The Different Ways To Clear Blocked Drains


Approaches To Clearing a Drain

There is nothing worse than the slow gurgle from a toilet or tub that signifies a clogged drain. Backed up drains are caused by many things, but primarily, hair, oil, fat, roots and food particles. Homeowners may be tempted to clear a drain themselves, but plumbers will almost always be the best option for serious blockage.

But how exactly do plumbers clear drains, and is there anything a responsible homeowner or tenant can do before they get there? Read on to learn the three main methods and options that exist in drain clearing, and which ones are a good option before a plumber shows up. 

Using a Snake

a plumber fixing kitchen drains

Snaking a drain is one of the most common methods of clearing a blockage. Essentially, a metal auger breaks up and removes the blockage from the pipe. Plumbers will assess the severity of the blockage, the pipe size and age before deciding how and when to snake a drain. 

There are many different kinds of specific snakes that plumbers use, each suited to a particular task and situation. Some use a motor, others are hand-powered, and they all range in diameter and length. Plumbers know which type to use to avoid problems.

Purchasing a snake and unclogging a pipe might seem like a simple task that an average homeowner could complete, but there is a risk of injury from improper usage. Furthermore, chipping porcelain toilets and sinks, damaging pipes, and even creating worse blockage further down the line are real possibilities when using a snake at home. A professional plumber will make sure it’s done properly the first time. 

The Power of Hydro-Jetting

hydro-jetting at work

Hydro-jetting shoots a very high-pressure stream of water down a pipe to clear blockages. This is done by feeding a special hose and nozzle into the pipe while attached to a pressurized tank. 

Hydro jetting is extremely effective and can get pipes into almost new condition. This method can only be done as long as the pipes aren’t too old or damaged. Because of the high pressure used, a visual inspection of the drain line is essential before hydro-jetting. This helps prevent pipe damage or failure. Due to equipment and safety concerns, this method for unblocking a drain best left to a professional. 

Household Items: Baking Soda and Vinegar

Many people use baking soda and vinegar for a large variety of household cleaning tasks. But in a pinch, these ingredients can create a drain cleaner that will temporarily help fix a slow drain

Simply pour a half cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by a half-cup of vinegar. Cover the drain and allow the mixture to sit for at least 5 minutes (longer is better!) and then pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain. 

baking soda and vinegar

This all-natural method won’t harm pipes and is cheap and easy. Unfortunately, while easy, this method won’t work on a serious blockage and should only be used as a temporary fix. The underlying issues are most likely still present, and that's why one should call a professional.

About Falcon Plumbing 

Falcon Plumbing has been serving Miami for 34 years. As a woman-owned business, Falcon prides itself on exceptional customer service and care. Falcon plumbing provides a full spectrum of plumbing services with upfront pricing, personalized service and no overtime charges.