Drainage is one aspect of property maintenance that is often easy to take for granted. You’re unlikely to give it a second thought when your shower and sinks work as they’re expected to. But when a drainage problem arises, the results can be inconvenient at best – and foul and costly at worst.
The UK’s waste collection and treatment infrastructure is already under increased strain as the population continues to grow. Our sewers collect over 11 billion litres of wastewater per day – and upgrades will be needed to meet extra demand in the future.
You have various options if you encounter a drainage issue of your own, including trying household drain cleaners, investing in an industrial drain cleaner or calling in a professional team. The first stage, however, is identifying the nature of the blockage itself.
5 common signs of drainage issues
Drainage systems are designed to transport water and waste as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you notice your system is taking longer than it should to do its job, there’s likely to be something somewhere that’s clogging it up.
Frequently clogged drains
Frequently unclogging drains is no way to live (unless you’re a plumber that is). If problems keep cropping up on a regular basis, it’s likely you’ve been fighting a larger problem with a temporary solution.
Recurring clogs point towards an accumulation of fats and oils deep within the drain.
Unidentified foul odour
Strange odours coming from your drains are unpleasant to live with and a sure sign that waste has built up in your plumbing system. Household cleaning products may do the trick, but otherwise professionals will blast the offending waste away with highly pressurised water.
Unusual sounds coming from pipes
Plumbing systems naturally moan and groan from time to time as they respond to changes in temperature. But if you hear gurgling noises, your drain could be partially clogged or not properly ventilated.
Multiple clogged drains
If several sinks and drains are backing up around multiple rooms in your home, this suggests there is a serious issue with your main sewer. In most cases these problems are best left to professionals.
Quick tips for drain maintenance
Identifying and rectifying a drainage system blockage is half the battle. Here are five quick tips to help you maintain clean drains for good.
- Use a fat trap to pour kitchen oils and fats into
- Install a mesh screen over drains in your shower and bath to catch hair
- Put coffee granules and other waste food items like rice and pasta in the bin
- Do the same with wipes, floss and feminine hygiene items
- Discard or engine oil, paints and solvents according to local regulations