how to unclog a drain

How to unclog a drain

Ok take your drain cover off. The first thing you have to establish is where the drain flows to. This is very import as it’s the direction you will rod. The best way to tell this is the:

Dip test

For the dip test you can use your rods or a long piece of wood. Simply put the rod in the drain and feel the channel at the bottom of the drain, this is a half circle pipe in the centre of the drain base. It will run from one side of the drain to the other.

At one side there will be the entrance pipe (coming from another drain, toilet or sink etc.) And the other side will be the exit pipe. The exit pipe is the one to rod (tip most blockages are just in the exit pipe so when doing the dip test you may free it).

So dip one side of the channel and hold the measurement (were the water level comes to on the rod) and do the same at the opposite end of the drain. You should have two different measurements one side will be deeper than the other. It’s the deeper side of the drain which is the exit pipe, thus the one to rod.

To save time don’t rod straight away as you don’t know if the blockage, is in another drain further along the drain run. So you must follow in a line from the exit pipe of the drain, to find the next drain. If the first drain is near to the road then this might be the only one before the main line and the drain to rod.

You may find the next drain is empty this is great as it may identify which pipe run the blockage is in, as long as it’s the same run! It may be a storm drain the best way to tell the difference between the too it put your head down into the drain and smell. If there is very strong sewage smell in the drain it’s highly likely it’s a sewage drain. (There may also be a very slight stream of stagnant looking water).

If the drain is only a quarter full of sewage or it’s very thick, run your taps and flush your toilets which connect to this drain. Sometimes the building water pressure can clear the clogged drain itself.

To unclog a drain you should start by putting the plunger on the end of the rod tightly! Connect a couple more rods on about two meters. Put the plunger tipped rods in the drain down into the exit pipe. Then push down hard on the rods until you’re into the exit pipe one meter or so. Then pull back sharply, do this several times (like a pumping action) without letting the plunger tip remove itself from the exit pipe. What you’re trying to achieve is to move the large volume of water in the pipe back and forward sharply to release the blockage. This can unclog a drain run as far away as 100 meters.

This should have made you puff a bit by now! Pull the rod out and if the water has not fallen check you’re rods and plunger tip are tight and repeat the process.

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