How to keep drains clear

Hot water

To maintain your indoor drains, one of the easiest ways to keep them clear and free from blockages is to pour boiling water down them on a regular basis. A kettle full of boiling water once a week can be a substantial help in removing build ups of fats, oil and grease and preventing blocked drains.

If you do this regularly enough you’ll find that it keeps your drains clear and prevents the need for any drastic action because something has gone wrong further down the line.

Baking soda and vinegar

While it’s not a good idea to use strong chemical cleaners on your drains, as you can never be sure what they’ll react with and if they will damage your drains, you can use a weaker cleaner. The best solution is a combination of baking soda and vinegar poured down the drain, followed by hot water. You will be able to hear a small chemical reaction occurring once you have done this. This reaction helps to remove stubborn dirt and grime and should be done two to three times a year as a form of seasonal maintenance.

Watch what you drop down the drains

One of the best ways to maintain your drains is by being extremely careful with what you put down them. While most drains are designed to carry waste and small items such as toilet roll, waste pipes don’t deal very well with grease and fat from food, cleansing wipes, dental floss, nappies or sanitary products.

You should be very wary about what you leave to go down your drains and should try and dispose of waste into the rubbish bin where possible. With fats and grease you can pour them into a bottle or food storage container and dispose of them into the garbage.

Clear debris from outside

If you’re trying to keep your drains outside well maintained, it’s a good idea to make sure they are clear of debris at the point at which they enter the ground. This involves checking your gullies for leaves and twigs in order to ensure that they don’t restrict water flow at any point.

Remember, if you need any further advice or professional help with drain unblocking don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01495 687667. We are always on hand to offer help and support.

Preventing burst pipes during the winter

Winter weather can wreak havoc on your home and its contents if you have not prepared your property for a change in conditions. A typical winter season in the UK sees a drop in temperature, snow and flooding, all of which can have a detrimental effect on your drains and plumbing. In turn, this can lead to costly repairs if things go wrong, so it’s important you have the precautionary measures in place to prevent any damage.

As experts in drain unblocking, we have compiled a list of the most common reasons for burst pipes during the winter, and how best to avoid this happening on your property.

What causes pipes to burst?

It’s far better to be aware of the causes of burst pipes rather than waiting for a serious problem to occur, as the latter can lead to very costly repairs. Ice blockages in your household pipes are created by the water flowing through your home freezing and expanding inside the pipework. Over time, this process of water freezing and expanding inside the pipe causes a buildup of pressure, which eventually leads to the pipe bursting.

How can I prevent this from happening to my household pipes?

Keeping your drains as free from dirt, debris and grime as possible will encourage a free flow of water through the pipes, meaning blockages are less likely to form. Regular maintenance and being mindful of what you pour down your drains will help achieve this:

– Keep gutters free from leaves, twigs, branches and other debris

– Be careful not to pour fat and grease down the drains – wait for it to cool and throw it in the bin

– Do not flush wipes, sanitary wear or nappies down the toilet

How do I avoid frozen pipes?

As temperatures drop during the winter months, the risk of frozen pipes increases for many homes across the UK. Frozen blockages inside your household pipework can cause the flow of water to become restricted which, in turn, leads to burst pipes.

This problem can be easily avoided by:

– Making sure any exposed pipes are properly insulated with pipe lagging and heat tape

– Pouring a small amount of hot water down your sink to remove any build-up of fats, oils and grease in your drains

– Checking your pipes regularly to make sure they haven’t frozen or burst

– Keeping an eye out for any dripping taps as this excess water is more likely to freeze – this may indicate that the tap needs it’s washers renewed

Rods Away

If you suspect that your property is suffering from blocked drains, or you are worried about them freezing and bursting over the winter, our experts here at Rods Away can help tackle the problem before it escalates into a bigger, more costly issue.

Drain unblockingDrain cleaningDrain repairs

We are dedicated to providing a prompt, affordable service and comprehensive aftercare, giving you the peace of mind that comes with being in the hands of drainage experts. For further information about any of our services, simply get in touch with our friendly team today.

01495 687667

4 ways to unblock a clogged drain

If you have a clogged drain, it’s important to think clearly and not do anything that could cause more harm than good. You may not need to call a plumber, but it is certainly a possibility that shouldn’t be ruled out. Here are 4 simple steps to try the next time you get a clogged drain.

  1. Plunger – Tried, tested and true, the ol’ plunger is always the first step in taking care of that clogged drain. Fill the sink partially with water, a little less than a quarter of the way full. If you have a double sink, you will need to block the other drain with a cloth or towel. Plunge over the drain, up and down rapidly, until the water in the sink begins to drain. If it does, it was just a small obstruction, and you no longer have a clogged drain!
  2. Baking Soda and Vinegar – This common trick is an age-old method of handling a clogged drain. First, using a bucket, empty the water from the sink. Next, stuff about a cup of baking soda down the drain. Use a wooden spoon or spatula handle to pack it down. Next, pour a cup of vinegar down the sink and put the stopper in immediately to force the mixture down. Much like a 5th grade volcano science project, the mixture will foam downwards into the pipes. Let the mixture work its magic for five minutes and then proceed by running warm water down the drain. If it is still clogged, try four cups of boiling water. If you still have a clogged drain, it’s time to move on to step #3.
  3. Cable Auger – This is the most difficult method, and should not be attempted by amateur handymen. Using a bucket to catch the water, one would detach the trap or J-joint underneath the sink connecting the sink to the horizontal pipe. Then, after removing the horizontal pipe from the wall, use the cable auger to slide down the stub pipe. Slowly push the cable down by spinning the crank clockwise. Once you catch the clog, spin counter clockwise to retrieve the cable, and hopefully the obstruction as well. This should unblock your clogged drain.
  4. Call a Plumber – Finally, if all three of these methods have failed to clear the clogged drain (or you do not feel experienced or comfortable enough to attempt step #3), it is time to call an expert. Continuing to try to unblock a clogged drain with other methods can often lead to disastrous results. Really, the best advice is to contact your local plumbing service.

Slow or blocked drains at home.

Blocked sink

Slow Drains or sink at home? Here are some of the reasons why!

Have you noticed your drains are running slowly? It may be hard to pinpoint the main issue or blockage though. The problem could be right at the pipe opening, farther down the pipe, or anywhere in the drain line. A slow drain may not seem like a big dilemma but should be dealt with quickly to avoid major clogs, sewage backup, or further damage to the pipes. 

The first important step is to see if there is a clog in the drain trap or the fixture. For this you can call a Rods Away or the do-it-yourselfer can handle the blockage if the cause of the backup can be visually identified.  Make note that you should never use chemical drain cleaners in your pipes. Using any chemical drain cleaning products can cause a bigger problem and even erode the inside of the pipes. If you cannot see the origin of the back-up then you may have a larger drainage issue.

A plumbing company can locate clogs further down your drain lines. In many instances, your main drain line can cause backups into your home—if you have water backing up into floor-level drains, then you definitely need to get a plumber on site to diagnose what is wrong. A licensed professional plumbing company can pinpoint the cause of the slow moving waste-water or blockage using drain cleaning tools and sewer camera equipment. 

You may have a sewer line clog caused by something that was flushed down the toilet or from normal build-up over time. Clogs could be anywhere down your line causing sewage to back-up. Do you have older pipes? There could also be a problem with tree root intrusion. When roots infiltrate your pipes they may begin to crack the pipe, break into it, and block proper drainage. Sometimes it’s major breaks or collapses that occur in your main line. A cracked or crushed line can cause sewage flooding outside your house and other damage, and of course, stop any waste flow out to the street or septic tank. No matter how simple or involved the issue, it’s fixable, but you’ll want to find a drain specialist to diagnose and recommend solutions to you, the home owner.

When you have established the need for any type of plumbing work- especially for drain problems- call upon us at Aardvark Rooter. First and foremost we have drain experts and specialize in drain and sewer line issues. We always provide quality, professional service, after expert diagnosis, and at an affordable price.

If you need our services. Please visit our website to obtain our help and services.

Cold water problems.

Winter in wales is hard enough without having to deal with hard water, which can exacerbate common winter annoyances such as dry, itchy skin and lackluster hair. Hard water makes it more difficult for soaps and detergents to work properly and can damage your clothes and linens, leaving them feeling uncomfortable and looking dingy. Likewise, your dishes and other household items may have spots or residue on them even after they’ve been washed.

But did you know having hard water can also do a number on your home’s plumbing? Over time the minerals found in hard water can damage your plumbing pipes by causing a buildup, also known as scale. Not only can this decrease your water pressure, but it can also cause appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, and water heaters to work less efficiently while shortening their lifespans.

Compared to “soft” water which is completely free of mineral impurities, hard water has an excess of minerals such as calcium and magnesium.

If you’ve been dealing with these issues or suspect you have hard water, it’s time to give us a call. At Rods Away, we offer a variety of plumbing services such as pipe repair and repiping that are designed to remedy hard water related issues such as decreased water pressure caused by scale buildup. Similarly, if your old water heater is making loud, banging noises as a result of scale buildup, you can count us to make the repairs or install a new one!

There are several hard water treatments, such as home water softeners which use salt to remove the excess minerals. They soften all the water in your home which means that you and your home’s pipes and appliances all benefit. Water softeners are a great investment and improve your quality of life.

Point of use water filters are affordable options to water softeners and are still effective, but limited to filtering your drinking or bathing water. Water pitcher filters are also a simple and effective way to improve the quality and taste of your drinking water but don’t address build up in your pipes or appliances.

Vinegar is a multipurpose ingredient that can be used to combat the effects of hard water. Try adding one cup of white vinegar to your laundry’s rinse cycle. It can even be used as a rinse aid in your dishwasher! Use it to remove buildup from your coffee maker by running it through a brew cycle. Try using diluted apple cider vinegar to restore life to your hair after it’s been washed in hard water. Vinegar is a great home remedy, but you may be left with that vinegar smell.

Filters and home remedies are good but limited solutions. The most effective way to deal with hard water is with a whole house water treatment plan. Not sure what option is right for you? Not sure if you even have hard water? Call Rods Away today to learn how we can help!