Every home relies on effective pipes and drainage to ensure that water drains away from the house properly. Obviously, if you experience an issue such as a blockage or a compromised pipe, then you won’t have water draining properly and you could very easily end up with an excess build-up of wastewater in your home or garden that can be very unpleasant indeed. This article will detail what exactly blocked drains are, what can cause one, how to prevent one and why it’s important to take good care of your drains. If you have any questions about a blockage that you are experiencing or would like to find out how we could help then please get in touch with a member of the Elliott Drainage team today and we will be happy to help answer any questions that you may have.
What Causes a Blocked Drain?
Some of the most common reasons that cause problems with drains are:
- Putting inappropriate items down toilets and sinks
One of the most common causes of a drain blockage is putting things down into the drain that you really should not be. The biggest culprits are wipes and fats. Baby/facial/cleaning wipes etc do not break down like toilet paper will and so they start accumulating in drains and will eventually block them. Even so-called flushable wipes shouldn’t really be flushed down the toilet. Fats also cause big problems because of the way they solidify in the drains (especially when they come in contact with fibrous items such as wipes). The problem cause is perfectly illustrated by the famous ‘fatberg’ that was discovered in the sewers of London, which is now on display in the Museum of London.
The fatberg weighed the same as 11 double-decker buses and stretched the length of two football pitches. It was a congealed mass of fat, wet wipes and nappies and could have risked raw sewage flooding on to the streets in Whitechapel, East London. This is an extreme example, but the problem still remains, with a 64-metre-long fatberg found clogging a sewer in Sidmouth, Devon.
- External items getting into the drains
Drains can also become blocked from the outside. Leaves, stones and debris can fall down grates and get into drains and sometimes people pour things they shouldn’t down them such as paint. These can eventually lead to blockages.
- Tree Roots
Tree roots can grow to be quite extensive underground and what may have been minimal or not even there at all when the pipes were originally installed, may now be interfering with your drainage pipes to the extent where they become damaged. They can cause pipes to crack which makes them leak or even start growing into the pipes which can block the flow of water.
- Pipe structural issues
Blockages and leaks can be caused by the pipes themselves breaking down. Old, terracotta pipes can easily crack and suffer from displacement and fibreglass pipes can actually become ‘squashed’ which reduces the size and stops water flowing. Subsidence can also compromise underground pipes.
Signs of a Blocked Drain
Often there can be some indicators of blockage before it becomes a major incident such as a sewage leak in the house or the garden. This includes things such as water not draining away properly or bad smells coming from your toilets or sinks. You may even see small amounts of water coming into low lying parts of the house such as cellars and this may be discoloured or foul smelling.
How To Avoid Blocked Drains?
There are a variety of ways to avoid blocking your drains, some easy and some that may require a little bit more thought and planning. In the long run, this could potentially save you a lot of money and fix any problems if they arise. Here are some steps that you can follow:
One of the best ways to avoid blocking your drains is to be very careful about what you put down your drains. When you are rising your plates after eating, be sure to scrape off any big pieces of food from the plate so that this does not travel down into your drains.
If you notice any bad smells or slow water drainage, take action and use a drain cleaning product or give Elliott Drainage a call.
Be very careful when it comes to the waste products that are produced through the production of any goods or materials. Ensure that all workers are trained in how to correctly deal with any substances that are likely to block your commercial drains
- Outline a process for employees to follow so that everything runs in a streamlined manner with no chance of the drains becoming blocked.
- As soon as you first notice the signs of blockage or problem, be sure to give our team a call and we will be able to tackle and fix the problem before it gets any worse.
Why Should You Care For Your Drains?
Taking good care of your drains is something that should be taken extremely seriously. A lot of grease, food and other substances pass through our drains on a very regular occasion and failing to look after this can likely cause a whole host of problems. First and foremost, having an unclean and unmaintained drain can hugely slow down things trying to pass through and not only is this an annoyance, but it can also be your drain calling out for you to take some action before the problem gets any worse.
It’s important to reach for the right thing and know what could potentially damage your pipe, especially as nowadays there is a huge variety of chemicals that market themselves as the best drain cleaner out there, but in reality, some of these could be doing more harm than good.
Using these corrosive and harmful chemicals can actually have some adverse effects on blocked drains and cause pipes to become corroded and damaged. This is particularly important within commercial environments and production plants as you are most likely already producing some waste products that have the potential to damage to the pipes so pouring more acidic and harmful liquids may make things a lot worse. Failing to regularly clean the drains could result in severe blockages occurring causing a pause in your production line and potentially a hefty cost.
Who Are Elliott Drainage?
Elliott Drainage have over 30 years of experience within the liquid waste industry and in that time, we have working in almost every environment and have seen a variety of different blockages, so you can rest assured that we have the right experience and we’ll be more than capable at dealing with blocked drains. The main point to remember is that being proactive and looking after your drains can increase the lifespan of your pipes and the drains themselves. You won’t need to worry about the drains and you’ll rarely have to fork out large sums of money to fix and maintain your drains. If you’re looking for someone to sort out blocked drains in Kent properly, get in contact today.