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Preventing blocked drains

15 June 2015

Prevention is better than cure, so the saying goes, and one of the best ways to prevent blocked drains is to be careful about what you put into them. It’s that simple. 

When things like cooking oil, coffee granules, hair, vegetable peels and soap scum are constantly running down the drain it’s only a matter of time before it turns into a blockage. Regular cleaning also has its advantages for preventing blocked drains and there are some simple methods that can also be carried out periodically.

Our tips for avoiding blocked drains:

  • Save cooking oil in an old coffee can or cardboard milk container and dispose of it in the trash.
  • Throw coffee grounds away in the bin with other food waste or add them to your compost pile.
  • Use a screen or drain-grate to cover the drain’s opening and minimise problems with hair, vegetable peels and soap scum. Your local plumbing-supply store should be able to recommend the right type for your particular sink. Most filters and screens can be simply laid in place. Home Depot also have a good range of drain-grates.

Our tips for periodical cleaning:

  • Hot water: Run hot water through the sink after each use. Hot water keeps oils in food products running down the drain, instead of building up inside surface pipes, a sure fire way to prevent blocked drains.
  • Baking soda: A handful of baking soda along with hot water is also a great cleaning agent, and great for absorbing drain odours.
  • Vinegar: Vinegar works wonders for cleaning and unblocking drains. It contains acetic acid which acts as an organic solvent, removing biological build-up in pipes. Pour one cup of vinegar down the drain and let it sit for 30 minutes; then rinse it through with very hot water.

DIY unblocking:

If blocked drains are a regular problem in your home, try this for drains in sinks, showers, and baths, just before going to bed, allowing the solution to sit overnight and giving it more cleaning power).

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup each of baking soda, salt, and vinegar
  • A couple of pints of boiling water.

Method:

  1. Pour the salt and the baking soda into the drain.
  2. Add the vinegar and let the concoction foam for about a minute.
  3. Chase with at least 4 pints of boiling water.

If you do still have a problem with blocked drains then Homecure plumbers have a team of specialists on hand to deal with the problem quickly and effectively.

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