Unblocking Drains: The Methods and Materials Professional Plumbers Use

Unblocking drains is often mistaken for something you can do yourself with some home remedies, store-bought chemicals and a plunger. However, trying to unclog severely blocked drains without the tools and know-how can result in at best a temporary fix, and at worst, costly repairs and further damage. Fortunately, professional plumbers like our team at STS have access to specialised equipment and techniques to unblock drains and in this blog, we’ll take you through the equipment we use to clear blockages efficiently and safely.

What are the signs of a blocked drain?

Firstly, if you’re reading this article, you probably already recognise some of the following signs of a blocked drain. Slow-draining water, gurgling sounds, foul odours, and water backups are all telltale signs you’ve got an issue somewhere down the pipe, and it is crucial to address these signs promptly to prevent further damage to your pipes.

How do professional plumbers unblock a drain?

Professional plumbers like our team at STS use a range of specialised equipment to investigate, diagnose and unblock drains safely and effectively. One commonly used tool is a drain snake or auger. The drain snake is a long, flexible cable that can be inserted into the drain to break up and remove the blockage. Made of metal with a handle at one end and the auger head at the other which goes into the drain and, all going well, pushes through the blockage to clear the drain. We can adjust the cable's length and head to reach different parts of the drain and break up blockages effectively.

Another tool that professional plumbers use, and one we rely on at STS is a high-pressure water jet. This tool uses a powerful stream of water to blast away debris to unblock and clear the drain. High-pressure water jetting is particularly effective for clearing out tree roots and other tough blockages that can’t be cleared with a plunger or drain snake.

High-pressure water jet

In some cases, a drain camera can even be used to identify the blockage's location and severity. This involves inserting a small camera into the drain to inspect the pipes and identify the cause of the blockage, allowing us to choose the best course of action to unblock the drain and make any necessary repairs and preventative maintenance.

When should you call a professional?

There’s only so far warm water and bicarb soda can take you when trying to unblock your drain. Attempting to fix a severe blockage yourself can lead to further damage and costly repairs. Our team of licensed professionals have the experience and equipment to diagnose the problem accurately and safely clear the drain.

Also, things like recurring blockages, outside overflow and leaks could indicate a more significant underlying issue, such as a collapsed pipe or tree roots invading the drain. Give us a call and we can help identify the cause of the problem and take action before you end up with a plumbing catastrophe.

So whether you’ve got a slow draining sink and a nasty smell, or things are looking a bit more serious, give STS plumbing a call and we’ll get your pipes unblocked and your plumbing looked after in no time.

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