A simple recipe to avoid a dinnertime disaster

With Christmas just around the corner, you may have already started to plan your festive feast. Will it be turkey, maybe duck, or even a nut roast? Whatever you have on the menu this year, we hope everyone will follow the same simple recipe to avoid a kitchen nightmare. Our sewer expert Steve Grebby shares his top tips.

Avoiding a blocked drain

Blocked drains caused by things being put down the sink and toilet that shouldn’t be can lead to damage and costly repairs. The average cost for plumbing and drainage repair costs currently stands at around £279* for unblocking a private drain – we all know Christmas can be expensive enough without adding in a surprise repair bill.

Beyond the damage to your own pipe, pouring Fats, Oils and Grease down the plughole can lead to fatbergs – huge masses of congealed waste that, over time, clog up sewage systems and eventually cause sewer flooding. Clearing these blockages cost water companies millions of pounds a year; costs which are eventually passed on to customers in their annual sewerage bills.

Sewer flooding can also lead to individual homes being flooded and nobody wants to wake up on Christmas day to their presents swimming in sewage.

Keeping drains clear is easy if we all follow the same recipe:

  1. When you’ve finished cooking your turkey or roast potatoes, dispose of the leftover cooking fats safely, by letting them cool in a container before scraping them straight into the bin – never down the sink!
  2. If you do have any leftovers on your plate, make sure you scrape them into the bin. Don’t be tempted to rinse plates under running water with a bit of washing up liquid. This might leave your plates sparkling, however the fat and grease will remain in your pipes and solidify over time, causing damage to your pipes and a blocking your drains.
  3. Beyond the kitchen sink, think clear when it comes to the bathroom too. Don’t use your toilet like a bin. It may sound obvious, but you’d be amazed at some of the items water companies have found down the sewers (spacehoppers, bed sheets!). Items such as wet wipes, cotton buds or sanitary products should never go down the toilet – in fact, if it’s not Pee, Poo or Paper, it should go in the bin.

*Average cost of repairing a private pipe. BCIS research, October 2020. Prices include labour, parts, call-out charges and VAT.


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