Blocked drains affect many households. While they are not usually a difficult problem to solve, drains that back up regularly can be a sign of an ongoing issue. Here are four possible reasons why your drains keep blocking, as well as some tips for how to address these underlying causes.
1. Cooking Grease
A common but under-recognised cause of blocked drains is cooking grease solidifying in the pipes. If you use oil, butter, or any other kind of fat in your cooking, it can end up getting washed into your drains when you wash dishes. One solution is to use less fat in your cooking, for example by baking or steaming food instead of frying or roasting it. Another option is to pour off excess grease and dispose of it with your household's general waste, instead of pouring it into the sink. To deal with the traces of oil or fat that are left on your cookware and plates, be sure to run plenty of hot water into the sink after you wash the dishes. This method helps to ensure that fat flows through your pipes without cooling and solidifying into clots.
Hair is an obvious cause of blocked drains, but many people do not realise quite how much hair is getting into their home plumbing system via their shower drain. An easy way to keep hair out of your pipes is to use a hair guard, which is a small piece of metal or plastic that sits over the drain and catches hair. You can scoop the hair out and throw it away after you shower.
Sometimes the reason that your drains keep backing up is nothing to do with your lifestyle. Corroded pipes can cause blockages or leaks deep inside your plumbing system, which can lead to sinks and shower stalls draining very slowly. Call a plumber if your drains regularly become blocked for no obvious reason.
4. Tree Roots
In addition to corrosion, plumbing problems leading to blocked drains can also arise from roots growing into the pipes that take wastewater from your home. Look out for boggy patches or stagnant smells in your yard or garden. If you suspect that trees might be the root of your problem, contact a plumber so they can investigate on your behalf. You might need to cut down, cut back, or move the tree to resolve your ongoing struggle with blocked drains.
If you want to learn more about blocked drains, feel free to contact plumbers for more information.