6 Easy Tips on How to Avoid Blocked Drains

Sep 30, 2021 | Blocked Drains, General Plumbing

Blocked Drains - Drain Strainer Newcastle Plumbing Kings

At Newcastle Plumbing Kings, we get numerous callouts a week to unclog household blocked drains. Some people think it’s karma, sometimes life just happens. But there are simple things you can do to avoid blocked drains. Let Newcastle Plumbing Kings show you some handy hints:

1. Use a Drain Strainer

Drain strainers are one of the first and easiest things you can do to avoid blocked drains. The critical places to have strainers in your house are:

  • The kitchen sinks
  • Bathroom sinks
  • Shower drains
  • Dishwashers (located at the bottom of the dishwasher)

A strainer is a stainless-steel or plastic plug that sits on the top of your drain. It has fine holes in it to let water flow through and catch debris. Most new sinks now come with drainers but you can also buy them for a couple dollars in hardware stores. They are excellent at catching common household debris – food, hair, soap, dust – ect. Strainers are truly underrated. They save so much household debris blocking our drains and save home owners hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in drain work. If you don’t have a strainer, get one today.

Important tip: Don’t forget to clean your strainers after each use! 

2. Avoid Disposing Cooking oil and grease in the Kitchen Sink

Some people think it is ok to tip oil down the sink because it is liquid. Whilst, pouring oil down drains does not sound like a big deal, it can lead to problems down the line. At cooking temperate, oil is liquid but when it cools – downs drains – it can turn into solid fat. Cooking grease likes to stick to the inside of pipes and grease attracts more grease. Overtime, pipes can build up with grease and cause a blockage.

Best way to dispose of cooking oil is by placing it in a can, jar or disposing it on a patch of grass outside. Once your container is filled, you can throw it in the rubbish bin.

3. Use Vinegar and baking soda

It may sound like an old wives tale – or a school science project – but good old baking soda and vinegar are cheap, safe yet effective chemicals to avoid blocked drains. Every now and then it is great to pour a ¼ cup of baking soda to 1 cup of vinegar down the drain. The oxidising action breaks down debris and oils and helps clear your pipes.

4. Pour Boiling Water Down the Kitchen Drains

As much as we try to avoid, sometimes you can’t help but get some debris down the sink. Don’t panic. Whilst tiny debris particles alone won’t clog a drain, they can build up.

An easy fix? One a regular basis like, once a week, boil the kettle and pour boiling water down the drain. The intense heat will help break down small particles and flush them down your drain.

Important tip: Be careful when pouring hot water to avoid getting any burns.

5. Never Flush Non-Toilet Paper Products

Blocked Drains clear toilet Newcastle Plumbing Kings

We’ll say it once and we’ll say it again. Only toilet paper should be flushed down the toilet. Don’t be deceived by those ‘flushable’ wipes. Toilet paper is designed to break down when travelling down the drain. At Newcastle Plumbing Kings, we have seen all kinds of things clogging drains. The main offenders are sanitary products; pads, tampons and nappies, ‘pseudo’ toilet paper like tissues and paper towel. These products made of cotton and plastic are not designed to break down.

Along with the occasional phone, you may be surprised to learn those plastic toilet deodorisers are also responsible for blocking drains. Built from cheap plastic, they can snap and be flushed down drains causing problems further down the line.

In our experience, these products can cause permanent damage on your whole sewer system. It can be a costly and complicated process and result in replacing all your drains.

We may sound silly telling people not to flush nappies and tissues down the drain but it does happen. What you can and cannot flushed should not be treated as ‘common sense’, it is taught. That’s why you need to teach kids – soon as they are old enough to understand – to only flush toilet paper.

6. Have Regular Pipe Inspections

The best way to prevent a blocked drain is by calling professionals to check the status of your drainage. If you live on the NSW central coast, your local experts are Newcastle Plumbing Kings. Drains are dark and narrow nooks making it impossible to see some blockages with the human eye. Luckily, the team at Newcastle Plumbing Kings have the correct knowledge and tools to spot a blockage.

It may not feel necessary to call the pros but our long-term customers agree that they have saved money in the long term with check ups every 1-2 years instead of managing the costs of blocked drains and pipes. A prevention is always better than a cure.

We hope this blog will help you not have to call us about blocked drains but if you live on the NSW Central Coast, just know you can always call Newcastle Plumbing Kings.

We are licensed in both plumbing and drain issues, guaranteeing you efficient and quality service. Call us today on 1800 313 222. We serve areas across the central coast including Newcastle, Hunter Valley, Central Coast and Lake Macquarie.

Our licensed plumbers are also drain experts and can help you with checking and clearing any of your drains. We also give upfront pricing so you will not have to worry about any hidden charges.

Learn more information about blocked drains here.

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