Blocked drains are one of those problems that most households will face at one time or another. In most cases, they're thankfully pretty easy to deal with by using commercial products to dissolve and flush through whatever is causing the blockage. Some blockages, however, just won't shift, and the only way to get rid of them is to call in the professionals.
Of course, blocked drains can be prevented – most of the time, at least. Taking a few precautions like not flushing bulky items down the toilet and installing a hair trap in the shower plughole go a long way to stopping blocks, but one of the highest risk areas is the kitchen sink. Even small amounts of food can build up over time, with disastrous consequences, but some food is worse than others. Take extra care when you're washing dishes with any of these substances.
That oil might flow down the drain nicely when it's still warm and liquid, but as it cools it will congeal in a pretty nasty way. And that means build-ups are almost inevitable. It's best to dispose of oil in the regular bin rather than pouring it into the sink, avoiding this problem entirely.
Some oils are worse than others, too. Coconut oil has become extremely popular recently, but one of its qualities is that it solidifies at room temperature, which means it will block your drain even more easily.
Small pieces of pasta look innocent enough, but when they come into contact with water, they expand quite a shocking amount. A sink pipe is a perfect place for them to do this, so a few pieces together can soon start to cause problems. Scrape them off your plate into the trash instead.
The thing with coffee grounds is that they clump together quite effectively. This makes them adept at sneaking into plug holes and creating tough blockages you don't see coming. They're also really difficult to deal with once they form. Put them around your plants or on your compost heap instead – coffee grounds are an excellent fertiliser.
What do you get if you mix flour and water? Dough, of course. And dough in your drain is really bad news. Rinsing flour down a damp plug hole will create a doughy mess instantly, mixing with various other food debris to create a blockage that will have you calling a plumber out to sort it for you.
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