7 Drain Maintenance Tips You’ll Wish You Knew Earlier

Man using plunger to unclog sink drain in kitchen, closeup

Drain maintenance is vital if you want to avoid drainage and plumbing disasters as well as costly call-outs. When it comes to blocked drains, leaking or burst pipes, and any other drainage issues, prevention is the best cure. Trying to fix a problem after it’s happened is always more stressful and more expensive than taking steps to maintain a healthy drainage system in the first place. 

We have decades of experience in fixing drainage disasters and plumbing problems that are caused by issues that could have been prevented. So, we’ve compiled our top 7 tips for drain maintenance, enabling you to prolong your drainage system’s life and avoid any expensive mishaps.

If you’re currently experiencing any problems with your drains, get in touch with our friendly team to see how we can help. We provide free call-outs that come with free, no-obligation quotes on any repair works needed.

plumber tools and equipment in a bathroom, plumbing repair service, assemble and install concept

How to Maintain Your Drains: 7 Essential Tips

1. Learn What Not to Put Down Your Drain

It’s important to learn what things will be damaging to your drains. The kitchen drain in particular is one of the most commonly clogged. You may have a washing up liquid that boasts grease removal, but this isn’t effective for fat. When you pour fat down the kitchen sink, it will cling to the side of your pipes becoming a grease trap that collects bits of food and debris. Eventually, this causes drain clogging.

Use a paper towel to remove fat and oil from pans before washing them. You can also keep an empty can by your sink that you can pour used cooking oil into when you’re done. As well as avoiding pouring fat and grease down your drain, you should also avoid washing food bits and coffee grounds down the plughole as these can compact and build up to cause blockages. 

2. Avoid Chemical Drain Cleaning Products

It can sometimes be difficult to find the most effective drain cleaner. Chemical drain cleaning products will boast their superb effects but often don’t tell the whole story. Many of these products are actually extremely corrosive due to their harsh chemicals. While they’re burning away the blockage in your pipes, they’re also burning away the lining of your pipes. Damaged pipes can result in leaks and even worse: bursts. Learn which are the best drain unblockers for different blockages to prevent this from happening to you. 

3. Rinse Your Drains Regularly

Warm soapy water is a good way to rinse out your drains without being too damaging: boiling water can damage weaker pipes so it’s best not to use this. Regular rinsing combined with avoiding pouring anything but non-fatty liquids down your drains will go a long way to prevent blockages and maintain healthy drains.

4. Be Careful About What You Flush Down the Toilet

Never ever flush nappies or sanitary products down the drain! Even if you think the item has flushed, it will be blocking the pipe somewhere down the line in your plumbing system. Keep a bin in your bathroom for these products. Be wary as well of flushing excessive amounts of toilet paper as this can also build up to cause a troublesome clog.  

5. Learn How to Unblock Your Drains Properly 

As with heavy chemical cleaners, it’s important to know which drain unblockers or drain cleaning methods are right for you. The famous baking soda and vinegar combination is a good way to help with small blockages and remove bad odours from your sink but not for solid blockages. The acidic nature of the soda can also be corrosive for pipes if overdone, so it’s best not to use this method too often.

For shower drains and bathroom sinks, invest in a drain snake. This is a cheap but specialist tool that can get out those clogs of hair and soap scum easily. To avoid getting too much hair down your shower sink and help with general drain maintenance, try brushing your hair before your shower and investing in some good plug hole protectors. 

6. Make Sure You Know Where Your Stopcock Is

The stopcock is what turns off your water supply from the mains. In terms of drain maintenance, it’s important to know where this is in case any bursts or leaks happen, so you can immediately stop the water flow and prevent additional damage. It’s also a good idea to turn your water off at the stopcock if you’re going away from your home during freezing weather, as it can prevent frozen pipes.

7. Get a Free CCTV Drain Survey

These drain maintenance tips are great for your day-to-day life and should aid in preventing blockages and drainage issues. However, as experienced experts in all things drainage, we would also recommend getting a yearly drain survey. This is the most effective drain maintenance tip as it identifies problems before they really become problems.

Our CCTV drain surveys are completely free and are a non-invasive method of inspecting your whole drainage system. We push a tiny, high-tech camera through your pipes, effectively mapping the entirety of your system so that we can identify any weaknesses, blockages, or problems. With this information, we can then give free, no-obligation quotes on repairs if needed. 

Plumber Fixing Problem With Outdoor Domestic Drains

Struggling With Drain Maintenance? Get Our Expert Help

Generally, home drain cleaners and unblockers will only get away half of your blockage. After using these products, it might appear that things are back up and running again, but there will often be leftovers on the sides of your pipes. These just build up again. 

If you’re finding your drains are consistently clogging, it’s time to get a professional in. Our expert drainage engineers use high-pressure water jets to obliterate even the toughest of blockages, so your drains are completely clean and free of problems.

Contact the team