Plumbers have a range of tools and techniques that they can use to unclog drains. Some of the most common tools and methods include:
- Plunger: A plunger is a simple, inexpensive tool that is often the first line of defense for unclogging drains. It works by using suction to loosen and remove the blockage from the drain. Plungers come in various sizes and shapes, with some designed specifically for sinks, toilets, and tubs. For best results when using a plunger, fill the sink or bathtub until the plunger is submerged, then position the plunger over the drain and firmly press down to produce suction.
- Snake or auger: A snake or auger is a long, flexible rod with a spiral or corkscrew-shaped end that is used to clear blockages in drains. To use a snake, you will need to insert the auger into the drain and push it through the pipe until it reaches the blockage. Once the auger has made contact with the blockage, you can use the handle to turn the auger and break up the obstruction.
- Chemical drain cleaners: Chemical drain cleaners are harsh chemicals that are used to dissolve blockages in drains. They work by breaking down the materials that are causing the blockage, such as grease, hair, and soap scum. While chemical drain cleaners can be effective at unclogging drains, they can also be harmful to the environment and can cause damage to pipes if used too frequently.
- Hydro jetting: Hydro jetting is a method of using high-pressure water to clear blockages in drains. A hydro jetter uses a high-pressure hose with a special nozzle to blast water through the pipes, breaking up and flushing away blockages. Hydro jetting is a more effective method of unclogging drains than traditional methods, but it is also more expensive and may not be necessary for all types of blockages.
- Manual removal: In some cases, plumbers may need to manually remove the blockage from the drain. This may involve using specialized tools such as pliers or a pipe wrench to remove the obstruction, or it may involve disassembling the drain and removing the blockage manually. This method is typically reserved for more serious blockages or clogs that cannot be cleared with other methods.
In summary, plumbers have a range of tools and techniques that they can use to unclog drains, including plungers, snakes or augers, chemical drain cleaners, hydro jetting, and manual removal. The best tool or method for unclogging a drain will depend on the nature of the blockage and the condition of the pipes.
If you need assistance with a blocked drain schedule with our local San Francisco plumbers today.