How to prevent drain blockages with our 5 point plan

At Digga Drain we do a lot of work that involves drain and/or pipe blockages and tending to the general wear and tear on pipes.

So we thought why not share a bit of what we know, to help you avoid pipe problems this summer.

Because let's be honest, over summer is when you are most likely to have friends and family stay and it’s definitely a time you could do without the added hassle of pipe and plumbing work.

Top of our list, to keep your pipes flowing freely:

1. Avoid chemical drain clearing products


Clogged drains are the most common home plumbing problem and there are chemicals available to clear them. But these products sometimes do more harm than good. They can erode cast-iron drainpipes and if used regularly (say a few times a year) that erosion builds up to cause bigger issues.

In cases of severe blockage it is often better to get someone in to clear the drain.

At Digga Drain, we use specialised hydrojet heads attached to the end of a hose which is connected to a hydrojet drain unblocking truck.

We use high pressure water to cut through and flush out most objects and this is strong enough to completely remove chunks of hair or grease, toilet paper blockages and even tree roots.

2. Prevent future clogging


Clogs aren’t just nuisances. Backed-up water puts added pressure on your wastepipes, stressing them and shortening their lifespan. Avoid clogs by watching what goes down your drains.

Scrape off all plates before washing, keep hair out of bathroom drains, and keep everything but sewage and toilet paper out of toilets.

Never ever pour grease down the drain, grease is only liquid when it’s hot, so when you pour it down the drain, it cools and becomes solid.

To help to prevent this happening you can install screens or use catchers over drains in showers and tubs, and pull out what hair you can after each shower to prevent build-ups.

3. Reduce the pressure


As nice as high water pressure can be, it does stress your pipes causing more wear and tear on the life of your pipes, it also increases the likelihood of a leak.

You can measure your water pressure with a hose bib gauge, available at the hardware store for around $10 and normal pressure will register between 40 and 85 psi. If it’s above that range, consider hiring a plumber to install a pressure reducer. 

By the way, adding a low-flow showerhead won’t affect pressure in the pipes. It only affects the amount of water coming out of the showerhead itself. 

4. Soften the water


If your water has a high mineral content (known as hard water) it can shorten the life of your plumbing. Those naturally occurring minerals, usually magnesium or calcium, build up inside your pipes and restrict flow, increasing the pressure.

A white build-up on showerheads and taps is a tell tale sign of hard water.

The only way to effectively deal with hard water is by installing a water softener.

Most use sodium to counteract the minerals in your water, but new electronic softeners use electromagnetic pulses to dissolve minerals and have the advantage of not adding sodium to your water. 

You’ll need a plumber to install a traditional, sodium-based softener or you can install an electronic unit (because the pipes don’t need to be opened up) but bear in mind that you’ll need a nearby power outlet for the unit. 

5. Keep your sewer lines or septic tank clear


If you have mains sewers, hire someone like Digga Drain to clean your main sewage using hydro jetting, every few years. This will clear clogs and help remove tree roots that inevitably work their way into the pipes, leading to messy sewage backups.

If you have a septic system, get the tank pumped out every three to five years.

Other ways to avoid trouble

  • Learn where your home’s main water shut off valve is so if there’s ever a leak you know where to go to quickly shut the water off.
  • Fix problems quickly. Even small leaks can make pipes corrode more quickly and cause significant water damage or mould. The sooner you deal to these issues, the less damage they can cause long term.
  • Prevent problems and be good to your pipes. Remember that what you put down your pipes can come back to haunt you. When plumbing clogs occur, it can be an expensive issue to correct, apart from the inconvenience of having to go without water until they are fixed.

At Digga Drain we can help with all areas of pipe care and drain blocking.

If you are Auckland based and need help getting your pipes in good working order, then give us a call.

We are always ready to help and always looking to keep our client base happy.

We will do all that we can to get you pipes right and let you know how to keep them that way.


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