‘Biggest offender’ of blocked drains to never put down the sink – causes ‘havoc’

Whether households are cooking in a hurry or simply trying to get rid of food items that no longer serve any use, it can be tempting to treat the sink drain like a bin.

However, those little lapses in judgment could eventually cost households a lot of money as allowing drains to come into contact with certain items and materials may eventually lead to a failure in a home’s plumbing system.

While households can’t typically see most of their home’s plumbing system, they can easily protect it against clogs and corrosion by being vigilant about what goes down the drain and acting quickly when they start to notice a problem. 

Save time and the expense of calling out a plumber by having a read of what five items the experts at Drain Doctor advise never putting down the drain to prevent issues.

1. Fats, oils and grease

According to the experts, fats, oils and grease is a drainage technician’s “worst nightmare”. Not only does this stick to the inside of pipes, but will also solidify when chilled, eventually “causing blockages”.

Although everybody knows not to do this, a recent poll revealed that almost half the population admitted to still pouring them down the drain.

2. Coffee grounds 

Alongside fats, oils and grease, coffee grounds are thought to be “one of the biggest offenders” for blocking drains. 

Though it might seem innocent enough to let coffee grounds go down the drain, “they can wreak havoc on your drainage systems” since they aren’t totally water soluble. 

The experts explained: “Over time, coffee grounds can build up and clog drains. This is made all the more likely if you are also pouring fats, oils and grease down drains.”

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Since coffee grounds are so beneficial for plant life, the most environmentally friendly way to get rid of coffee grounds is to compost them.

3. Eggshells 

A perhaps less obvious item “you should never put down the drain” is eggshells. Not only do eggshell fragments add to and progress other blockages, but they can also be “quite damaging for your sink”. 

The plumb experts said: ‘This is particularly true if you have a garbage disposal. The hard outer shell can weaken the blades while the egg’s membrane may detach and wrap itself around the grinding apparatus.”

Just like coffee grounds, egg shells should ideally be composted to avoid damage to drainage systems.

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4. Pasta/rice

Expandable foods, such as pasta and rice, can prove “devastating for your drain”. Rice may all too easily slip down the drain and expand once it’s absorbed water. 

What’s more, pasta can often be coated in sticky semolina flour which, much like fats, oils and grease, can cause food remnants to cling to the inside of pipes and produce blockages.

To avoid this, consider investing in a sink strainer that effectually traps food wastage before it goes down the drain.

5. Flour

Those who have ever mixed flour and water together will know it makes a thick and sticky paste which can easily thicken and coat the insides of pipes, which is not ideal for drains. That’s why it’s always best to throw any excess flour into the bin instead of putting it in the sink.

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