The Pros and Cons of Different Drain Cleaning Techniques

March 7, 2019 10:05 am Published by
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Most home owners have to deal with blocked or slow running drains every once in a while, and there’s no denying they’re annoying. While they’re not the most difficult issue to deal with, there are still right and wrong ways to go about clearing a blockage at your home in a successful way.

We are going to go over a couple of professional drain cleaning techniques that are used for clearing of waste pipes and sewer drains and one common technique that should never be used.

Electric Eel or Drain SnakingClear Blocked Drains
Over many years the method for plumbers who need to clean out a blocked drain or waste pipe was to use an Electric Eel drain-cleaning machine. There are several different types of electric drain cleaning machines available. There is a smaller drill type machine where a cable is inserted down the waste pipe. The larger type of drain cleaning machine basically has separate lengths of cable that connect together to create a long cord with an auger attached to the end of it, similar to a drill bit. There are different augers that have different applications depending on the type of blockage that has occurred. The plumber inserts the cables into the drain until the auger or “drill bit” reaches the clog, at this point the plumber uses the bit to drill through the clog and pull the remains out of the pipe. Larger augurs and drill bits can then be reinserted into the drain to ensure a successful clearing of the blockage. Electric Eel’s can be the smaller hand-cranked or larger motorized type.

Hydro Jetting
A more modern technique for drain cleaning of both waste pipes and larger drains is hydro jetting. This technique involves blasting a high-pressure stream of water into the pipe to remove blockages and build up that has occurred within the drain or waste pipe. This method can be more thorough than using an electric Eel depending on the type of blockage that has occurred. Hydro jetting has become the preferred method with some plumbers especially with clearing of storm water drains where there is build up of silt and dirt in the drain. Although this is a good method it will not completely replace the electric eel anytime soon and also where the combination of both machines can be of benefit. The one drawback of hydro jetting is that it subjects the waste pipes and drains to abnormal pressure during the cleaning process. If the waste pipe or drain is old or corroded, the added pressure from hydro jetting might actually cause a leak in the pipe. This is where a professional plumber you can trust, taking care of things for you and using the correct equipment and process will help alleviate any potential problems with clearing your waste pipe or drain.

Store Bought Drain Cleaning Products
Liquid Drain & Trap CleanerOne of the most common drain cleaning methods is store bought drain and waste pipe cleaning products. Most homeowners have tried one of these as a solution to their on going problem, instead of calling in a professional plumber to clear their blockage. This is a bad idea. While store bought drain cleaning products can work well at times, they tend to do so only because they contain a lot of highly corrosive materials. These types of caustic substances can actually eat away at the pipe itself. If these products are used often enough they will make the pipes prone to leaks and also complicate the drain cleaning process with dangerous chemicals involved. If you care about your pipes at home, never use store bought drain cleaning products. Always trust a professional plumber to provide the appropriate solution to your blocked waste pipe or drain at home for you.

If you’re not sure about the best equipment to use in relation to your drains and pipes, calling a professional, such as Newman Plumbing can help. We’re on call – 0418 328 767

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