Home drains require maintenance from time to time to function properly. The modern plumbing system installed in houses and commercial buildings has a lot of fail-safes in order to prevent blockages or issues, however, from time to time, a problem can occur. Pipes can burst and numerous other issues can arise depending upon how you maintain your plumbing system. One of the most common issues that can arise in any house is a blocked drain, which is a very serious municipal problem as well, and the government ends up spending hundreds of thousands of pounds each year to clean drain pipes.
Before the focus moves to maintaining drain pipes, it’s important to understand the conventional plumbing system. There are pipes connecting all of the plumbing fixtures in your house to the water supply or tank. The water that is drained from the wash basin, the toilet, or the shower drain passes through a series of pipes, all of which connect to the main drainage line leading out of your house. From there, the drain pipes carry all of the wastewater to the municipal sewage lines.
The municipal sewage lines run deep under the ground and connect to water treatment plants or go straight out into the sea or rivers. Now, the drain pipe, by its very design, was created to carry semi-solids and water. Unfortunately, most people use their drains as an alternate garbage can.
Many people throw solid items down their toilet and then flush them down without thinking. While it may go away from your view when you look down in the toilet bowl, there’s a very high chance that the solid items are likely to get stuck somewhere down in the drain pipe. Here are some of the most common items that are found to be the cause of clogged drains.
Hair doesn’t decompose very quickly. By its very nature, hair can easily get stuck to almost anything. If you are regularly flushing hair down the drains, there’s a very high chance that the hair strands will get stuck somewhere down in the drain pipe and cause a blockage. Hair itself doesn’t prevent water from moving at high speeds down the drain, but instead, it becomes the perfect trap for capturing other items that can cause a major blockage. You should consider installing strainers in the shower drains to prevent hair and other things from falling down the drain.
One of the most common causes of blockage in underground drainage pipes is the fact that people throw food residue in the pipes. This usually happens in the kitchen. When washing plates, most people don’t think twice before throwing the remaining food from the plate down in the drain pipes. The drain pipe isn’t designed to carry food remnants out, and there’s a very high possibility that it will get caught up somewhere in the pipes.
A common way to keep this type of blockage from happening is to install a sieve in the kitchen drain. The sieve will catch all food remnants while you are washing the dishes, so that you can dispose of them properly later on.
There are certain liquids which can also cause a blockage in your drain pipes. Now, you might be wondering how ordinary liquids can cause drain blockages. Unfortunately, you need to know that there are certain liquids which tend to solidify when they are passed down the drain pipe. For instance, oily and fatty liquids can harden when exposed to water.
When washing dishes in the kitchen, you should first make sure that you wipe all oil from the plates before turning the water on. There have been many cases in the past where underground drain pipes were utterly blocked because of oily and fatty substances.
Drain Maintenance 101
Now that you know the most common causes of a blockage in drain pipes, it’s time to discuss different things that you can do in order to maintain your drain pipes. As is obvious, it’s important that you avoid throwing any substance in the pipes that can cause a blockage. Now, here are just a few tips that you should follow in order to minimise the chances of a drain blockage.
Contact your local plumber to install screens and sieves over drain openings. This will prevent solid items from passing into the drain pipes and causing a blockage. This is most important for the kitchen and shower drains, as food remnants and hair are very likely to cause a blockage deep down in the pipes. If you have sieves installed over the drain openings, only small amounts will be able to enter the drain, which aren’t enough to cause a blockage.
Avoid Using Too Much Water
Drain pipes are only designed to carry so much water at one point in time. If you are flushing the water regularly in the drain pipes and at short intervals, you are running the risk of causing a blockage. Moreover, wasting too much clean water doesn’t bode well for the environment either. Therefore, it’s highly recommended that you minimise the use of water when flushing toilets.
A great way to save water is to install high-efficiency toilets and taps around the house. They use much less water in order to provide the same functionality.
Underground drains can also get blocked if the roots of a tree find their way to the pipes. By nature, tree roots are designed to look for moisture underground, and what provides more moisture than a drain pipe? Naturally, if the tree roots cut through the pipe, they are going to cause a blockage. You should call in a landscaping company to trim the tree and cut its roots properly from time to time in order to minimise the chances of a blockage.
These are just some of the main things that you can do in order to keep your underground drain pipes running smoothly. Always keep an eye out for leaks so that you are able to nip it in the bud.