Blocked pipes are a disaster waiting to happen and although they take time to accumulate to become a big problem, prevention is simple and a lot more cost-effective than time and money spent unclogging and repairing the pipes.
“Around 30% of blockages in our wastewater system are caused by fats, oils and grease solidifying in pipes. Blocked pipes can cause major damage to your plumbing and our wastewater system, and could result in an overflow to the environment. This also applies to flushing rubbish, such as cotton buds and sanitary items, down the toilet. To help avoid drain pain, please throw your waste properly in the bin.” – Water Corporation of WA: www.watercorporation.com.au/monster
What You Should Not Put Down Your Drain?
Things that can be blocking your pipes include:
- Cooking fats and oils
- Sanitary products and wipes
Cooking Fat and Oils
Oils and water don’t mix, and when you tip fats and oils down the drain after cooking, they solidify on the walls of your pipes and trap more and more waste as time goes on. A staggering 30% of blockages are caused by these nasties, which are sticky and difficult to remove once established.
Sanitary products and wipes
Ear buds and tampons may have been marketed to be flushed, but these products, along with sanitary napkins and nappies, should be wrapped and placed in a bin, never flushed. The plastic stick in ear buds makes a great framework for waste to stick to and nappies, pads and tampons all swell significantly when placed in water, almost tripling in size and providing the perfect plug in your pipes.
Baby wipes may feel as thin as toilet paper, but they don’t break down like regular loo paper. Pop these in the bin too.
Paint, fertiliser, oils and pesticides should NEVER be flushed or tipped down a drain. As tempting as it may be to tip these down the outside drain of your home whilst you are cleaning up or gardening outside, these products actually need to be disposed of professionally. Contact your local council for details on contractors who can dispose of these.
A lot of food scraps make it into our pipes, adding to the blockage with every grain of rice or piece of egg white. Scrape your plates clean before placing in the sink or dishwasher – which may have a catcher for food waste but doesn’t always catch everything – and keep a four-course dinner from piling up in your pipes.
Tiny toys that have escaped through the bath plug hole, golf balls dropped in the outside drain or kitty litter tried to be flushed down the toilet are completely non-biodegradable and can live in your pipes for years, adding to the build-up of waste and damaging your pipes. Place grates and drains over pipe access and encourage kids to keep these items away from the drain pipe suction.
Need Help With Blocked Pipe?
Preventing pipe blockages is essential not only for the efficiency of the plumbing in your home, but also for the wastewater network that keeps water supply running to our businesses, hospitals and other important infrastructure. All flushing and repairs of blocked pipes should be performed by a professional with expertise and tools to carry out the task efficiently and cost-effectively.
Should your pipes start showing signs of blockage, contact Mainline Plumbing & Cheap Hot Water & Gas on 9791 1608 (Bunbury) or 9759 1317 (Dunsborough) we offer 24/7 service – remember to ring.