Are Your Drains Magical?

Located throughout your unit are a number of drains tied into the building plumbing system. The obvious ones being the kitchen and bathroom sink, bath tub and toilet. In some units there are less obvious drains such as the dishwasher, laundry washer and floor drain.  These are all located within your unit and should be your responsibility to maintain.

Unfortunately, too many people consider the drains to be magical. They think that you can flush an item into the drainage system and it just disappears without another thought. Sadly, this is wrong. Using grease and oil as an example, it may be hot and runny when it enters the drain but as it leaves your unit, it quickly begins to cool and slow down. As this happens, the grease gels and can form a barrier in the drain pipe. Then other items such as hair, whiskers, toilet paper or even vegetable peelings can get caught on this blockage causing it to become a bigger blockage. If your living situation does not require sharing your drainage service you might be fine but if you are sharing with multiple other units, the blockage can grow quickly, become smelly and cause a back up into yours or a neighbouring units sinks or bathtub.  The cost of clearing the drain from your unit to the common line is your expense to repair.  If you are in a multi-floor building, your condominium board should be arranging to have the drain stacks cleaned as needed.

A reminder that the baby wipes, sanitary wipes and make up wipes that are wet when open are actually a cloth type material, not paper. (If they were paper, they would dissolve in the packaging.) As a result, they will not disintegrate in the drain but can form a blockage.

How real is the impact of fat and grease in the sewer system? In 2019, a 40 tonne fatberg (the size of a double decker bus) was removed from the London England sewers.  Can you imagine the back up that would have created?

You can avoid causing a fat berg by ensuring that items not included in the 3P’s (pee, pooh, toilet paper) do not go down your drain. Dispose of grease, oil, fat, peelings, strands and clumps of hair as well as  wipes of any type or any other solids in a separate container and put out with your garbage.