Drains and blockages

Image: mother and daughter filling glasses of water

Blockages can cause flooding and damage to your home. To prevent blockages it's important to know what you can and cannot dispose of down your sinks, toilets and other water pipework systems.

If you follow our handy guidance below it should help to reduce the risk of blockages and overflows in your home:

Do's:

Image: Do's when disposing waste

  • Follow manufacturers' recommendations when using household cleaning products. Soft water requires far less detergent concentration than hard water. 

  • Use liquids (not powders) in washing machines and dishwashers. Powders re-coagulate into clumps and can cause blockages.

  • Try to spread your clothes washing throughout the week.

  • Stick to the same washing, dishwasher and other cleaning products as the bacteria will work more efficiently with products it is used to treating.

  • Think before you put anything down the sink, toilet or drains.

  • Ensure only toilet paper is flushed down the toilet and used in normal quantities.

  • Compost all your organic food waste or use your local council bio–degradable waste recycling service (where applicable) to dispose of organic waste. Do not flush organic waste down the sink or drain.

Don'ts:

Image: don'ts when disposing waste

  • Don’t put sanitary towels, tampons, cotton wool or cotton wool buds, condoms, toilet roll holders,  elastic bands, cigarette butts, contact lenses, dental floss, razor blades, tights, toothbrushes, incontinence pads or any baby, cleaning or facial wipes down the toilet.

  • Don’t flush rubber products or other non-biodegradable products down the toilet.

  • Don’t pour fat, grease or cooking oil down the sink or drains. Fats suffocate the bacteria and inhibit the biological process.

  • Don’t pour DIY products (e.g. paint, thinners, turpentine and white spirit etc.) or car fluids such as engine oil, anti-freeze, brake fluid etc. down the drains.

  • Don’t tip medicine, bandages, plasters, syringes and needles,  mouth wash or any chemicals such as photographic fluid or garden products (e.g. Insecticides, weed killers and fungicides) down the drains.

  • Don’t fit a waste disposal unit under your kitchen sink. Disposing of organic matter through the treatment system increases the organic load, creating bacterial overgrowth which will inhibit the treatment process.

Need to report a blockage?

If you're a tenant renting a property from us then it is your responsibility for unblocking sinks, baths and toilets.

Full details about repairs that are a tenant's responsibility and what we're responsible for can be found here.

If you need to report a repair for something that we are responsible for, the quickest and easiest way to do this is online although it’s also possible to do it over the phone, by email or using our online chat service.

Find out how to report a repair here.

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