Blocked kitchen sink? No problem! Roll up your sleeves, grab your plunger, and the next load of dishes could be good to go in a matter of minutes. But what if you find yourself needing to think about how to unblock a sewer drain? Your first thought may be “ew!” – and for good reason. While blocked pipes and drains are often messy, starting to mess around with unblocking sewer pipes can be extremely unhealthy. And did we mention “ew!”?
A blocked sewer drain, though, is a major problem for your plumbing in general. It’s not just that the waste you want to get rid of the most won’t go away, this extremely nasty and often dangerous and awfully stinky waste can even find its way back up and out of your other drains. The obvious solution is to call a plumber – but what if you want to contemplate unblocking sewage pipes all by yourself?
If you’re sure you want to risk it, the first thing we’ll tell you is this: You’re going to get dirty. Very dirty. And it’s not going to be easy.
You’ll need things like:
Ready to get dirty? Let’s get started with the tips you’ll need:
The best place to start is by getting rid of any clogs on your main sewer line. To do this, locate the main line’s drain pipe end, which is secured with a cap. You will almost certainly need to use a tool to do this.
Once it’s open, you may notice that the first thing that happens is that months and years of build-up may drain out – which is perfectly normal. Just wait until it has all drained before moving on.
There are plumbing snakes that are based on auger technology that you can buy very cheaply at a decent hardware store, but that is unlikely to be sufficient for unblocking sewage drains. Rather, you’ll need a more professional-grade auger – the type that any plumber uses pretty much every day. They’re more complex to use, but the principle is the same – use it to smash up the blockage. You’ll know when it’s striking gold because the waste will immediately start to drain out, but don’t stop there – keep going to continue to get through other, more minor blockages.
Don’t forget, the auger is a powerful plumber’s tool – and if you use it incorrectly, you can smash up your precious pipes as well as the blockage.
Finally, remember to put the drain cap back before checking if your blocked sewer pipe is now back to working order. In many cases, it won’t be – because many blockages are either out-of-reach, extremely stubborn, or there are deeper underlying causes like damage, tree roots, or it dates all the way back to poor plumbing installation.
Sometimes, the only effective way to go about unblocking sewage drains really is to call a plumber – and a plumber that is a specialist in the full range of drain problems is even better. Here at Down Under Pipe Relining, we use whiz-bang CCTV drain inspection camera technology to inspect every millimetre of your pipes & drains, which gives us a precise answer as to what to do next. That could be using our powerful tools like water jetters to deal with your blocked sewer pipe, or to recommend our absolute speciality – sewer pipe relining. Not only is this innovative method completely excavation (and mess) free, it’s actually better for repairing cracked, broken or leaking pipe sections than replacing the pipe altogether!
So if you’re wondering how to unblock a sewer drain, the really easy answer is to stay healthy, safe and dry by simply giving Down Under Pipe Relining a call today.