5 Drain Unclogging Tools Used by Professional Plumbers

A professional plumber will always use a manual removal method to unclog the drains in your home. Why? Store bought drain cleaners contain caustic chemicals that can burn your skin and damage your plumbing pipes. Drain clogs are usually formed when sticky materials such as oil and grease combine with other hair, food scraps and other waste. This can slow the draining, eventually it may not drain at all and there may be a musty odor in the drain. A DIY approach may clear the clog, but in this article, we will look at five tools that a professional plumber may use to get the drain flowing again.

1.  A Fiber Optic Pipe Camera

The initial stage that any professional plumber will undertake is an inspection of the pipe. In many cases the source of the clog is obvious, but it may be necessary to use a fiber optic pipe camera to get a closer look inside the drain. This is a flexible rod with a camera lens at the business end and it’s connected to a video. The images that the plumber sees can help them to determine the best tool and method to clear the clog.

2.  The Cup Plunger

This is an inexpensive plumbing tool that many people have in their homes. But, it’s important to use it correctly or it may not remove the clog. Fill the sink with warm water to the ¼ or ⅓ level, place the plunger over the drain to create a seal and move it up and down. This will change the pressure in the pipe to force the drain clog free and then it can be flushed away. For a minor clog, the plumber may use a plunger.

3.  A Plumbing Augur

This is known as a plumbing snake, there are various sizes to use and it can be a manual or motorized tool. The business end looks like a corkscrew, the tool is flexible, it’s fed into the drain until it butts up against the drain clog. Then a crank at the handle is turned or a button is pressed on the motorized models. This turns the screw into the clog to break it apart and the pieces are then collected from in the sink or flushed away with cold water.

4.  A Drain Augur

This tool is similar to the plumbing snake, but it’s designed for larger drain lines that are found in the shower or toilet. Again, there are manual and motorized variants with corded and cordless models.

5.  The Hydro-Jet

Tough drain clogs can be removed with a hydro-jet machine that forces water into the drain to break the clog apart. This is a very effective method and as an added bonus it cleans the drain line at the same time. The pressurized water will scour the inner walls of the pipe to remove years of accumulated sludge. This will reduce the risk that the drain clog will return in the near future.

If you have a clogged drain that you cannot clear yourself, contact your local plumber.