Clogged pipes! They’re an absolute pain for any homeowner to deal with, especially if they’re a problem that’s generally avoidable with some knowledge of their causes and prevention. One thing is for sure, and that’s if you’ve ever experienced clogged pipes in your home, you’ll know just what disruption and inconvenience they cause.
Blocked pipes can lead to water backing up in your sink, shower or toilet, leading to a messy (and sometimes smelly!) situation that’s difficult and unpleasant to clean up.
Even worse, when left untreated, choked pipes can lead to structural damage and cost you a lot of money in expensive repairs. So, to help you avoid both inconvenience and potential damage, here’s what you should know about clogged pipes and some simple steps you can take to avoid them.
Blockages are typically caused by materials building up and collecting inside the pipe over time. And they’re one of the most common plumbing issues we deal with.
Common culprits include hair, grease, soap scum and toilet paper. Hair is especially problematic because it can easily accumulate over time and cause a tangled blockage that can be difficult to remove. Grease from cooking is also a major offender; once it cools and solidifies, it can quickly build up in your pipes and cause major issues.
Toilet paper is also a culprit, especially in households with young children who tend to overuse it. Although most toilet paper brands claim to be bio-degradable, some types don’t break down as quickly as others and can eventually lead to blockages. Additionally, tree roots from nearby trees or shrubs can sometimes penetrate a pipe and block water flow. So, as you can see, there are many potential causes of clogged drain pipes.
What’s important to note is that each material generally requires a different approach for dealing with it; for example, sometimes a specialised tool known as a “drain snake” may be needed to clear hair from a pipe, whereas grease build-up must be softened before it can be cleared away.
Regular maintenance is the best way to avoid clogged pipes, and there are certainly some simple things you can do to help keep your pipes clear of blockages.
One of the most common causes of clogged pipes is flushing items down the toilet that shouldn’t be there. This includes everything from paper towels and facial wipes to feminine hygiene products and nappies. Even “flushable” wipes don’t always break down enough before reaching your drains, leading to a blockage further down the line. A clear rule of thumb to remember is – if it isn’t wee, poo, or toilet paper, it doesn’t belong in your toilet!
The kitchen sink is another one of the most common places we see blockages. Grease and oil should never be allowed to go down your drain as they solidify over time and cause back-ups further down the line.
To prevent this from happening, pour any leftover grease or oil into an old container that can then be thrown away once it cools off. If you accidentally tip grease or oil down your drain, try pouring boiling water over it right away; this will help prevent any buildup.
It’s essential to monitor your drains regularly for any signs of debris buildup or blockages. This is especially true for sinks used frequently, such as those in kitchens and bathrooms.
Keeping an eye out for any slow draining or unpleasant odours coming from your drains can alert you to a potential problem before it becomes too severe. Getting in quickly to deal with the issue can save you significant time and money in the long run!
Take preventative measures if you’re serious about avoiding a clogged pipe. Start by using strainers or filters when washing dishes or doing laundry so that any bits of food or debris don’t end up going down the drain.
You can also use an enzyme-based cleaner too. These are small things you can do that can make a big difference to the health of your plumbing system.
The best way to ensure free-flowing pipes and avoid costly repairs is by scheduling regular maintenance checks with Eco Earth Plumbing every year or so. Routine inspections will give us an opportunity to identify any potential problems before they become big ones, giving you peace of mind knowing that everything is functioning correctly without having to worry about surprise repair bills!
It’s important to watch for signs that your pipes may be blocking up before it becomes a serious problem. If you notice water draining slowly from sinks or showers, if there’s an odd smell coming from the drains, or if you see water pooling around your drains even when no taps are running, it might be time to call us for help!
Suppose you’ve already done everything you can to prevent a blocked pipe from happening, but one has occurred anyway. In that case, you should call a licensed plumber before the problem escalates and potentially damages your home. Eco Earth Plumbing can quickly assess the situation and recommend the best solution for unblocking those pipes!
Clogged pipes are an unfortunate reality for many homeowners and one of the most common reasons we get called. But, by understanding their common causes—such as hair, grease, and toilet paper—and taking preventive measures like regular maintenance and using strainers on sinks and showers, you can usually avoid them.
However, if a pipe becomes clogged despite such precautions, it’s really very important to act swiftly to rectify the problem. While you might feel confident to tackle the problem yourself, we advise against it. Plumbing is a job best left to the professionals, as inexperience can lead to additional damage and safety risks. If you need help, we’re here to provide it!
Don’t hesitate to contact us on 0404 023 023 for any plumbing needs – from small to big stuff! We know plumbing systems and have the experience and expertise to ensure your pipes remain in tip-top condition!