10 Tools to Unclog Drains | How Do Plumbers Unclog Drains?
Almost everyone will deal with a blocked drain sometime. These clogs happen when things like soap, food, dirt, or hair build up and stop the water from flowing properly. It can also make your home smell bad. Mold can make you feel sick with things like nausea and headaches. The dirty water in a blocked drain can also make your skin itchy. And if you have asthma or allergies, it can make your condition worse. So, you need an urgent solution to unclog drains.
The good news is, that most plumbers have the right tools to fix clogged drains. Read on to find out what tools they use to keep your home safe from drain problems.
1- Pipe Inspection
When a plumber comes to your house, they usually check the pipes. It’s a good idea to have this check every two years. It helps the plumber see how water flows in your home.
This check can tell homeowners about leaks or if things need fixing. If there’s a clog in the drain, the inspection helps the plumber figure out what’s causing it.
2- Pipe Cameras
You can spot leaks or bad installation by looking at the pipes from the outside. But when you’re trying to unclog a drain, it’s useful to see inside the pipes. That’s why plumbers use tiny cameras in the pipes.
These are like little video cameras attached to a long wire. The plumber puts the wire into the pipes and moves it around. This helps them inspect the parts of the pipe that are hard to reach. After that, they can figure out which tool to use to clear the clog.
People often use plungers to clear toilet clogs, but they can also help with small clogs in showers and sinks. A plumber might try using a plunger first to unclog a drain. If it doesn’t work, it could mean there’s a bigger clog that needs a different tool.
4- Manual Drain Snake
A manual drain snake is like a long wire with a twisty end. It has a handle to turn the wire. Plumbers start by putting the twisty end into the drain’s opening. They turn the handle to push the wire into the drain. When they get to the clog, they move the wire around until it clears the blockage.
5- Motorized Drain Snake
A motorized drain snake works like the manual one, but it’s used for bigger pipes or really tough clogs. Some of these machines have wires, and some don’t need wires. The motor makes it easier for the plumber to break through stuff in the pipes. These snakes have buttons to move the wire in and out of the pipe without much effort.
6- Drain Auger
A tool that works like the drain snake is the drain auger. Drain snakes are good for sinks and small drains, but drain augers are made for bigger pipes, like in toilets or showers. Just like drain snakes, you can get drain augers in hand-cranked or motor-powered versions.
When a clog is really tough, a plumber might consider using a hydro jet. It shoots strong water through the pipes to clear blockages. It’s usually quicker and better at the job than a regular drain snake. Hydro jets not only unclog, but they also clean the drains well.
The powerful water cleans the insides of the pipes, so it not only clears clogs but also stops them from happening again or causing big problems in the pipes.
8- Hair Snake
Hair is a big reason drains get clogged. People lose about 50 to 100 hairs every day, and a lot of this happens in the shower. One hair by itself is not a big deal. But when lots of hairs get tangled, it causes a problem. In homes with many people, clogs can happen more often. Luckily, there’s a special plumber tool for getting rid of hair clogs. These tools are usually made of plastic and come in different sizes.
9- Cable Cleaning
Cable cleaning is good for both small and big plumbing jobs. These machines use rotating blades on a cable to slice through clogs. The blades also scrape away gunk stuck to the pipes. There are different types of cable cleaners, like sectional ones and drum or continuous cables.
Sectional cable cleaners have many shorter cables, which can be around 15 feet long. People like these machines because they are safe. Shorter cables are easier to change if they get bent or break. Sectional cables also work faster and are lighter than others.
Continuous cable machines have a single, longer cable that can be between 25 to100 feet. But the whole cable is kept inside the machine, so it’s heavier and not as easy to move around. However, the continuous machine is good because it doesn’t make as much of a mess as the sectional cable.
Even though plumbers have lots of tools for cleaning drains, some use things you can find at home. Mixing baking soda and vinegar makes a fizzy reaction that can help get rid of a clog.
Once you’ve used vinegar and baking soda, it’s smart to pour hot water down the drain. This washes away the clog and any leftover gunk in the pipes.
Fixing Pipe Problems
Blocked drains can harm your house and even make you sick. It might seem like a good idea to try fixing it yourself, but that can make things worse. Clogged drains need different tools and people who know how to use them, like professional plumbers. If you think your drain is blocked, call a professional plumber for help. They know how to fix clogs and can also give you tips to prevent plumbing issues in the future.
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