DIY, home improvement

3 Techniques Homeowners Can Use To Open Blocked Drains Prior To Calling A Plumber


Unblocking a drain can be a pretty straight forward procedure if you have the right tools and your drains are in particularly good condition. The vast majority of unblocking techniques uses air or water pressure to remove the blockage from the pipe or drain. However, there are some blocked drains that will require more than that and it is only once this is determined shall you hire a professional plumber. Below we look at the three techniques you should use to try and open blocked drains Sydney prior to calling a plumber.

Using a simple toilet plunger

Almost everyone is familiar with the traditional and typically unchanged rubber cupped toilet plunger which covers the sink, tub or a drain and needs to be pumped manually. However, the mistake many people make when they use a plunger is that either the rubber cup does not fully cover the drain’s opening or there is not enough water covering the plunger for it to exert a powerful force on the section. The plunger usually works when your drain is completely blocked, and if it’s partially blocked it can become a bit of a challenge. Partially blocked drains can only be opened with a plunger if there is enough water to exert a powerful force when it is pumped. Fill a sink or tub with water and then let it out via a slow drain when operating the plunger. If the plunger does not yield results it’s time to move on to the next available tool.

Use a plumbing snake to open blocked drains

A plumbing snake is quite simply a long piece of flexible wire or coiled wire which can be gently forced through the drain. There are some models that need to be rotated by hand while others have a machine. The latter makes the job easier. These wires are available ranging from small models which can be used to clear a sink or a tub to a very large two person rotating snake which professionals use. If you want to try a power snake you need to be careful because it can also damage the pipeline if you are not familiar with controlling the power of the snake as it moves in and out of a drain pipe. Its best to limit your use of a snake to an unpowered, manual snake and if that does not work then call a professional.


Using a kinetic Water Ram

This is one of the newer gadgets on the market and is very effective at opening blocked drains by using compressed air which forces the clog out of the pipe. The price of this machine varies but in most cases it can be used multiple times and it lasts for years. Its powerful enough to open a variety of blocks. When you use a kinetic water ram make sure to start with low pressure like something around 10 psi and work your way up to higher pressures like 20 or 30psi which should dislodge most blocks. If you start at a high pressure you run the risk of damaging your drain which will end up costing you a lot to repair.

The other thing first time users need to be careful of is to keep the machine as far away from their face as possible just so that they do not have drain water splashing into their face. If the water ram does not work and you are still faced with a blocked drain, it’s time to call in professional plumbers. Start by telling the plumber exactly what you’ve used till now. If you tell them about the water ram also tell them what pressure you last exerted to try and dislodge the block. In most cases if the water ram and snake did not work there is a good chance that the cause of the blockage is a broken pipe or roots which have infiltrated the pipeline. This will require that a professional plumbing service like SPS Plumbers come in and use their high tech machines to determine the cause of the blockage prior to attempting to remove it.

Mark has been a plumber for well over twenty years. Over the years that he has been working as a plumber he has managed to open dozens of drains and repair perhaps dozens of pipelines. In his experience most blocked drains are pretty easy to open once the problem has been accurately diagnosed by a professional.

Citations: How To Unclog a Drain

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One Comment

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