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How to use Drain Rods to Clear a Blocked Drain

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You as the householder are responsible for the drainage system from the house to where it joins the main sewer. If your drain becomes blocked, it is vital to act quickly to avoid a more serious situation developing. We have prepared this guide to help.

Step 1

Identify Blockage Location

Identify Blockage Location

There may be many access covers between the house and the main sewer; prise each one open with a screwdriver and look in them all to determine which section the blockage is in. Start with the one closest to the house.

Step 2

Fit Plunger

Fit Plunger

Fit a rubber plunger to the end of a drain rod.

Step 3

Insert Plunger

Insert Plunger

Wear thick rubber gloves. Put the plunger in the blocked drain. Bend the rod to try to find the opening to the pipe, when the opening is found the plunger will slip in.

Step 4

Add Rods

Add Rods

Push the rods further into the drain, connecting more rods one at a time.

Step 5

Plunge

Plunge

Plunge vigorously adding rods as required as you proceed along the pipe. To avoid rods unscrewing and becoming lost in the drain, use a slight clockwise screwing action as you push.

Step 6

Dealing with Obstacle

Dealing with Obstacle

If you reach an obstacle you can’t push through, change the fitting on the drain rod from a plunger to a corkscrew. This will break up or grab the offending matter.

Step 7

Withdraw Plunger

Withdraw Plunger

Withdraw the plunger, unscrewing one rod at a time.

Step 8

Check Drainage

Check Drainage

When the blockage has been successfully moved, you should see a drop in the water height. Check the drain is running by throwing down a bucketful of water. Rinse all the equipment thoroughly in fresh water and bind the rods together before storage. If the drain remains blocked you may need the assistance of a professional. They will likely use a camera to ascertain the cause of the blockage; it may be that the pipe has collapsed due to subsidence. They will have a range of powerful tools to clear any stubborn blockages, e.g. high pressure water jetting. If you fat deposits are visible on the plunger, a build-up of fat or grease may have been the cause of the blockage. Flush hot soapy water down the drain to help remove any deposits.