Clogged drains are possibly the most common plumbing issue; we’ve all been guilty of reaching for the quick-fix chemicals at the back of the cupboard when we discover one. Unbeknownst to many, however, is the fact that some of these harsh chemicals can do more harm than good in the long run. The low prices and advertised promises of unlocking even the worst blockages can be extremely appealing – who doesn’t want to save some pennies AND remedy their unsavory pipe problem.
The truth of the matter is that despite being sufficient for lighter blockages such as grease, grime and hair build-up; they aren’t the tool for the job if the block is substantial and the unfortunate truth is that, if it IS corrosive enough for the bigger blockages – it’s probably not going to be good for the pipes themselves.
Not only this, but it can have harmful effects on water’s ecosystems. However, if you are going to resort to DIY methods then go for natural substances which are less likely to damage your plumbing systems such as hot (but not boiling) water, vinegar, and baking soda. Try pouring equal parts of baking soda and vinegar down the problem pipe, leave overnight and flood with hot water the next day.
If this doesn’t work, then the best thing to do is call in the professionals. Plumbers have specific tools for blockages, suited for the necessary type of pipe and blockage and they will know how to carry out the work ensuring your pipes stay in tip-top condition.
To avoid future build-ups and blockages, here is a list of things you should not be putting down your drains:
– Baby wipes/make up wipes – Even ‘flushable’ wipes – they’re not, we promise!
– Food waste – Dispose of this in a bin or in a special waste disposal system if you have one, if the latter, check with your provider which foods are suitable for that system.
– Sanitary products: Contrary to popular belief, these are not suitable for plumbing systems so dispose of them in the bin instead.
– Hair – This is one of the easier culprits to unblock BUT, to save yourself the hassle, remove the hair from around the plug after you bathe/shower and pop it in the bin.
– Oil, fat, and grease, just like other food waste – This should be disposed of in a bin, they may be liquid and therefore seem safe to put down a drain but they cling on and build up and can cause havoc over time.
Another way to help keep your drains clear is to use the aforementioned natural clearing method every couple of weeks as a preventative measure. But, if in doubt – call a plumbing heating and installation specialist.