Blocked drain clearing is a very expansive process. Most homeowners think that clearing a drain is as simple as pouring some chemicals down the pipe or using a plunger to dislodge debris. However, things can get more complicated. Depending on your drainage system, effective blocked drain clearing involves having enough access to the blocked pipe/drain, considering if you're working from an upstream or downstream position, and having enough room to access the affected area.
There are critical tools that a plumber will have and use to clear a drain that is blocked. Some of these tools include:
Drain rods are great for physically dislodging debris that may have accumulated within a drain. In the past, most drain rods would easily unscrew near the handle and loosen, getting stuck within the drain. Nowadays, drain rods are coming in more durable and flexible designs, giving plumbers the ability to attach multiple components (such as plungers, retrieving heads and scrapping tools) to the tips and edges of the rod.
A drain rod comes in handy for blocked drain clearing that involves solids and other debris that may accumulate and block an open passageway.
Electric augers are not only useful for unblocking toilets, they're also a must-have for blocked drains. An electric auger is basically a piece of flexible metal that is attached to a handle. The handle can rotate the metal and dislodge any blocking material.
Through electrical operation, the auger can dislodge items that are tightly stuck within the drain.
In some cases, the best way to unblock the drain could be to pressurize the debris down the pipe and into the main sewer system. To achieve this, a plumber will use compressed air to blast the debris down the drain and into the sewer lines.
However, using compressed air can be a tricky process. If the blockage is further down, blasting compressed air may simply cause what is present in the drain to come gushing back out.
Drainage chemicals can be a useful method of blocked drain clearing, but it needs to be done in the right manner. Chemical products can be quite sensitive to the piping material so they need to be carefully chosen.
A good plumber will clearly examine the pipe to have an idea of the nature of materials that are blocking the drain. They can then select the right chemicals that will digest the material and make it easier for dislodging using other physical methods.