How to Unblock Drains

There are many ways how to unblock drains - read on to find out more

How to Unblock Drains

There are many ways how to unblock drains, so if your drains gurgling, making a weird sound, smelly, not draining or flooding your house? Will’s Plumbing Adelaide is your Adelaide Blocked Drains Plumber to help solve your drainage problems

Drains can affect many different points throughout your home from your shower, basin, toilet, kitchen, laundry drainpipes or outside gully drains. These can either fill and not drain or emit a bad odour. In some cases, multiple or all drains can be affected throughout your property which could be your main drain causing the issue.

Diagnosing the area of the blockage can be done easy whilst on site, and allows us to locate the area of the blockage and recommend solutions using the following equipment:

Using a Drain Snake to Clear Blocked Drains

The electric drain snake, or ell as some people call it, is an electric powered drain clearing machine with the use of a peddle which can come in the form of an electric or air switch. They tend to use a steel cable with deposing on brand and come in different lengths. The Marco machine we have, uses a 20mm thick by 23-meter-long cable which can handle most domestic household drainage piping. The machine uses an electric motor which spins to allow the cable to turn once in the drain. This can be turned in either a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction along with a different types of cutters and heads.

Cutters for these machines can range from a spear type head that helps penetrate through tough blockages to larger 100mm cutters commonly used for domestic main drains and toilet drains. These style of drain machines are a great way of cutting through roots that have infested your drain causing it to block.

The Marco drain cleaning machine is a mobile machine that can be pushed or pulled on wheels allowing us to get it where we need it on your property. It can also be taken inside the home if required. This machine is carried in our vehicles most of the time.

Using a Hydro Jet to Clear Blocked Drains – Read To Find Out More!

The Hydro Jet drain clearing machine is commonly used now in the plumbing industry. This machine uses a hose like material which is about 50 metres in length. These types of machines are fixed either in a trailer or on the back of plumbing vehicles, and the hoses can be used from the machine. Accessing drains which are a little easier as the heads for these machines are a little smaller than the Marco machine to clear blockage as the hose can be quite versatile. The hydro jet can be used to clear blockage caused by roots and a build-up of sludge using the high pressure water function to push its way through a blockage, agitate sludge and clear the toughest of blockages.

How to unblock drains using a Plunger to Clear Blocked Drains

A plunger is one tool most people have used from time to time. It’s probably the most common tool that most maintenances plumbers in Adelaide would carry in their vehicles. The theory behind this method is using suction and compression. When sealed around the drain fixture, plungers are then pushed up and down to help loosen blockages and push clogged up matter through drains. It’s a great method as it doesn’t rely power or a motor.

There are different styles of plungers that we tend to use depending on the fixture we are trying to unblock. For example, when trying to clear a blocked toilet, a finned plunger is what we tend to use. If the blockage is in a kitchen sink, basin or shower then we tend to use a cup style plunger which gives a better seal around the drain.

Using a Handheld Drain Clearing Machine

Handheld drain cleaning machines come is different forms including motorised and manual operated machines.

The electric handheld drain machine in most cases is a smaller version of the concept of a larger drain ell or a Marco machine. It has a small metal cable located in a small drum, which is then fed out of a feeder tube that uses gear type levers to allow the cable to move forward to reverse into drains. Likewise with the large drain machines, these can have different size cutters to help accommodate unblocking drains caused by roots, hair or even a build of sludge and grime. This type of drain cleaning machines is often used within homes to clear internal drains located in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundries as well as floor waste gully drains.

In Adelaide we tend to have smaller drains for showers, basins, baths, kitchens, laundries and floor waste gullies and so using a smaller type machine like these assists the cable to gain access into the drains to work on the blockage. The manual style of handheld machine uses the same concept as the electric whereby we need to turn the drum to allow the cable to spin, which can be more labour intensive. In saying that, each machine has its purpose.

Using  Chemical Cleaners to Clear Blocked Drains

Chemicals are another method of clearing blockages and come in many different forms such as pellets or liquids like sulphuric acid. Chemicals are effective in clearing blockages caused by a build-up of fats, oils, grease, hair, and urine solids. It’s important that proper PPE is used when using this type of method as chemicals can be harmful to your skin and eyes. Also, if vapours are inhaled this can make you sick. For your safety, it is best to leave clearing blocked drains using chemicals to us. We have the experience using chemicals to unblock drains all across Adelaide.

Once a blocked drain is cleared, its sometimes difficult to know what caused the blockage in the first place. Even though roots are what we most commonly tend to unblock in and around Adelaide, we find that sludge and everyday products like toilet paper and wipes often cause blockages to occur.

In some cases, the drainpipe itself can move out of alignment which causes the flow of sewerage to be obstructed and catch in these areas, causing the drain to build-up and block.

Repairing Drain Pipes

The use of the Hydrojet or Marco machine is what we tend to use to unblock these drain issues. If the blockage is due to roots, it is important to find out how the roots got there in the first place. We have found that the most common reason why the roots enter the pipe is through a poor connection or broken section of the drain.

A drain camera inspection is recommended to located and find the cause of roots entering drains in poor condition, whether it be a poorly installed drain or drain which is misaligned. From here we can determine the state and condition of the drainpipe and advise on repairs.

Repairs to the drainpipe can be performed by digging and replacing the damaged section of drain or through pipe relining.

What to do when you have a blocked drain:
  • Reduce the amount of water flowing in the drain that is blocked
  • Call us immediately to prevent the drain from blocking further, leaving the drain unattended can make it more difficult to clear
  • Try not to overload the drains with water by using the washing machine, dishwasher or draining a bath, this can exacerbate the blockage and may cause a flood
  • For more information about drain repair services, please call us on 0484600095.

About Us

We are an Adelaide based water and gas plumbing business covering most areas around Adelaide.

We have been helping our customers for over a decade with their blocked drains, hot water heaters, gas leaks, leaking taps, pipe relining and much more.

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