Plumbers and utility companies have cleared out around 70,000 blockages last year from the sewer systems. More than half of the blockages cleared by the plumbers were caused by fat and cooking oil. As explained by professional plumbers, fat and cooking oil set hard to form a solid barrier which prevents sewage flowing through the pipes. This results in flooding to roads, to gardens and homes, leading to an urgent call to an emergency plumber and associated high costs for removing the blockages and repairing the damage, often amounting to high bills for the plumbers’ services.
Experienced plumbers recommend that instead of pouring the fat down the sink, households should allow it to cool off in a sturdy container, then throw it out with the rubbish. Professional plumbers further recommend that cotton buds, nappies and sanitary products also be thrown with the rubbish rather than flushed down the drain causing more blockages and more emergency plumbers’ call outs.
Another task that is keeping London plumbers busy these days is helping the water companies reduce the number of leakages in the mains network. Most plumbers are focused on replacing the oldest and leakiest pipes in London, some of which have been in use for well over a century. The most experienced plumbers are removing old cast iron pipes out of service and installing new plastic mains which are more durable and flexible.