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Sutton and East Surrey Water Services Search

Drainage Tips & FAQs

Got a question about drains and drainage services?

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  • Is Sutton and East Surrey Water Services a member of a trade body?
  • We’re proud members of the two leading trade bodies: 

    Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC) 
    The Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC) is the leading trade Association for the Plumbing and Heating industry in England and Wales. Find out more at http://www.competentpersonsscheme.co.uk/

    Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE)
    The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) is the professional body for the UK plumbing and heating industry. Find out more at http://www.ciphe.org.uk/
  • If my sink, basin or bath waste is draining away slowly, what can I do?
  • Slow running drains are usually indicative of a partial blockage, so the first step is to find the obstruction. In baths and showers, the problem is normally due to the build up of hair and soap scum. If you see hair in the bottom of the drain, you might be able to simply reach in and pull out the blockage. Alternatively, you should use a pair of tweezers or pliers. If you can’t find the obstruction, it’s time to call in the professionals.

    You can avoid obstructions building up in the first place by taking the following steps: 
    - Use strainers in all your drains to stop hair from going down the drain
    - Don’t drop small pieces of soap down the drain. This causes soap scum to build up in drains and pipes
    - Once a month, pour a kettle full of boiling water down the drain. This will help melt any greases or oils and wash them away before they can build up (do not do this for your toilet, as the hot water may crack the porcelain)
    - Every three to four months use a half-cup of baking soda in the drain while slowly adding half a cup of vinegar. Let the liquid drain for a few minutes before rinsing with hot water. 
  • What is the best way to unblock a clogged drain?
  • If you can see what is causing the problem, it may be easy to fix. However, if you can’t see what is causing the problem, the next option is to try plunging the drain. Some people think that using chemicals to clear a drain is an option. However, it is important to remember that such chemicals are highly caustic, often poisonous and are damaging to the environment.

    For most blockages, we will be able to use a ‘snake’, a long flexible steel cable wound on a handle. The ‘snake’ will either break up the ‘obstruction by pushing its way through, or it will hood the end of the ‘snake’ onto whatever’s clogging the drain, so your plumber can pull it out. We may need to repeat this process a couple of times to get the drain cleared out, since some clogs are more persistent than others. Other unblocking methods include high-pressure jetting. 


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