Home Improvement

Different Methods and Techniques Used in Drain Pipe Cleaning

Consider calling a plumber if you’re dealing with a stubborn drain clog. These professionals can usually handle clogs caused by grease, residue, and even tree roots.

There are a few different methods that plumbers use to clean drain pipes. Let’s look at some of the most common ones: Air Burst, Snaking, Hydro Jetting and more.

Air Burst Drain Cleaning

Depending on the nature and severity of the drain clog, plumbing service experts may use several types of equipment to remove it. Air-burst drain cleaners rely on pressurized air, carbon dioxide, or another gas to disintegrate or dislodge a clog and are effective because they work much faster than chemical cleaners and can take hours to do their job. They are most effective in a drain line filled with water but can also reach clogs located far down the pipe.

Other methods include using a long, flexible cable with a corkscrew to break up or extract a clog. This type of equipment is known as a snake or a plumbing auger and works well for toilet, shower, or sink drain clogs. It can be hand-operated or motor-driven and is often used as preventive maintenance to clear out buildup in drain lines before a clog forms.

Chemical drain cleaning utilizes solid or liquid form acids, and alkaline poured directly into the clogged drain to react with and dissolve or dislodge organic clogged particles. This type of drain cleaning is very effective, but it’s a good idea to let licensed professionals handle these chemicals as they can harm the skin and pipe pipes. Hydrojetting is an advanced drain-cleaning technique that uses high-pressure water streams to loosen sand, grease, scale, residue, and tree roots. It’s suitable for long drain lines and completely removes the clog without adding chemicals to wastewater or the environment.


A plumbing snake is an excellent option for removing minor clogs in home drains. A typical clog can be caused by hair, food scraps, cooking grease, or other solids that collect and cling to the inner surfaces of your pipes. Snaking a sink drain is usually the first step for the average homeowner before calling a professional drain pipe cleaning services.

A drain snake consists of a flexible metal drill with a hook or helix at the end fed into the drain. When a clog is encountered, the handle on the snake is twisted, which causes the hook or helix to come into contact with and break up the clog. The debris is then pulled out of the drain along with the snake. This is a messy process, so it’s best to put on some clothes you don’t mind getting dirty and lay down some old towels beneath the drains where you work.

A handheld drain auger may be used for more severe clogs fed into the drain while the user cranks the handle. These are typically used for clearing sections of a drain within 25 feet of the drain opening and can be purchased or rented from most hardware stores. When using these devices, it’s essential not to over-feed the snake. Doing so could damage the pipe.

Hydro Jetting

This type of drain cleaning involves shooting water, typically at a rate of 20 gallons per minute or 5,000 psi. The force of this water blasts away whatever is clogging your pipe, from soap and grease to tree roots. This hydro-jetting procedure is beneficial if your blockage is caused by something that rodding or corrosive chemicals can’t break down. It also offers a more sanitary alternative since plumbers who use it aren’t exposed directly to the sewage they’re dislodging from your pipes.

A specialized nozzle on the hose can be switched out for different sizes of pipes and types of blockages. For example, a chisel-like nozzle can break through hardened clogs and ice. The plumber can then direct the flow of the nozzle and the pressurized water down the line to break down and wash away the debris. This method is suitable for both residential and commercial plumbing.

It’s beneficial for older homes and buildings with dated clay or concrete sewer lines, where years of buildup have left their mark on the pipe walls. A snake might be able to clear some of this material, but hydrojetting can remove much more of it. This method can also be used routinely to prevent future clogs and slow drains from forming.

Electro-Mechanical Cleaning

This non-water-based method uses flexible steel cables fitted with blades and cutters to cut away and clear a range of robust blockages. It is a quick and cost-effective solution for those areas where it is impractical to use water or would risk flooding the surrounding area. This method is ideal for resolving uric scale, lime scale, concrete residue buildups, fat, food, and silt blockages.

An acid-containing cleaner is pumped to a contact pad at the tip of a hand wand, which, when connected to an earth lead and the workpiece, completes an electrical circuit and activates the cleaning process. The resulting acid then attacks and dissolves the deposits, with the contaminants being flushed out into the drain.

This chemical process creates fumes, which should be controlled by local exhaust ventilation or extraction systems fitted to the machine. This also requires carrying out a COSHH assessment before proceeding with this type of cleaning.

Using an electric motor to rotate a cable with attached heads, this technique is suitable for large bore pipework and can even be used on toilets. It is instrumental in commercial environments where it is not appropriate or safe to use water jetting and can restore full flow through a range of pipe sizes, including waste pipes from urinals, basins, and sinks.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button