The Plumber's Professional Arsenal: Drain Cleaning

Posted on: 7 February 2020

If your sink backs up, it can be tempting to try to solve it on your own. It's just a clog, so is professional help really necessary? While minor clogs can often be dealt with directly by homeowners, more severe clogs typically require the assistance of the big guns. When plunging and pipe-safe cleaners fail, most of the options available to the average do-it-yourselfer have the potential to make the situation even worse. Harsh chemical drain cleaners can damage pipes or cause a dangerous cocktail of chemicals to back up into your sink, while specialized drain cleaning equipment can be costly and challenging to use.

If you're wondering what the pros have that you don't, then keep reading. Below you'll find three specialized tools of the trade used by drain cleaning experts to get your home's plumbing flowing freely again.

Conducting Recon: Borescope Cameras

The dark ages of plumbing are long past, and that means that many drain cleaning professionals will bring some technological firepower to the fight. Of these tools, the borescope is perhaps the most important. A borescope is a camera with a long tube between the handheld unit and the optical end. By using a borescope, drain cleaning technicians can see inside your pipes. By utilizing this interior view, a plumber can determine how far away an obstruction is as well as its composition. This vital knowledge helps your drain cleaner to select the right tools for clearing the drain.

The Little Guys: Hand Augers

The most basic tool that a pro brings to the fight is the humble hand auger. Sometimes known as drum or canister augers, these tools are essentially long hand-cranked snakes. Although they aren't challenging to use, successfully clearing a drain with one isn't always easy. Knowing when to stop and when to pull the snake (and the obstruction) back out requires skill, patience, and experience. Misusing a hand auger can push an obstacle deeper, making it harder to reach or even creating a more massive obstruction.

The Heavy Hitters: Water Jets

Snakes can clear many drain obstructions, but they don't always pack enough of a punch. For tougher jobs, water jets (also known as jet cutters or water cutters) take center stage. As their name implies, these are high-pressure machines that use a jet of water to blast through severe blockages. Unlike augers, water jets break up obstructions so that they can flow out through the drain system naturally. These units are typically used to break up major grease balls or root infiltration in sewer lines, although they are sometimes necessary for clogs in interior drains, as well.

Solving home problems on your own can be satisfying, but the potential for disaster is high when working a clogged drain. If basic cleaning methods fail, it's best to call in a professional plumber with the arsenal of tools needed to get the job done right. 

Contact a company like Roto Rooter to learn more.


Irrigation Implementation: An Overview

When I decided to install an irrigation system in my yard, I thought it would be an easy project. I had no idea how much was really involved in the process, from connecting the sprinkler system to the main plumbing line all the way to burying the individual lines for the sprinkler heads. After researching the entire process and learning as I went, I created this site to give others the benefit of my experience. I hope that the information here helps you be better prepared for what you can expect out of your irrigation system installation, including knowing when it's time to turn to a plumber for help.


Latest Posts