03 Dec, 23

Have you ever heard of a fatberg? It’s not a very pleasant thing really. Essentially, it is a build-up of material in a sewer and is made up fat, wet wipes, nappies, cotton buds, condoms, and all sorts of other things that you prefer not to think about once you have used them.

The reality though is that we all play a part in keeping our sewers clean and fatberg-free. What we flush down the plugholes and pipes in our homes makes its way through and if it doesn’t block our own pipes, then it could get stuck further down the track in the sewer system. Worse yet, it could find its way into the River Thames through one of the almost weekly sewer overflows that happen.

But there is a way to prevent that from happening and more importantly for your own home, greatly reduce the risk of creating a blockage in your pipes that could lead to an emergency call out and an unpleasant mess at home.

What you should NEVER put down the drain or toilet at home

You would be surprised at the number of things that say they are ‘biodegradable’ or ‘can be flushed down the toilet’ on the packaging but in actual fact are part of the problem. In our busy and hectic lives we look for easy solutions that make things simpler for us. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s ok to use make-up remover wipes or baby wipes. It’s important to use dental floss or cotton buds.

Nappies, sanitary products, and condoms are important and necessary. It’s crucial that we dispose of them correctly when we have finished with them though. No matter what the packaging says, the only place for them is the bin. Throwing them into the toilet can lead to blockages in your pipes which can have a knock-on effect of reducing the flow of water and leading to a build-up of material over time.

In the kitchen, oils and fats must never be poured down the plug. No matter how much water you flush after them it will not help and they will still cool and congeal somewhere, starting to build on the inside of pipes creating an obstruction that other things can catch on to and stick to. It’s also important to make sure that there is no food residue on plates before they are hand washed or put into the dishwasher as they can stop up pipes as well.

What you CAN flush down the plug and toilet

The list is short but important. The only things you should flush away are toilet paper, pee, and poo. They will break up naturally and make their way through the sewer system without causing any problems to your pipes.

For your kitchen sink you can get a plug guard to prevent any food or other items from falling in and disappearing down the drain, greatly reducing the chances of creating a blockage anywhere.

Need expert help?

Tackle any problems now to avoid emergency situations later. If you have a slow-draining sink in the kitchen or toilet or think that there may be a blockage somewhere in your pipes, our team at London City Plumbers can help get it sorted before it gets worse. Just give us a call on 020 8226 5499 for a free quote or some advice on how to keep your pipes clean and free-flowing.