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Bad habits that can lead to blocked drains

Bad habits that can lead to blocked drains

Published: October 07, 2021 Last Updated: October 17, 2021

It’d be nice to think that we’re not contributing to the problems that pop up around our homes but often our bad habits are unknowingly causing issues. Our plumbers have found that this is often the case when they’re called out to clear blocked drains with the reasons for most drain clogs coming down to human-actions.

These human-created problems could have occured recently, think kids flushing toys, or longer term bad habits that have eventually led to drain problems like planting large trees over drain pipes.

Our team of experienced plumbers have seen it all (much of it was stuck down a drain) and are keen to help you avoid the bad habits which have resulted in some very sticky, smelly drain problems.

Keeping your sewer and stormwater drains flowing freely is actually pretty straightforward if you can avoid a few unhelpful practices.

Cooking preparation

Washing food scraps down the drain will lead to trouble

All those little bits of food leftover after cooking or eating dinner that you've been washing down the kitchen sink can eventually build up somewhere along the drain. If you’re lucky it will be in the little bend of pipe underneath the sink (easier to DIY unblock), if not it could be anywhere along the pipe needing professional help to clear.

Good habit - scrape all food bits into the bin or use a sink drain filter/strainer to catch them before they wash down the drain. Pro tip: An insinkerator offers a quick and efficient way to dealing with food waste.

Steak and asparagus on chopping board

Fat, oil, grease + drains = Fatberg

The bacon grease, the steak fat, the shallow frying oil from last nights schnitty, all of these substances can be difficult to get rid of. They’re just too runny (and often too hot) to put straight in the bin which results in many people making the seemingly logical decision to dispose of them down the drain.

In reality, once the fat, oil or grease enters the drainpipe it starts to cool. Which, in the case of fat and grease, means it solidifies into little globs of sticky mess. Plus, the above mentioned food scraps which have been happily floating about in the wastewater now have something to collect on. Bonus.

The finished product of this tasty cocktail is the Fatberg, a mass of fat, oil, or grease combined with whatever was floating past which could be food, hair, or further down the drain dunny paper or ‘flushable’ wipes. Mmm, sounds awesome doesn’t it?

Good habit - use an empty jar to collect the fat, oil, or grease from dinner, let it cool, pop the lid on and throw it in the rubbish bin. Pro tip: If you're dealing with a Fatberg that's blocking your drain, we're here to help. Our drain solutions specialists use a non-acid and non-flammable drain opener solution which will eliminate the grease Fatberg in your drain.

Lush garden

Short-sighted gardening

No, we are not pointing the finger at those with near-sighted eye conditions, this bad habit relates to planting cute or on-trend trees and bushes in your garden because you’ve seen them on Insta and they looked amazing without thinking about the future plant.

For example, the fiddle-leaf fig is having a trendy moment as the stylish indoor plant of choice. With the right conditions and a good-sized pot, the fiddle-leaf fig can grow as high as the ceiling, prompting some people to move them out to the garden to continue to flourish. The issue is that the once compact house plant then grows into a huge tree. With huge tree roots. And after all the TLC they received inside they’re keen to tap into any readily available source of water and nutrients.

Fiddle-leaf fig pot plant
How it started...
Fiddle-leaf tree
How it's going...

This moisture and food can sometimes be found via the tiny cracks in your wastewater drain pipes. Once inside the pipe the tree roots can quickly grow, creating a solid blockage in the drain.

Good habit - put a bit of research into how the plants you choose for your garden will mature and ensure the larger species are planted away from your home sewer and stormwater drainage pipes.

These are just the tip of the fatberg (whoops) iceberg. We haven’t even touched on the ‘flushable wet wipes’ issue. You can read more on this topic here - Most flushable wet wipes are not flushable

Blocked drain plumber

If you’re guilty of these bad habits and are dealing with the consequences our plumbing team can help get your drains flowing efficiently again from only $99 - find out more about our $99 Blocked Drains Deal or give us a call at 1300 762 260 if you’re in Brisbane, Ipswich, Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast areas.

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