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Clergy Housing - Tips to keep drains free flowing

The diocese receives many requests for assistance with blocked drains which can prove costly to repair.  For the most part, drains will manage themselves without need for any intervention, which is great news because blockages can be quite unpleasant.  One of the major causes is damage caused by tree roots ingressing into the drains and may only become evident when a toilet or sink won’t drain away.  However, some blockages are unnecessary – and with a little thought – preventable.  

Our drainage contractor has provided the following advice that should be considered to help avoid such instances:

  • The leading cause of blockages is disposing of wipes or moist toilet tissues down the toilet.  Often advertised as ‘flushable’, in an older system - they will snag on joints or minor defects, creating quite a challenge in getting things moving again. Sanitary wares, dental floss and cotton wool buds can all cause similar problems.  Wherever possible, please avoid flushing these down the toilet too.
  • Kitchen drains can block up from time to time.  This is usually due to cooking fats being disposed of down the drain, which harden off and stick to the pipe below ground.  The best way to avoid this is to wipe off greasy plates or pans with disposable kitchen towel before they go in the sink or dishwasher.
  • In autumn, grids around the house and driveway should be kept clear of leaves and any patios or yard areas should be kept well swept of windblown debris to avoid excessive amounts getting into the drains.  It’s a good idea to flush these grids through with a bucket of water once or twice a year to check everything is working as it should, cleaning any stale and smelly water from the drains.

Hopefully, with a little effort, we will all be able to avoid the inconvenience and costs of possible drainage troubles in the future.  However, if you do find something draining away slowly or suspect a blockage, it should be reported to the Surveyors Department.

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The DAC Office - The office of the Diocesan Advisory Commitee (DAC) has responsibility for progressing faculty applications and providing policy advice on church building matters.  The answer to most popular enquiries will be available via these web pages but do contact the DAC Office if not.  Where appropriate, the DAC Office can put you in touch with churches who have undertaken similar work to any scheme you might be proposing yourself.