Main Drain getting clogged up by hair what to do?

(13 Posts)
SuperFlyHigh Sun 06-Nov-16 13:17:50

Living in a bought maisonette with me and lodger (I own the property) with one bathroom and one shower in bedroom (unused).

Split level house, other flat is empty for now as owner gone travelling for past 3 months and hoping to rent flat out but not done yet.

We all have same drains which are old and Victorian and have had problems over the years but if ever I ask a plumber about it he says don't bother trying to replace could affect other houses eg street etc (huh??!!) (outside kitchen is main drain and then another drain just yards away from kitchen in garden), the outside kitchen one gets blocked and a handyman or my brother usually comes to clear it, hair is down there. I use liquid washing machine liquid and fabric softener, got dishwasher but use tablets but nothing else, no clothes washing machine powder. I've got one of those metal bath plug drainers in main bathroom that you put over plug hole where it collects the drain and I use that but unsure if lodger does but she says yes.... We did have another short term lodger and also friend of friend stayed for about 2-3 months on and off and tried to get them to use the metal plug drainer but not sure if they did. My other bug bear was they were both hairy (blond and dark and both male) and they didn't empty the metal drainer of their hair after use... But they've gone now.

Anyway is there anything else I can do to ensure drain doesn't get blocked, my lodger has very long hair and I think what happens is sometimes she forgets to use the metal bath gadget or doesn't use it at all but says she does because main problem is bath fills up with water from soap etc. is there a better metal drainer than the one I've got?

Also currently converting attic plus putting bathroom there which will drain into same drain.... Don't want it to get worse! Currently that room may be my room or unlet as undecided what to do it yet.

Ideas please, thanks!

wooooofudge Sun 06-Nov-16 19:07:02

Switch to washing powder for starters as the bleaching ingredients help to clean pipework through. Liquid detergents don't and can also lead to your washing machine becoming smelly.

Hair remover down the plug holes in the bathroom can dissolve hair if it is particularly problematic. Otherwise a monthly clear out with the help of tweezers. Urgh!

SuperFlyHigh Sun 06-Nov-16 20:23:04

woooofudge now that's really interesting re powders!

I'm going to tell lodger and also me to get the hair out of the plug hole. Take turns if you will. Cost me the fee for handyman last week and whilst not that expensive and he had other jobs to do she wouldn't countenance splitting the bill and just denied it was her hair.

aliceinwonderlandsyndrome Mon 07-Nov-16 07:41:28

If it's hair that is blocking up the drain then i would recommend running this through the drainage system once or twice and this should remove any clogged up hair etc from the drain.

TheLionQueen Mon 07-Nov-16 08:44:47

You can also get drain things which is basically a piece of Velcro on a bendy wire. You post it down the plug and wiggle it around as you pull it out, it pulls all the hair out it's disgusting but very satisfying
I do this when I notice the bath is taking ages to empty, or is filling up when showering. I get mine in a hardware shop but sure you can find them online, I'm shit at links sorry.
I've heard the tip about hair removal cream but read on MN that it really doesn't work and clogs drain further! I haven't dared try it.

SuperFlyHigh Mon 07-Nov-16 10:41:57

ha! thanks all! Going to try washing powder too though... pains me to try it but found an Ecover (which I use) non bio washing powder online so will order that or look for it in sainsbos

TollgateDebs Mon 07-Nov-16 16:33:23

We've noticed that some hair conditioners cause an issue too. Totally agree about liquid detergents and fabric conditioner.

SuperFlyHigh Mon 07-Nov-16 16:56:40

Tollgate really interesting for years I've used liquid detergents as they seem more modern and better for environment.

My mum even uses them but used to use powder detergent.

I've got no idea about conditioners but can't very well ask my tenant/lodger who rents a room from me not to use conditioner!

I do wonder sometimes if it's the Victorian drains - neighbours have stated what a nuisance they are and my mum who lives not far away in similar Victorian house (but bigger) says her drains are similar. Maybe just the way they were built...

TollgateDebs Mon 07-Nov-16 20:38:29

No Victorian drains here, but these liquid products do produce a kind of gunk on the inner surface of the pipes which traps hairs etc. and causes it to block, particularly on the smaller pipes that run to the larger pipes. We now regularly check and clean, which highlights the worst offending products and stops the blockages before they occur. It is the fat we think! www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/products-you-didnt-know-contain-animal-ingredients/

wooooofudge Mon 07-Nov-16 21:52:38

You can use soda crystals and boiling water down all the plugholes to dissolve grease and dirt too. Cheaper than the drain buster type cleaning stuff.

SuperFlyHigh Tue 08-Nov-16 10:04:25

thanks so much Tollgate and wooooofudge - this has been an on and off problem but seems to have worsened over the past few years, god only knows what state the drains are in!

I do try to avoid animal fat

Fennwalker Tue 08-Nov-16 14:47:51

I have this too, found the only way is going in there one every few months with pliers / coat hanger things others have mentioned and pulling it out. I take off u bend of sink and do the same.

Tried a couple of chemically drain buster / dissolver things but they don't work and are terrible for the environment so not for me.

Pulling it out is gross, but it's quick and works.

Fennwalker Tue 08-Nov-16 14:48:59

Also second the switch from liquid to powder.

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