Blocked Drains? The 3 Most Common Culprits and How to Avoid Them This Christmas

Christmas is a time for enjoying time with family, overindulging in delicious food and taking a break from work and the daily grind. While you might be getting a break, your home's drainage pipes certainly won't be. Extra visitors mean a dramatically increased workload for your plumbing systems, and the last thing you want amid your festive Christmas meal is the foul stench of a blocked and backed up drain.

Christmas time may be the worst time of year to experience a serious issue with blocked drains. Many contractors are also taking time off to spend with their families, and the increased number of public holidays means you'll be paying a premium just to get a plumbing contractor to pay you a visit.

There are several reasons why your drains may become blocked during the Christmas holidays. Here are the three main culprits.

1. Foreign Objects

Imagine you're just settling down for your Christmas meal or that you are about to go out with the family, and one of your children approaches you and tells you that the water is not going down in the toilet. On further inspection, it becomes apparent that this is an understatement, and instead of enjoying some fresh prawns or roasted turkey, you're now faced with the far less palatable task of cleaning up an overflowing toilet.

As it turns out, your child has dropped a cracker prize down the toilet. This is one of the common causes of blocked drains. A single item dropped down the toilet by a curious child may not be the sole cause of the blockage, but it may be the catalyst if your toilet receives regular deposits of undesirable, non-biological deposits.

2. Hair and Toiletry Items

Another common cause of blocked drains is hair. Unfortunately, when you wash your hair, strands finds their way down the drain. When enough hair builds up inside the drain, problems begin. Your water starts building up and passes through the drain much more slowly. If this blockage is not resolved in a timely manner, the build-up will become worse.

Many people assume that it is ok to flush baby wipes and nappies down the toilet. If you're not already aware, nappies swell when they absorb liquid, and they can easily get stuck in the pipes. As for baby wipes, they do not disintegrate as well as toilet paper and will also get stuck in the pipes. Even wipes which are advertised as flushable have recently been proven to be hazardous to drain health.

3. Fat and Grease

Fat and grease are two of the most common causes of blocked drains. In recent years, many large fat buildups, colloquially called fatbergs, have been found in many residential and municipal drains. In 2013, a 10- tonne fatberg was located in a London sewage system, which broke the 70-year-old pipes. It cost the utility company almost $1 million to remove the blockage and repair the damage it caused.

Fortunately, fatbergs are the simplest drain issues to avoid in your home. When fatty substances are washed down your drain, they congeal as they cool and slowly stick to the sides of the pipes like greasy stalactites. Over time, the build-up will keep getting thicker and thicker to the point where liquid will no longer be able to pass through.

You should be mindful of what greasy substances you put down your drain. Scrape out as much fat as possible from dishes before washing them using kitchen paper or even old newspaper. For residual grease on pans and dishes, run hot water down your drain after you empty the sink, add a little dishwashing liquid and then run some more hot water. These steps should minimise any fat build-up in your drains.

Blocked and over-flowing drains are not fun, especially at Christmas. Avoid drama and added expenses and give the team at A&C Plumbing a call to book a comprehensive drain inspection.

Christmas is a time for enjoying time with family, overindulging in delicious food and taking a break from work and the daily grind. While you might be getting a break, your home's drainage pipes certainly won't be. Extra visitors mean a dramatically increased workload for your plumbing systems, and the last thing you want amid your festive Christmas meal is the foul stench of a blocked and backed up drain.

Christmas time may be the worst time of year to experience a serious issue with blocked drains. Many contractors are also taking time off to spend with their families, and the increased number of public holidays means you'll be paying a premium just to get a plumbing contractor to pay you a visit.

There are several reasons why your drains may become blocked during the Christmas holidays. Here are the three main culprits.

1. Foreign Objects

Imagine you're just settling down for your Christmas meal or that you are about to go out with the family, and one of your children approaches you and tells you that the water is not going down in the toilet. On further inspection, it becomes apparent that this is an understatement, and instead of enjoying some fresh prawns or roasted turkey, you're now faced with the far less palatable task of cleaning up an overflowing toilet.

As it turns out, your child has dropped a cracker prize down the toilet. This is one of the common causes of blocked drains. A single item dropped down the toilet by a curious child may not be the sole cause of the blockage, but it may be the catalyst if your toilet receives regular deposits of undesirable, non-biological deposits.

2. Hair and Toiletry Items

Another common cause of blocked drains is hair. Unfortunately, when you wash your hair, strands finds their way down the drain. When enough hair builds up inside the drain, problems begin. Your water starts building up and passes through the drain much more slowly. If this blockage is not resolved in a timely manner, the build-up will become worse.

Many people assume that it is ok to flush baby wipes and nappies down the toilet. If you're not already aware, nappies swell when they absorb liquid, and they can easily get stuck in the pipes. As for baby wipes, they do not disintegrate as well as toilet paper and will also get stuck in the pipes. Even wipes which are advertised as flushable have recently been proven to be hazardous to drain health.

3. Fat and Grease

Fat and grease are two of the most common causes of blocked drains. In recent years, many large fat buildups, colloquially called fatbergs, have been found in many residential and municipal drains. In 2013, a 10- tonne fatberg was located in a London sewage system, which broke the 70-year-old pipes. It cost the utility company almost $1 million to remove the blockage and repair the damage it caused.

Fortunately, fatbergs are the simplest drain issues to avoid in your home. When fatty substances are washed down your drain, they congeal as they cool and slowly stick to the sides of the pipes like greasy stalactites. Over time, the build-up will keep getting thicker and thicker to the point where liquid will no longer be able to pass through.

You should be mindful of what greasy substances you put down your drain. Scrape out as much fat as possible from dishes before washing them using kitchen paper or even old newspaper. For residual grease on pans and dishes, run hot water down your drain after you empty the sink, add a little dishwashing liquid and then run some more hot water. These steps should minimise any fat build-up in your drains.

Blocked and over-flowing drains are not fun, especially at Christmas. Avoid drama and added expenses and give the team at A&C Plumbing a call to book a comprehensive drain inspection.