5 Strange things found in blocked sinks around the home
While the washing machine breaking down mid-cycle or the dryer mysteriously stuttering to a halt in the middle of Winter may be annoying, a blocked sink can truly be the straw that breaks the camels back. It seems you never realise just how much you use your sink until it suddenly starts overflowing onto the floor!
A blocked sink, even one that appears completely out of the blue, is generally caused by something going on beneath the surface, either in or around the pipe and drain. The sink overflowing is merely a symptom of a larger problem, and one that you want to get to the bottom of as quickly as possible.
The team here at Tai irwin Plumbers have seen our fair share of strange stuff causing a blocked sink in our time, and while the problem can be fixed quickly and effectively by an experienced plumber, prevention is always better that cure! Knowing what NOT to put down your sink and how to best keep your drains healthy and working well can prevent your family being the one with a grease ball the size of the family cat lurking beneath your kitchen cabinet!
Here’s the 5 main culprits of blockages and sink overflows:
1. Skin and hair
As horrifying as it sounds, we flush a lot of ourselves down the sink! More the cause of a blocked bathroom sink than a blocked kitchen sink, hair can accumulate ridiculously fast in the drain causing a physical clog that not only looks like something out of a horror movie but causes water to backup and overflow. It’s best to remove a build-up of hair manually, as opposed to using a chemical solution. Try some of these tips to clear the blocked sink and if the issue is still there, call us for some friendly help and advice.
2. Gelatinous foods
Foods high in starch tend to swell up when we add water to them, making them a common kitchen drain blocking culprit. Rice, pasta, potatoes and bread should never be washed down the sink as over time you’re more than likely to accumulate enough food sitting in the pipe to create a second meal for the family. Always scrape plates into the bin before rinsing and try and avoid washing any long or particularly dense food scraps down the sink as much as possible.
3. Paper and paper products
You’d be surprised how many paper products make it down the sink, especially in the kitchen. Paper towel used to clean or wipe out pots and pans and errant serviettes are the main trouble makers though we have seen some pieces of paper that never should have made it anywhere near the sink, in our time. The sticky labels on some fruits and vegetables for example, although little, can cause major issues for sinks and drains. Try to avoid washing or flushing anything into your drains that shouldn’t be in there in the first place. Disposing of paper products in the garbage or compost can save a whole lot of sink overflow heartache in the long run!
4. Foreign objects
Jewellery, small toys, bottle caps even pens and pencils can sometimes make their way into your sink and down the drain causing plenty of problems for your system. Similarly to the hair situation, these objects cause a physical block that can’t be removed using a chemical drain unblocker. While you can sometimes get lucky and fish out the offending object, calling in an experienced plumber is your best bet as it may be a more complicated process than initially thought. This is especially important if the object in question is something you’d like to get back in one piece!
5. Tree Roots
While it may be unusual for a tree root to actually appear IN your kitchen or bathroom sink itself, it’s not unusual for a root to be the cause of pipe damage or drain blockage. The North Shore is especially susceptible to this due to all the beautiful old trees (with beautifully big old root systems!) that we see in many backyards. Tree roots can grow into pipes, causing them to crack or even collapse which means no end of problems for you! If you suspect that there may be issues with your existing plumbing and your garden, give us a call. We’ve got the perfect equipment designed specifically for clearing this type of organic matter quickly and without hassle.