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Blocked Drains – The Drainsmart Guide To Cure & Prevention

In this months blog we cover the mucky issue of blocked drains and how you can prevent them. The following tips should help you to clear a blocked drain or sink but we’re always on the end of the phone if you want any advice.

1) Check if your drains are shared with any neighbours. If they are a blockage will be the responsibility of the Local Water Authority to clear, free of charge.

2) If the problem is an overflowing gully (taking the kitchen sink, bath or rainwater pipes) the blockage could simply be a clogged grating which can be easily removed with a screwdriver. You’ll be surprised how many times we are called out to these only to spend 2 minutes fixing the problem.

3) If you are handy and have a set of rods (and a strong stomach) you can try rodding through from the manholes. You should always first try to establish the point of blockage by lifting all the manholes to work out where to rod from.

4) If you don’t have a set of rods – get some. Most household drain blockages can be cleared quite easily with rods and you can buy a set for £30.00-£40.00 from most good hardware stores. This would be far cheaper than a call out and you’ll have them for next time or for general maintenance of your system.

5) Most drainage systems are fairly simple and if you have a manhole in your front garden it is likely that the drains run through it to the main sewer in the road. Probably 9 out of 10 drain blockages occur in the interceptor trap (the u bend to stop rats coming in from the main sewer) located in this manhole so you should always start at this point.

6) Should you need to call out a contractor try to find a company recommended to you or failing this ring around to compare prices – beware that some unscrupulous companies try to hide their real charges. Quite often the Local Water Authority will attend for a fee which is cheaper than most contractors.

7) Prevention is always better than cure and therefore general maintenance can stop blockages occurring. We suggest that you lift the manhole covers every 6 months or so and check the flow of water and wash down any debris that has accumulated.

8) If you are going to maintain your drainage system make sure you have the correct manhole keys for lifting the covers. You can get keys from good general builders merchants or try By regularly cleaning your drainage system you will get to know how it is laid out which will help in the event of a blockage when the manholes are full.

9) Should you have a blocked or slow running kitchen sink waste or bath waste visit ‘’ for helpful advice and cheap methods to try yourself before calling a contractor.

10) The best piece of advice we can give you is – be careful what you flush away! Most brands of ‘wet wipes’ do not travel well through the drainage system and a solid blockage of these will be difficult to clear and cost a small fortune. Also cooking grease will harden and solidify inside the pipework and again this would be expensive to clear.

Finally do we really need to tell you not to flush nappies down the toilet – you’ll be surprised at how many people do.

Also this month sees the start of our new toilet humour feature where we will publish jokes sent in by our customers which relate to our business. Hopefully you don’t find they are in too poor taste.

This months joke …

A builder goes to the doctor and says ‘Doc, I’m constipated’. The doctor examines him for a minute and then says ‘lean over the table.’ The construction worker leans over the table; the doctor whacks him on the bum with a cricket bat, and then sends him to the toilet. He comes back a few minutes later and says ‘Doc, I feel great what should I do?’ the doctor says ‘stops wiping with cement bags!’

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