As with any pipe, taking care with what you flush through your plumbing system, will help maintain the flow in an offset pipe length. Depending on the relative elevation and degree of offset, the bend in a piping system can form a ‘trap’ of sorts for miscellaneous debris. There are some home remedies for cleaning your drains; but daily care is the best prevention!
An offset is any pipe or fitting that is not straight. The P-trap on a sink or the S-trap on a toilet are perfect examples of offsets. Often, 45° or 90° fittings are used to navigate obstructions such as columns, walls or other pipes. Through calculations using basic trigonometry, the design of a plumbing system often includes a number of offsets. As waste flows through the drainage system, each offset can reduce the velocity of flow, which allows for heavier debris to be ‘left behind’, causing potential clogs. With careful maintenance, this decreased flow rate can be avoided.
By paying close attention to the materials that are flushed or washed down any drain, your pipes will remain healthy for a longer period of time. There are a number of items that should not be introduced into your drainage system:
- Hair – if allowed to accumulate in the drainage system will form a web that catches other debris, eventually forming a blockage
- Grease – if washed into the drainage system, will coat the pipes as it cools, causing a blockage
- Coffee Grinds – because they are heavy, coffee grinds tend to be dropped in offsets, eventually piling up and causing blockage
- Food Particles – if you do not have a garbage disposal, never flush food particles down the drain, if they do not dissolve, they will cause a blockage
- Gum, Taffy – by flushing gum or other sticky food stuff into your drainage system, it can ‘stick’ to the pipes, especially at the more resistant offsets
- Paper Products/Feminine Protection – feminine protection products, including applicators are especially hazardous to a drainage system’s health! Some toilet papers, which contain large amounts of glue, or are exceptionally fibrous can cause clogs as well. Never flush paper towels, as they are too bulky, and tend to swell with addition of water, which will plug a pipe.
This is merely a partial list of solids that can cause drain blockage; always think before you allow a potentially ‘clogging’ material to enter your drainage system! Even with careful monitoring, and routine maintenance, a drain can still become hopelessly clogged – in such an instance, with the ability to snake, video monitor, pressure cleaning (Hydro-Jet) or full replacement of a line if necessary, Vancouver Lower Mainland Plumbing can solve any drainage problem.