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How to avoid nasty blockages

Blocked pipes can cause bad smells, fatbergs and sewer flooding - problems that don't just impact you, but your neighbours and others in your local community too. There are some steps you can take to help avoid blockages.

Causes of blockages

Blocked pipes are often caused by items such as wet wipes, sanitary products and tampons being flushed down the loo or leftover fats and oils from cooking being poured down the sink.

Blockages are messy, unpleasant and can cause sewage to flow back inside your home. This can be upsetting for you and your family, along with costing you money to unblock.

Fats, oil and grease may be liquid going down the drain, but they quickly solidify when they meet the cold sewer walls and the fat cools - even if you pour hot water down after.

This builds up, causing a blockage of congealed, solid mass known as a fatberg. Each time more unflushable items enter the sewer, they stick to the fatberg and the blockage grows.

Fatbergs prevent your waste water flowing through the sewer. It has nowhere to go and if left like this, dirty water can end up flooding your home and the homes of your neighbours.

  • We clear over 45,000 blockages every year and around 70% of them are caused by the wrong things being put down the sink and toilet.
  • It costs us over £10 million every year to regularly clean sewers to remove wipes, sanitry products, fats and oils to prevent blockages.
  • The size of an average drain pipe is only 150mm, so even putting a small amount of fat, oil or grease down the plughole can quickly block the pipes. 

A few small changes can help protect your drains from blockages and keep the sewers flowing.

Top tips for the bathroom

Follow these simple tips in the bathroom to avoid nasty blockages. That way your shower will be stress free and the water will be removed quickly and safely.

Top tips for the kitchen

We have some simple ways you can prevent blockages to keep your pipes clear and able to remove your dirty water effectively.