If a pipe or any component of a drainage system is damaged, worn or corroded, it will need to be replaced. If the drainage pipe is stubbornly blocked, the only suitable tool for unblocking the pipe are plumbing rods. These are lengths of metal rods that are designed to be screwed together and have different endings depending on the type of blockage.
This does not mean you need to find what the blockage is first just that different end rods will be better with different blockages. Either way, unblocking drainage is going to be a messy, grotty and potentially noxious undertaking, so use common sense and be prepared. It is fair to state that unless you know exactly what you are doing, have the correct tools and know what to look for it is better to call your contractor in.
Assembling the rods
Non-specialist DIY rods are available from most DIY retailers and for domestic use often come in packs. Before purchase ensure that you have at least a screw and plunger end. The rods themselves screw together in sections of about a metre in length.
Always attach the rods according to the manufacturer’s instructions, which normally means turning clockwise until they click shut. The rods are designed to lock together and if they do not fit, at least one of them is likely to be left in the pipe. If that happens, you are likely to be left with a bigger problem than you started with. If the rod falls into the drainage system itself, you will be left with no option but to call you contractor out. At this juncture, please refer to the last sentence in the opening paragraph.
Unblocking the sewer pipe
Once the blockage has been located the problem must be dealt with from below, and that means pushing the rods up through the blockage, never the other way around. A default position is to start with the plunger attached to at least one other rod, use more if necessary. When pushing the rod upwards, it is essential to turn them clockwise as this helps the rods move upward to the blockage. Turning the rods anti-clockwise will likely cause them to separate.
In essence, keep adding rods and looking for the blockage until you feel the rods against the blockage. At this point move the plumbing rods backwards and forwards and attempt to dislodge the material causing the blockage. If this is unsuccessful then remove the sections and replace the plunger end with a different section until you find one that works. You will know when it has worked because everything that is behind the blockage will be carried along by any trapped water. Once you have removed as much as you can run a few kettles of boiling after through the drainage system.
If water is still not running through the pipework and you can still see symptoms of blockage then it is definitely time to call in the experts. For professional drainage services in Glasgow and the surrounding areas, take a look through our website or get in touch for further details.