How can I use drain rods to unblock my drains?
It can be frustrating when your drains become blocked. Fortunately, there are ways you can get rid of a blockage without causing too much damage to the pipes.
While we would always recommend calling a professional drain engineer to come and take care of the problem for you, if you are familiar enough with the blockage and the nature of it, there are things you can do at home yourself if you wish to get rid of the blockage without calling a professional. Drain rodding is a method whereby drain rods are used to clear debris out of a drain that has become blocked.
You will be far more likely to get a good quality service for a great price if you call out a drain technician to clear your drains, but if you want to do it yourself then drain rodding is a great choice as it is a fairly simple and efficient method. You can also rest assured knowing that, if done properly, you won’t have caused any damage to your drains. It is important that before you begin clearing the blockage you thoroughly research the method and stock up on the correct equipment, as even the smallest of mistakes can have detrimental consequences.
Before you begin using the rods you will first need to locate the blockage. Between your property and the main public sewers, there will be many access covers. The best way to find the blockage is to look in all of these covers, starting with the cover closest to yourself. If you can’t actually see the blockage itself, the biggest indicator will be if the chamber you are looking into is empty or full. If it is full, then the blockage lies in a chamber further away. If the chamber is empty, you have found the blockage.
After you are done locating the blockage, begin by using the rod that has the plunger on the end of it. Insert this rod into the chamber and continue to add more rods to extend your reach into the chamber, always making sure to turn the rods clockwise as you work them through the pipes. If you turn the rods anticlockwise they may unscrew and you could be left with a blockage caused by drain rods. Once you have found the blockage using the rods, you can stop adding more rods to the end and begin to push against the blockage.
Make sure to do this step carefully to avoid damaging the pipes. Push gently against the obstruction until you feel it loosen and dislodge itself from the wall of the pipe. Now that you have extricated the blockage, you can begin to remove the rods. If you find that you are unable to completely dislodge the obstruction then remove the rods and replace the plunger end with a corkscrew.
Just because you have removed the blockage, this does not mean the job is finished. There will still be leftover residue, so make sure to clear this away by running water from a hose down the pipe. An alternative way to do this would be to fill up your sink or bathtub and release the water all at once.
The most important thing with any blockage is to act quickly, whether that means calling a professional or doing it yourself. Blocked drains do not go away on their own and will only worsen over time, so to save yourself time and money make sure to take action as soon as you notice the problem. If ignored, a blockage can cause the drain to burst, which leads to flooding.
Flooding not only severely damages your property and costs a lot of money to fix, but it also poses a health risk as the bacteria from the wastewater can contaminate your property can make you very ill.