing them down your toilet.
• Restrain from Pouring Chemicals into the drains
Paints, solvents, used engine oil and pharmaceutical products can corrode the drainage pipes resulting to damages. Thus, you need to dispose such items appropriately in compliance with the local environmental laws.
• Water Softening
In some places, water may contain natural minerals such as calcium and magnesium (hard water), which can accumulate inside the drains restrict passage. You may use electronic softeners of sodium to dissolve these naturally occurring minerals. You can talk to BDS Drainage for low cost sodium softener installation or fix an electric softener by yourself.
• Keeping the drainage line clear
Avoid planting trees near the drain/ sewer system to prevent root damages. This may also minimize chances of falling leaving getting down to your plumbing system.
What if your Drain/Sewer System Still Blocks?
The above six practices will minimize chances of experiencing drain blockage in your premises, but this doesn’t mean that blockage is not possible. Your drainage pipes can still block due to other causes ranging from poor maintenance to installation errors. Inspecting your drain system whenever you suspect a potential blockage, quick repairs and routine maintenance can help you further reduce the risk of block drains.
Early Indicators of Drain or Sewer Blockage
In most cases, your will observe early blockage warnings before it grows to a serious and uncontrollable problem. If you notice any of the following indicators, it can be a warning of an impending blockage:
• Poor Water Drainage
If water is taking longer to drain from the sink or the bathroom floor, it can be an indication of clogged pipes which could lead to blockage problem.
• Bad Smell from Your Toilet and Sinks
If you notice an odour coming in the premises, around the drain; the smell of sewage around the sewer outdoors could mean your drainage is about to block. However, you need to establish that the smell is not caused by anything else.
• Small pool of water in the shower
If you notice a small pool around your feet when showering, it is a strong signal of poor drainage which could be as a result of blockage of collapsed pipes.
• Damp and Mould
A block pipe may restrict flow of water forcing it to flow outside the pipe causing moulds on walls and floor surface around the drainage line or making the surfaces moist. You should always be keen to observe such occurrences.
Regular Drain Maintenance Tips
When was the last time you inspected or cleaned your drain? Maintaining your drain is one of the most effective steps of preventing blockages, giving you peace of mind and a sense of safety. Drain maintenance involves:
1. Routine inspections
Examining the condition of your drain and sewer system can help you identify potential problems to counter them before they occur. It is therefore important to always observe any abnormality in your sinks, bathroom, septic tanks, and other parts of the drain system or schedule regular inspection with a professional plumber.
2. Drain CCTV Survey
The bigger part of your plumbing system is hidden in the wall or underground, making it hard to notice a developing issue. Fortunately, with CCTV survey you can have a view of the whole system to spot any fault that needs your immediate attention. Drain CCTV survey may be useful under the following circumstances.
• If you are living in an old property which is more vulnerable to drain blockage.
• When you are buying a home which has had blocked drains in the past.
• In case of recurring drain/ sewer blockage.
• If you have not had any professional drain inspection for a long time.
BDS Drainage CCTV survey can help you discover budding problems as well as keep an eye on previous repairs to avoid more damages and drain leaks, which can really mess up your property.
3. Regular Draining Cleaning
I know drain cleaning is an exciting task for you. It is not for every property owners, but it is vital to enhance safety, comfort and health in your home. Cleaning your drain can help in many ways such as:
• Prevent future clogs and blockages.
• Neutralize any unpleasant smells from the drains.
• Make your home clean and safe for human living.
• Prevent potential drain damages.
One more important thing, how do you clean your drain?
• Using hot water – Fill the sink or the bath tub with hot (boiling water) and open the drain, so that the water can drain down the pipes with more pressure washing away stick substances on the pipe walls.
• Using a mixture of baking soda and vinegar – You can mix around 50 ml of each substance and pour the fizzing mixture down the drain. Allow the mixture to last for at least 3 hours or overnight. Use hot water to wash down the accumulated substances which has been removed by the fizzing reaction.
• Clearing mould, hair and food disposals – Using a drain brush, remove hair and mould on the visible area of the drain to prevent build ups which can cause serious problems. Also remove any food particles from the sink plug screen and flush down some cleansers such as caustic soda, baking soda and vinegar followed by a hot-water-rinse.
• Cleaning the pipes – Though cleaning drain pipes should be left to professional plumbers, you can easily clean the pipes beneath your kitchen sink by opening the U-shaped pipe and removing any debris or dirt trapped in the pipes.
• Professional draining services – For a thorough drain cleaning, you may need the services of a professional plumber once in a while to ensure that the whole system remain clean and fresh.
4. Act on any issues as soon as possible
Another key maintenance step is to take immediate actions as soon as you identify any signs of drainage issues. It is advisable to call a reliable plumber to help you determine the root of the problem and rectify the issues to prevent messy situations as well as repair any damaged part of the drain.
How to Unblock a Drain
In summary, though your drainage system is mostly out of sight, it should never get out of your mind. You need to observe signs of blockages to prevent more costly repairs as well as maintain your home safety and healthy. Additionally, learning and teaching your kids what to or not to flush down the drain can go a long way in reducing blockage risks, as well as save you money and time.