Getting a blocked drain or sewer is no fun. When you find out it’s usually too late for prevention. There are many reasons your plumbing could be blocked and many proven ways to get things flowing again, but those can often involve a 24 hour call out.
Although that service is then professional and essential, it’s a headache and a cost you could well have avoided. Lots of the blockages or ‘clogs’ we come across might have been preventable, and with some simple maintenance and care you could well be clog-free.
So if you’d like advice on keeping things flowing, read on…
Firstly, let’s see what could be causing the clog in the first place
As with most things, prevention is better than cure, and that goes for your plumbing too. It’s rare that a brand-new system clogs, (although it can happen). It’s therefore largely down to the way the system is used over time that effects its efficiency.
The main issues that cause a sewer or drain blockage are:
- Pouring grease down the drain
- Flushing debris down the toilet
- Severe pipe damage
- A sagging sewer line
- Tree roots.
One of the most obvious ways to prevent your drains or sewers is to not clog them in the first place. That could be improved with staff training or simple signs above your WC or basins.
Here’s a list of the definite no no’s for your drains from Roto-Rooter:
Before you have a problem
It’s best to get your pipes cleaned before you have a problem, and working with a maintenance plan can help you get that.
It might be that during a simple check-up and clean of your pipes the problem is simply washed away and neither of us will be aware it was there. Or we’ll spot the problem with a CCTV pipe inspection and use the appropriate action before it turns into a large clog.
In any event, it pays to get your small problems sorted before they become larger ones. You might well have one now… you just can’t see it.
Even when all is well
Fixing a blockage or clog yourself seems like a cheaper quick fix but there are risks. You may well have hired some equipment and then broken through the blockage but might not have removed all of it.
If the blockage was a tree root for example, then it needs an experienced technician to fully remove the blockage for good. The tree roots simply grow back again over time, falling back into their original place because all you did was drive a hole through the middle of it. Nature, eh?!
Fixing the problem for now might not be the end of the issue. Take the warning and get some professional advice, even if it’s just a CCTV inspection for peace of mind.
What maintenance could help?
Snakes are small pipes that are designed to open up minor clogs in small traps or branches. Snakes are not designed to clear the lines under your floor or where your pipes get bigger as they reach the sewers.
Most home ‘DIY’ plumbing fixes to blogs involve snakes and although they may fix them at first, they’re not a long-term fix.
Jetting is a far better route to success and something you should consider as an annual maintenance job.
Jetting equipment cleans sewer lines better than snakes because they use varying degrees of water pressure to cut through all that grease and debris that naturally builds up in your pipes. This is especially important for restaurants where a high level of grease can and will build-up.
CCTV inspections should be a core part of your maintenance and if you’re buying a new property or even renting it out for a long period of time, you’re advised to take a look down the drains… Better still, let us do it!
More than once a year?
Twice a year is recommended, but this will depend on the use your pipes get. A commercial business may need more – especially one which has kitchens or food prep as grease is the enemy of good flowing pipes.
Most domestic properties are likely to be fine with a check-up and clean once a year but do ask us before you decide.
The hidden silent enemy to flowing waste
You’d be forgiven for not giving this much thought before, but maintaining your drains and sewers could be one of the most important things you do for your property.
No one wants or needs waste backing up, and with regular checks and routine cleaning you’re unlikely to ever experience it.
Not been caught out… yet?
How often have you seen a burst pipe or sewer work taking place on the highways? Quite frequently, right? Nature has a way of finding its way in, so beat it to it and clean it out in time. Don’t wait for a potential disaster to happen.