Blocked drains are, unfortunately, one of the most common household plumbing issues that people have to deal with. However, despite being such a common household problem, a lot of people still do not seem to understand just how bad blocked drains can be if left unchecked, likewise, a lot of people still do not understand which items actually cause blocked drains. It is unfortunate because once you know what the prime causes of blocked drains are, it becomes extremely easy to prevent them. So, here are some things everyone should know about blocked drains.
It is really easy to put off dealing with blocked or partially blocked drains. After all, if they are in a sink you do not use often, it can be really easy to say to yourself “I will deal with it later.” And of course, later never comes. But if left alone, even for a relatively small amount of time (say 2 or 3 days), blocked drains can actually become fairly hazardous. First off, the blockage may start to emit odours, not necessarily hazardous, but certainly very unpleasant. More problematic is the water that gets caught in the pipes. Water that gets caught in pipes can become infected with dangerous bacteria, which will then start to breed. This is especially true if it the blockage is affecting a toilet drain.
So, try to get into the habit of treating blocked drains seriously, and not just as another household problem. Dealing with blocked drains is not fun, but if you do not deal with them quickly, you are only going to make the problem a lot worse. If you are stuck scratching head on how to get rid of a blocked drain quickly, we compiled a list of 7 easy ways of unclogging a drain that may be helpful.
It is pretty common knowledge that leftover grease should never be thrown down a drain; it hardens and causes blockages that are difficult to remove. Despite this being common knowledge, a lot of people still insist on washing leftover food and grease down the drain when they do the dishes. Food and grease should never be put down a drain, they cause clogs easily and are a pain to remove. So, before washing any plates in a sink, make sure you scrape any food and any grease into the garbage. And, if you have a huge amount of grease leftover, instead of throwing it down the sink, put it in a container and throw it in the fridge overnight. The grease will harden, and then you can just throw it in the trash. Very small amounts of kitchen grease or oil can be thrown down a drain, but only if you take the time to thoroughly mix it with warm water. Never, under any circumstances, dump undiluted grease or oil down a drain. Some people seem to think the way to deal with large amounts of grease is by flushing it down the toilet; this is an awful solution and will simply lead to your toilets being clogged instead of your drains.
Those with very young children have probably made use of “flushable baby wipes” to help clean their children’s bottoms. These wipes are the bane of any city’s sewer systems. These wipes, despite being marketed as “flushable” are anything but. They do not dissolve properly when flushed, and then they clump together with other flushable wipes to make massive clogs. The wipes will dissolve over time, but the problem is that they do not dissolve quickly enough. This means that the wipes eventually begin piling up and forming big massive clogs that sewer experts call “sheep.” If you do not believe flushable wipes are a problem, look at any city’s sewer systems and you will find that they have issues with flushable wipes. In 2013, a massive 15 ton clog wreaked havoc on London’s sewer systems; and flushable wipes were a big part of the clog. Likewise, New York sewer officials claim that flushable wipes caused around $18 million worth of damages. Unfortunately, not many people heed the advice to stop flushing these wipes. It is understandable why, the wipes are extremely helpful for parents who need a quick, easy way to clean their baby’s bottom. But the wipes are incredibly dangerous for sewer systems and need to stop being flushed. Unfortunately, companies have been slow to warn consumers of the dangers associated with flushing these disposable wipes. If you make use of flushable wipes, consider finding a less damaging alternative, you may just save yourself from having to deal with a massive clog.
While “flushable” wipes are a big enough problem to warrant their own section, people in general seem to not understand what exactly can be flushed down a toilet and what cannot. You should avoid flushing anything that is not toilet paper or human waste. People assume that they are able to flush things like paper towel or feminine hygiene products, but the truth is that those products are not designed to be flushed and that sewer systems are not designed to accommodate them. Even multiple ply toilet paper, if not used responsibly, can result in your bathroom drains being clogged. So, when you go to flush something down the toilet, think to yourself “does this dissolve easily,” if the answer is no, then under no circumstances should you flush it. Even relatively small objects, like dental floss, can eventually cause clogs if you flush enough of it down the drain.
Clogged drains are annoying and messy, but thankfully with a little knowledge, you can easily avoid having to deal with them. Simply remember the above facts, and you will find that you will rarely, if ever, have to deal with clogged drains or toilets again. And remember, if you are having issues with a difficult clog, always call a licensed plumber to deal with it.