Drain Blockage

Preventing Drain Blockages: Essential Maintenance Practices for a Smooth-Flowing System

When it comes to maintaining a happy and healthy home, a smoothly running drainage system is just as vital as a sound roof or reliable electrics. Blocked drains can pose a significant nuisance, leading to unwanted odours, unusable amenities, and in worst-case scenarios, costly repairs. 

Instead of being caught out and in desperate need of a drain unblocking London service, it’s far more practical and less stressful to engage in preventative measures. In the following blog post, we’re goung to guide you through the A-Z of essential drain maintenance practices to keep your water system flowing effortlessly. Let’s get started!

How to spot a blocked drain

Detecting a blocked drain early on is crucial to preventing extensive damage and costly repairs. Here are some telltale signs that could indicate a problem: 


Unpleasant odours

One of the most noticeable indications of a blocked drain is the persistent, unpleasant smell of trapped, rotting food waste or other material. If you notice a foul odour emanating from your drains, it could signal a blockage. 


Slow drainage

If water is draining more slowly than usual from your sinks, shower, or bathtub, this could be a sign of a blockage in your system. Similarly, if your toilet water rises higher than usual after flushing, it may indicate a blocked drain. 


Gurgling sounds

Strange gurgling sounds from your drains, plug holes, toilet, or pipes when water is draining can also be a sign of blockage. These noises are caused by air being trapped and pushed up through the system due to the blockage, so look out for noises that becomes consistent.


Preventing blocked drains: top tips

So, how can you keep your water system functioning and running smoothly? Here’s what we recommend:


Regular drain cleaning

To begin, try to dedicate one day each month to drain maintenance. A simple yet effective method involves pouring a mixture of half a cup of baking soda followed by half a cup of vinegar down your drains. Allow it to sit for 15-20 minutes before washing it down with boiling water – this helps to break down minor blockages and keeps your drains fresh and clean.


Watch what goes down

Always be mindful of what you are disposing of in your drains: grease, fats, and oils should be kept far away from your sink as they can solidify and cause blockages. Food remnants, coffee grounds, and hair should also never be allowed down your sink or shower drain.


Consider drain guards

Drain guards or strainers can be a lifesaver for your drainage system; fitted to all of your drains, these can prevent foreign materials like hair and food particles from entering your drains and causing blockages.


Frequent drain flushing

Every so often, treat your drains to a substantial flush: to do this, fill your bathtub and then drain it in one fell swoop. This can help flush any debris lodged in the pipes and help keep your drains running smoothly.


Use enzyme-based drain cleaners

Unlike their chemical counterparts, enzyme-based cleaners are gentler on your pipes and the environment. They’re superb for breaking down organic material lurking in your drains and are a good addition to your regular drain cleaning routine.


Properly dispose of nappies and wipes

It might seem convenient to flush baby wipes, ‘flushable’ wipes, sanitary products or nappies down the loo, but resist the urge. These items do not degrade swiftly and can cause significant blockages in your pipes, so always dispose of them in a rubbish bin.


Outdoor drain maintenance

Pay equal attention to your outdoor drains: regularly remove leaves and other debris, and keep a check on nearby trees’ growth. Tree roots can sneak into outdoor drains and cause damage, which can often be difficult to remove. 


Regular professional checks

Booking a professional drain inspection regularly can help identify potential issues before they escalate into severe problems. Plus, experts can spot and address problems that might escape the untrained eye, providing peace of mind and safeguarding your drainage system.


Educate your household

Ensure everyone in your home understands what should and shouldn’t go down the drain. Implementing and adhering to a few simple rules can significantly reduce the risk of drain blockages, saving you both stress and expense in the long run.


The bottom line 

Keeping drain blockages at bay doesn’t require vast amounts of time or intricate routines – with the above preventative steps woven into your regular home maintenance schedule, you can fend off nasty smells, expensive repairs, and the hassle of handling blocked drains.