Household drain services are a core part of our business, and we have no problem keeping things that way. From the customer’s point of view, though, prevention is better than cure – it would be best to reduce the odds of a drainage emergency. Grudgingly, then, here are five ways in which you can (hopefully) avoid needing to call us out at all.

1. Replace pitch fibre drains

The frugal 1950s brought with them a rising trend in cheap pitch fibre drains, which were installed in many new-build houses until the late 1970s and the emergence of affordable plastic pipes. Pitch fibre doesn’t stand up well to hot waste water, or oils, or fats, or even to the ravages of time.

In the best of cases, pitch fibre pipes only last for 40 years or so, which means they’ve been steadily failing their owners for the last two decades. Strip these out and replace them with plastic or even old-fashioned clay pipes: you’ll add years to the lifespan of your drainage system.

2. Don’t plant trees near pipes

Most modern drain pipes can stand some contact with tree roots, but don’t ask for trouble by planting new trees near your sewer line. Plant your trees at least 10 feet from the pipe; break up the soil on the side facing away from the pipe to encourage root growth in that direction; and install a root barrier between the tree and the pipeline. Be careful what you choose to plant, and remember that you might have to investigate and potentially relocate your tree after a decade or so.

3. Be careful what you put down them

Sewage systems are designed for water, human waste, toilet paper, and not much else. Particular offenders are wet wipes, cooking grease, and the un-flushable possessions of unattended children. Use sink strainers to keep food waste out, scrape your pans before you wash them, and don’t flush any old thing that happens to be in the bathroom.

4. Keep them clean

A regular blast of hot water goes a long way, as does purpose-brewed drain cleaner, but if your pipes are on the elderly side, either of these could end up doing them some damage. Baking soda and vinegar will do the job and avoid excessive wear and tear on a system that’s already taken a few dents.

5. Don’t neglect the outside

It?s easy to ignore the outside drains, and trust them to keep on doing what they do, but gutters accumulate moulds and mosses all the time, and leaves have a tendency to pile around the corners where outside drains enter the ground. Make sure your gutters are scrubbed and your back yard swept on a regular basis.

Follow these tips and problems are far less likely. Of course, if you’re still in difficulties after taking the appropriate steps, we’re always happy to help. And we’re only a call or an email away.