Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Not just the goose getting fat

Christmas is a time for feasting, and there's sure to be some fantastic smells wafting through the house this week as preparations for dinner get underway. However, once everyone's eaten and the time comes for washing up, it's important to take the right steps to stop waste food from going down the sink - failure to do so could leave you with some very unpleasant smells (amongst other problems) as drains and pipes become blocked. Luckily for you, reading our APHC On Tap top tips will help you to avoid bothersome blockages, prolonging the life of your plumbing pipes and avoiding costly repairs!

Scrape your plate!

Probably the most straightforward way to stop blockages occurring in the first place is to ensure plates are scraped thoroughly before doing the washing up or loading the dishwasher. What's more, with fatbergs responsible for huge numbers of plumber call-outs each year, it's important not to pour cooking oil and grease directly down the drain. Instead, a good tip is to collect it in a jar and wait for it to solidify before throwing the whole lot in the bin.

Use a drain gate

These fit into place in the plughole to catch food waste and soap scum before it goes down the drain. These deposits can then simply be thrown away.

Clean drains regularly

Ensuring drains are cleaned regularly will help to keep them running freely and smelling fresh. One simple habit to get into is running hot water through the sink after each use, which will help to keep oil products in food running down the drain rather than building up in the interior surface of pipes. For an extra cleaning boost, try pouring one of the following ingredients down your drain:

1. Baking soda

Baking soda is an effective cleaning agent, which has the added benefit of absorbing odours to prevent foul smells escaping from your sink. Try throwing a handful of it down the drain followed by a blast of hot water.

2. Vinegar

Vinegar contains acetic acid, which acts as a solvent to remove organic build-ups of food and other materials in pipes. Pour one cup of vinegar down the drain and leave it to work for 30 minutes before chasing it down with very hot water.

3. Lye

Lye is the active ingredient in many of the drain cleaners you can find in the shops. This works by dissolving soap scum and other materials to leave your plumbing pipework clear. Try pouring a small amount down the drain, follow with a little water and simply wait for the chemical to work its magic! Take note that you should always read the label when using products such as drain cleaners, and remember to use them sparingly.

So this Christmas, remember to ensure that it's only the goose that's getting fat by keeping food products out of your pipework. If you do find yourself with a blockage, you can find a quality APHC member plumber to come to your rescue at

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