The Christmas decorations have been packed away for another year, the leftover turkey is finally all eaten up and it’s fair to say that normality has resumed for the UK this week with everyone being back at work! It’s traditional to use this time in the New Year to reflect on our goals for the future; for example, we hope to grow even bigger in 2020, bringing our drainage services to even more homes and businesses in Oxfordshire and West Buckinghamshire. Which brings me to the main point: what are your New Year’s Resolutions for your drains?
Why The Worry About Drains?
A key message we give to our clients about their drainage is this: out of sight, out of mind is not the way to think about your drains. It’s easily done as drainage pipes are designed to be mostly invisible, being underground with only a few pipes on display, externally leading to gullies and the ones underground leading to manhole chambers. And as long as your drains are flowing freely, why would you spare a thought for them? If they are working well right now, why wouldn’t they just keep working well? It is only when a blockage or a leak occurs that suddenly these hidden marvels become the biggest draw for your attention and your wastewater drains are all at once merely a drain on your finances!
How To Keep Your Drains Healthy in 2020
Prevention is better than the cure is an adage that rings very true with regards to drainage. Misuse and Abuse: this is the term for a blockage caused by flushing items that do not belong and is a good place to begin if you are resolving to keep your drains healthy in 2020. Such items include:
- Wet wipes; the dreaded wet wipe! So useful for cleaning anything from babies bottoms to kitchen surfaces, but these should never ever be flushed. Simply put, in order to hold moisture in the packaging the humble wet wipe needs to contain an element of polyester, which is a single-use plastic that can take years to degrade. Even the more “environmentally friendly” wipes made with wood pulp are chemically treated to retain their structure, meaning that although a wet wipe brand may say it is “flushable”, that just means they CAN be flushed, not that they SHOULD be. Avoid flushing these at all costs!
- Paper Towels; although many public and commercial bathrooms are moving away from towels in favour of hot air dryers, there are still a lot of paper towels in use and these should never be flushed. On that note, neither should kitchen towels and neither should blue paper towels, as used by cleaners throughout the UK. If it isn’t toilet paper, please keep it out of your drains!
- FOG; aka FAT, OIL and GREASE. These offending liquids enter your drains through kitchen sinks, both in homes and in commercial kitchens, but no matter how they get into the drains, they always cause problems. For small amounts of FOG, we recommend pouring it off into a container, letting it solidify, then binning it. For commercial kitchens, we not only recommend installing and maintaining grease traps, but it is also the law!
- Using Chemical Unblockers; we do not recommend this at all. For a drain unblocker to work effectively, it needs to be highly caustic, which means that it will also get to work on the lining of your pipes. You could be causing more harm than good to your drains by using these and should you still have a blockage we will need to wait a minimum of 24 hours before we can go in and get up close and personal with the chemically treated blockage. There is nothing to stop you arming yourself with a plunger and giving some drainage DIY a go, or attempting either a hot water flush through or a vinegar and soda “natural” unblocker, but if in doubt always call the experts!
What Else Can You Do For Your Drains?
There are ways to be more proactive with regards to the health of your drains, both in residences and commercial businesses.
- We highly recommend PPM (Pre-Planned Maintenance) schedules for commercial drains.
- If you have urinals, they will suffer from uric scale build-ups and so a routine appointment to descale these before they cause blockages is a must.
- Get an annual site CCTV drain survey done; think of it as an MOT for your drainage.
- Make sure you maintain grease traps daily and arrange for monthly or quarterly emptying.
There is a lot you can do for your drains to keep them happy and healthy for the year 2020. We’ve put our 20 years of expertise into this article, citing the most frequent reasons our customers call us out and exactly how they might have been able to prevent those call outs. Sometimes your drains will block despite your best efforts, but if you want to keep your drains happy following any or all of this advice is good way to start!
If you require the services of Metro Rod you can get in touch with us in a variety of ways;
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