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Cornwall Blocked Drains
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Causes of Blocked Drains
The most common pipes use for domestic drainage in the UK are either 100mm (4") or 150mm (6") and made of vitrified
clay. For most of the time these systems are ideal for the job at hand. Carrying away waste and rain water but
under certain circumstances they can fail.
Blocked Drains
Most often this is due to misuse coupled with a defect of some sort. Many home drainage systems will have some flaw which can be joints being out of correct alignment, stepped joints, sections which dip, poorly fitted joints allowing in fine roots or insufficient support under the pipe. These can all lead to fractured or leaking pipes, they will still work but at some point a flaw will become a serious fault.

A serious fault that occurs within a system usually results in a blocked drain, but this doesn't necessarily mean that you will have foul water backing up out of your plugholes. Many blockages clear themselves before you notice them, simply due to the force of water coming up behind them. Some other systems end up operating like an impromtu septic tank and can do for many years.

You may not even notice, but given the right conditions in the surrounding soil, most of the waste water sent into the drain is released through breaks in the pipe and soaks into the sub-soil. While the liquid leaks away, solids and waste are left within the pipe system, breaking down and slowly disolving into the waste water.

Cornwall Blocked Drains
Possible Causes for Blocked Drains:
Bad Housekeeping
The most prevelant cause of blockages in drainage systems is usually because the householder (or the previous occupant) put things down the pan which really should have gone in the bin. Nappies, sanitary products and condoms are the most common culprits.
Drainage Grids & Gullies
The drains which your downspouts connect to, as well as waste water pipes from sinks, feature a water trap to stops smells (and rats) from the drains escaping to ground level around your home. The trap also helps stop blockages by keeping detritus from getting into the drain. Failing to keep them clear can be a recipe for a blocked drain.
Grease And Fat
Fatty residue washes down the plughole and builds up within the drains, especially the water trap in the kitchen waste gulley. As soon as the grease comes into contact with the cold water it starts to congeal and cling. Over time most drainage systems eventually lose some of their efficiency due to the build up of fat.
Blocked Toilets
Most problems with the loo are caused by either a foreign object being flushed away or a problem further down the line. Don't put anything in the toilet that could block the pipe, and that includes using too much toilet paper.
Sinks, Baths and Showers
Aside from fats, leftovers and other debris from your kitchen ends up disappearing down the sink, the other primary source of blockages is hair. Especially where you have a problem with grease already, this mixes with the hair and forms a surprisingly strong blockage.
Subsequent work
Pipes are fairly fragile things, especially vitrified clay pipes. If they were installed without due care and attention or if they are disturbed by subsequent works (such as an extension being built or even a fence post being driven a little too deep in the wrong place) you can often find that problems can take some time to become apparent.
Tree Root Ingress
Roots have evoluted to seek out water and nourishment for plants, and these are to be found in abundance in your drains. Any defect in how the drains were constructed can lead to a tiny leak, which in turn attracts roots, which can be surprisingly strong. They can get in through poorly aligned joints, cracks and flaws in inpection chambers.
See our blocked drain gallery >
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