How to Keep Your Drains Clean and Plumber Contractors Safe

Posted on: 31 July 2017


Blocked drains aren't just inconvenient; they can also present a health hazard to both your family and to the plumber who has to clear the blockage. Often, the things that you wash down your sink or flush down a toilet are responsible for creating a blocked drain. As well as blocking your drains, these objects will often pose a risk to a plumber who has to work on the drain. Below is a guide to objects that should never be placed in your home plumbing system.

Fat, Oil and Food Waste

When washing plates and pots, it can be tempting to wash any fat, oil or food waste which is on the plate down the sink. You should avoid doing this. When hot fat or oil enters the pipes within your plumbing system, they will quickly cool and congeal, forming a thick sludge. If you also wash food waste down the sink, this debris can become trapped in the congealed oil and fat. As well as blocking your drains, as the food decays it can also release unpleasant smelling gasses such as ammonia, methane and sulphur dioxide. The build up of these gases can create the risk of fire or explosion, which could result in serious injury.

Sanitary towels, Baby Wipes and Razor Blades

When using the bathroom, it may be tempting to dispose of items such as sanitary towels, baby wipes and razor blades by throwing them down the toilet. However, while these items may appear to flush away, you are likely to be creating a blockage further down the pipe. Sanitary towels and baby wipes are not designed to be flushed into the plumbing system of a home or the wider sewer system. Because these items are not designed to breakdown in the same way that regular toilet tissue is, they can become trapped in pipes or may stick together block sewers. These items will often contain biological matter which could place the health of a plumber at risk. 

Razor blades also pose a serious risk to plumbers. If a plumber attempts to clear a drain manually using their hands, they could suffer a serious injury if they grab hold of a razor blade. Not only could the blade cut through the protective glove worn by the plumber, exposing their hand to raw sewage, it could also damage the tendons and other soft tissues found in the fingers. You should always dispose of these items in the general household waste.

If you would like further information and advice, you should contact a plumbing service today.