How Do Plumbers Unclog Drains? Nicks Plumbing & Air Conditioning

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How Do Plumbers Unclog Drains?

OK, you’ve got a drain clog. 

Please don’t panic; it isn’t the end of the world. In a recent blog, we described how a homeowner could clear their own drain clogs safely. If you’re looking for a DIY method to clear your drain, you can find that blog here:

This time out, we’re going to look at how plumbers deal with drain clogs after the homeowner has exhausted the “do-it-yourself” options and still has a clogged drain.


Kitchen Sink Drain in Houston Clogged with FoodKitchen Sink Drain in Houston Clogged with Food

What Causes Drain Clogs?

Just about anything we put into our drains and toilets can contribute to a serious drain clog. Whether we’re flushing too much toilet paper or putting pasta and chicken skin into the garbage disposal, we’re asking for trouble. Whether your toilet has stopped flushing, or your sinks aren’t draining, it can be frustrating.


These seemingly simple drain clog issues become even more irritating when “do-it-yourself” methods fail, and you must concede defeat to a professional plumber. Not to worry, Nick’s Plumbing & AC has you covered when it’s time to call in the big guns and get that drain or sewer line blockage out of your way.


DIY drain cleaning methods are great for localized, relatively easy clogs and partial blockages that can cause slow drains. We cannot stress enough to stay away from chemical drain cleaners. They’re bad for the environment, bad for your plumbing, and potentially detrimental to your health as well. Regular use of a harmless, enzyme-based drain cleaner that uses bacteria to eat away at the organic material in our drains can help to prevent future clogs.


What Tools Does the Plumber Have That I Don't?

Several specialty tools onboard the truck of every competent plumber, from pipe wrenches to blowtorches, aren’t usually in the average homeowner’s toolbox or junk drawer. Admit it, you keep your most essential tools in the junk drawer, too.


Frustrated Woman Trying to Unclog Her Kitchen Sink in HoustonFrustrated Woman Trying to Unclog Her Kitchen Sink in Houston

Drain and sewer lines that are clogged with decades of coagulated cooking grease, shampoo, and hair can’t be cleared with a bottle of Drano or a plunger. Tougher, more dense clogs will need a bit more power to break them up and flush them away. Today’s plumbers have a wide array of tools available to aid in clearing clogs, using technology that didn’t exist in the plumbing industry as little as a decade ago.

Here are a few tools and tricks that Nick’s Plumbing & AC has up their sleeve to help get your drain and sewer lines flowing freely and get them back to like-new condition.

Manual Drain Snakes

A manual drain snake, also known as a plumber’s snake, is a small auger that rotates as it’s physically pushed through the clog. At the terminal end is a corkscrew-shaped hook that is fed into a clogged drain or toilet. Rotation of the hooked end occurs when the handle of the auger’s drum is turned, which also feeds more of the snake into the drain. Manual augers are especially useful in clearing simple drain or toilet clogs, dislodging any debris, and allowing it to pass through the sewer system.

Motorized Drain Snake

A motorized drain snake is brought onto the job site when a manual drain snake can’t get the job done. Usually, a motorized drain snake will be inserted into a sewer cleanout port outside of your home. Motorized augers have a maximum reach of around one hundred and fifty feet and can clear much larger clogs than a manually operated snake.

High Definition Drain and Sewer Line Cameras

If your plumber hasn’t had success after attempting to clear a drain or sewer line with a motorized snake, it could indicate a complete blockage further down your sewer line. One of the recent technological advances that has most helped the plumbing industry is the high-definition snake camera. 

Getting a look at the interior of a pipe structure and seeing what is causing your drain blockage is a game-changer. Knowing where a clog is and what it is made up of before treating it, your plumber can determine the best tools and most straightforward approach for the job.

Hydro-Jetting Machine

As exciting as plumbers snakes and drain cameras are, neither holds a candle to the hydro-jetting machines. Using concentrated water jets that flush away years of grease, soap, and other nastiness exists in your drain and sewer lines. Streams from a hydro-jetting can reach 35,000 pounds per square inch (PSI), more than enough power to eliminate any trace of residue from your pipe walls, leaving them in a “like-new” condition.

Who Can Unclog My Drain and Sewer Lines?

If you’ve tried all the do-it-yourself remedies and that clog still won’t go away, it’s time to call in a licensed and experienced plumber to do the job. Professional companies like Nick’s Plumbing & AC have the experience and equipment to identify your clog and clear it regardless of its location.

Call us today to schedule your free estimate or free second opinion with the best drain cleaning company in Houston since 1979, Nick’s Plumbing & Air Conditioning.

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