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Blocked drains can be one of the worst type of household emergencies. As with most emergencies they happen without any warning. The worst aspect of a drain problem however is that it can cause unpleasant odours, result in the flooding of your home and loss of electrics. If you are a business that is impacted, the disruption can result in loss of customer and staff goodwill with the associated lost in productivity and sales revenue.
There are some simple preventative measures that you can take to reduce the likelihood of a blocked drain whether it is through structural defects or foreign objects and they are listed below: -
∑ ††††††††† Regularly remove any hairs that get trapped in the waste plug hole.
∑ ††††††††† Keep small objects such as combs, medicine bottles and toilet rolls away from places where they could accidentally fall into the toilet.
∑ ††††††††† Regularly flush the wash basin and bath or shower pipe work with hot water and a disinfectant to clear soap residue and prevent build up over time
∑ ††††††††† Donít flush away large and disposable items such as sanitary towels, nappies or product wrapping as they can become caught in the drainage pipe.
∑ ††††††††† Do not dispose of waste food scraps and cuttings down the kitchen sink. These are much better composted. If any items do fall into the sink pull the vegetable material out of the plug hole, do not try to poke through as you could impact the blockage making it harder to remove.
∑ ††††††††† Never dispose of cooking fats down the drain system. As they hit cold water they will solidify. If there is absolutely no alternative you should dilute and emulsify the fats by mixing them with hot water and of detergent. Keep the water running for a minute after you have done this to keep a clear water flow.
There are also a set of regular maintenance activities which can reduce the likelihood of a drains problem.
∑ ††††††††† Check the house roof gutters and rain downpipes twice a year. Take care when working at height but remove any accumulated debris and leaves with a trowel
∑ ††††††††† Regularly check that your drains are free-flowing by periodically lifting the inspection covers and make sure that these can easily be accessed
Keep external drain grids free of fallen leaves, autumn moss and other garden materials. As with the internal drains you should regularly wash external drains with hot water and disinfectant.
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†Mac Mac Plumbing
Water Saving tips
∑ Take shorter showers
∑ You can save up to 11 litres of water every minute by installing a water efficient shower head
∑ Install a dual flush toilet - this can save you up to 50% on every flush
∑ Check for a leaking toilet cistern. Put food colouring in the cistern. If the colour shows in the toilet bowl without flushing, you've got a leak
∑ Turn the taps off when you're brushing your teeth, washing your hands and shaving
∑ Install water efficient appliances wherever possible
Install aerators on your taps
∑ Install aerators on taps - aerators reduce the water flow and stop you using as much water
∑ Choose a water efficient appliances - look for appliances bearing the Water Efficiency and Labelling Standards scheme and power efficiency labels
∑ Only turn the dishwasher on when it's full
∑ When you're running the taps waiting for water to cool down or heat up, collect the water in a jug for use on the garden.
∑ Turn taps off when you're washing vegetables or your hands
∑ Fix any leaks as soon as possible
In every wet area try to use environmentally friendly cleaning products and detergents
1. Check your water meter at night when you have finished using water and are going to bed.
2. Record the number and do not use any water until you have checked the meter first thing in the morning.
If your reading has increased by morning - and you are absolutely sure nobody used water or flushed the toilet overnight - you may have a leaking pipe or dripping tap.