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Kitchen Sink Maintenance Tips

23 April 2018

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Every day we pour food, drink and other substances down our sinks and, although they’re designed to deal with a certain amount of thin liquid waste, using it as a rubbish disposal unit isn’t ideal. Old food can build up, eventually rotting and producing a rather unpleasant smell, similar to old rubbish. It can also cause a blockage, rendering the sink unusable, and you may have to hire a plumbing repairs service to come and deal with the problem. Therefore, not only is it crucial you deal with this build-up as soon as it happens, there are also steps you can take to prevent this from happening in the first place

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Don’t pour fat

Although fat is liquid when hot, when it cools down again, it becomes a solid. This means, if you pour it down your sink and the cool surroundings force it to rapidly solidify, it can be a sure-fire way of causing blocked drains. Even if it doesn’t solidify in your sink’s pipes, it can cause clogging and blockages in our sewers. Instead, dispose of your cooking oil and fat by pouring it into plastic containers, allowing it to solidify and throwing it away with your regular rubbish. If it’s only a small amount of oil, allow it to solidify in the pan you used to cook it in and simply wipe away with kitchen towel. This is also better for your pans as consistently washing with hot water, washing up liquid and a scouring pad can actually scrape away the non-stick coating. You will also save money on handyman services.

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Throw food in the bin

Similar to fat, food can get stuck in the S bend and cause clogged drains. Not only is this a hassle as you’ll either have to unblock it yourself or call plumping services to deal with the issue for you. If left, the food can rot and create an unpleasant odour as well as prevent you from being able to use the sink properly. Make sure you throw away any leftovers in your regular bin or food recycle bin. To avoid having to hire handymen, only use the kitchen sink for thin liquid disposal.

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Already blocked

If your sink is already clogged, firstly try to unblock it yourself before calling out the plumbers. There are a few ways to do this. You can either use a plunger by filling the sink with hot water, position the plunger over the plug hole and pumping vigorously. Remove any bits that emerge from the plug and throw away to prevent future blockages.

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Alternatively, you can use a solution of vinegar and baking soda. Remove as much water as you can from the sink and pour baking soda down the drain. Follow this up by pouring vinegar after it; place the drain stopper back in place to force the solution to mix with the blockage. Leave for a while before pouring boiling water after it.

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Another method involves taking the sink apart. This method is for those who are a little more confident with their own plumping ability. Simply open the cabinet under your sink and place a bucket under the pipe to avoid mess. Detach the trap by loosening it with your hand or a wrench. Unclog the S trap with a pipe cleaner, reattach and run hot water through the sink to check the blockage has been removed. If the drain is still clogged, remove the trap again, along with the horizontal pipe leading out the back of the sink. Use an auger to feel about and remove any clogs further down the pipes.

If you’re unable to do this or this method doesn’t work, you’ll need to contact plumbing professionals to do the job.

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