Tag Archives: clean

Being kind to your bum can block your drains

Using wet wipes can lead to blocked drains.

Impregnated toilet papers, ‘wet wipes’ and similar innovations are leading to increasing numbers of blocked drains.  At Drain Doctor we are receiving an increasing number of calls from householders who may have happy bottoms but are unable to flush their toilets. 

The problem is particularly significant in towns and cities with large areas of Victorian housing served by Victorian drains and sewers.  These new papers and wipes are not broken down by the flushing action in the same way as conventional toilet papers – they do not shear as easily. They therefore remain as whole sheets which can cause blockages if the flush does not clear them out of the drain and into the sewer. 

There is a particular problem in older houses because the Victorians over-engineered everything. They put in 6 inch diameter drains where 4 inch diameter would have been quite large enough. This was OK when used with Victorian toilets because they were over-engineered as well – they released huge quantities of water when they were flushed.

Modern cisterns use much less water. This is not usually a problem because it is still enough to shear normal toilet paper and flush all the detritus through to the sewer. With some of these new wipes and papers, though, material is left in the pipes and gradually builds up to create a blockage.

I guess it is good for our business because we are getting an increasing number of calls but it would save householders money and inconvenience if they gave more thought to what they are flushing down the toilet.

Robin Banks, operations manager.

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‘Spring clean’ your pipes – and avoid costly repairs

As spring has now arrived it is time to get out the polish and give our homes a good old-fashioned clean.

However, jobs such as ensuring the plumbing and drains have fully survived the winter are often overlooked – but some simple cleaning and maintenance should be done to prevent major and expensive repairs.

Blocked drains and corroded fittings can lead to a multitude of problems, such as water damage from burst pipes, and can prove costly to repair. Dripping taps, toilets that don’t flush properly and water coming out of overflow pipes are sure signs that your plumbing needs an overhaul and should be checked as part of the spring cleaning process.

Drain Doctor has produced a simple check list for homeowners to ensure problems are identified quickly and that major repair work can be avoided:

• Always know where your main stop valve is located and ensure it is labelled. It is on the incoming mains water supply and is often under the kitchen sink.

• Stop valves tend to corrode slightly with time, so check that it’s working by exercising the valve twice from fully open to fully closed and back again (and always close the valve ‘half a turn’ from fully open once you’re done).

• Inspect toilet cisterns both inside and out for operation and wear. If there are any signs of corrosion or leaking, contact a reputable plumber.

• Visually inspect any cold water storage tanks in the attic for leaks, water level, protective lids and thermal insulation. Also, if fitted, check the hot water cylinder in the airing cupboard for signs of damage or leaks, and exercise all available valves.

• Install a strainer in plug holes to catch hair and other objects that could block drains.

If you find a problem, or suspect there may be one, get Drain Doctor to check pipes for leaks, damage and corrosion. By using a CCTV camera in the pipes, we can inspect and pinpoint exactly where drains are cracked, damaged or misaligned.

Robin Banks, Operations Manager, Drain Doctor

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