In today’s fast-paced world, we rely on convenient and quick solutions to help us get through the day and get everything that we need to do done. But in some ways, convenience is storing up problems for us in the longer run – the latest ‘fatberg’ found in east London is yet more evidence of that. It’s not the first time this has happened and, unfortunately, it probably won’t be the last unless we change some of those habits.
It may be the fatbergs that make the news, but the reality is that we have probably experienced at least one blockage to our pipes in our homes, perhaps even one that required specialist intervention to clear. The way we use and treat our pipes and plumbing systems means that we may be creating bigger problems that require more expensive and complex solutions. To avoid that happening both to our own pipes as well as further down the line, here are a few tips on what to do to keep them clear and in good condition.
- DON’T flush baby or make-up removal wipes, cotton buds, dental floss, nappies, sanitary products, or condoms down the toilet. They may say ‘biodegradable’ on the packaging, but they can still clog up your pipes that could lead to blocked toilets – never a pleasant thing to have to deal with. Instead, put them in the bin to dispose of with your rubbish.
- DO flush toilet paper down the toilet. It’s designed to break up and dissolve quickly so that it doesn’t clog up your pipes. Other than pee and poo, it should be the only thing that gets flushed down the toilet.
- DON’T pour any kind of oil, fat, or grease down the sink. It may be liquid while it’s warm, but it quickly congeals and solidifies once it has cooled down and will stick to the walls of your pipes (or any wipes or other things that shouldn’t be there) building up to a blockage over time. Instead, pour them into an old jar or plastic container (best to wait until it has cooled first) and when that is full, dispose of it with your rubbish. Make sure you scrape off all food and scraps from plates and cutlery before doing the washing up or putting them in the dishwasher as well to avoid clogging up filters and pipes.
- DO get a plug protector or plug guard for your kitchen and bathroom plugholes. They work by catching any bits of debris – e.g. food, packaging, or hair – so that they don’t disappear down the pipes and cause blockages along the way.
While products that can be found on supermarket shelves do help to clear out your pipes, they are still heavy chemicals and should be avoided, or at the very least used sparingly – they can cause irritation to people and pets and are not a very environmentally-friendly solution.
If you find you have a blockage that won’t shift or that water is slower to move through your pipes, it may be time to get professional help before the problem gets any worse. At Platinum Plumbers we are here to help – just give us a call on 020 8855 0361 or drop us a line on