Drain Blockage


Hi All
Before I call on someone to clear the my drain blockage, can someone offer some effective (and cheap) means of doing it myself ?
Last time we called someone was barely 8 months ago for a hefty 160, he certainly did not do a good job.
Thanks
P
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Pete Lodd wrote:

Any idea what has blocked it? eg dropped a nappy down the loo, tree roots,..
Any idea how near the blockage is to an access point? DIY really only works for short distances.
Any idea how it was cleared last time? eg "simple" pressure mouse, drain rods, etc.
The basic principle is either to use:
1) a long bendy rod with a "torture implement" on the end, that can be used to recover whatever is blocking the drain, or break it up
2) a water hammer that pushes against the blockage and either pushes it clear or jams it tighter
3) a "mouse" on the end of a high pressure hose. It has rear-facing jets which propels the mouse along the pipe, pulling the hose behind it, plus a tool or high pressure jet at the front which breaks down the blockage when it reaches it.
Whilst (2) is fine for sinks and baths, it isn't normally effective against a blockage at a great distance in a drain. (3) is really a tool for professionals - it typically comes on a towed trailer.
(1) is the sort of thing that you can do yourself with gear from a hire shop. But it does need a suitable rodding point.
As it has apparently recurred, you appear to have either some discontinuity in what should be a smooth path to the public sewer (eg tree roots, broken pipe, incorrect junction arrangement, surplus cement allowed to remain and harden), or an inadequate fall. If you don't fix this, it will simply re-occur.
--
Sue


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Palindrome wrote:

Could have just been a really big s@^!, or even someone is chucking something down they shouldn't e.g. grease or nappies.
Is the section shared with other houses, maybe education (i.e. you blocked it you pay for it!)can solve the problem.
Also is it your responsibility? Myself and a neighbour unblocked our shared sewer under his drive several times (other neighbour bunging nappies down it) before I found it actually belonged to the WA so it was their responsibility. I only found out when it came to getting planning permission to build my extension which was over the top of a section of the pipe.
We also educated the neighbour so the WA haven't been bothered either.
Mike
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Pete Lodd wrote:

If this is a re-occurring problem, then I'd be tempted to make a claim on your house (buildings) insurance. Your insurers should send out a professional contractor with the right equipment to clear the drain and then send a camera down to inspect the condition of the pipe.
The charge of 160 seems reasonable to me, if you previously used a competent contractor. The normal charge is something around 80 for the first half hour, and then 80 for every subsequent half hour on site.
One last thing. Fat is a disaster. Do make sure that you're not putting too much fat down your kitchen sink. Fat deposits can build up in next to no time and cause the problems you have described.
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"Pete Lodd" wrote:

The main DIY methods I can think of are: 1) drain rods 2) jetting with a garden hosepipe 3) plunging with a toilet plunger if the inlet to the drain is accessible and of a similar size to a toilet bowl outlet
I have used methods 2) and 3) successfully to clear complete blockages but it took several hours. This isn't a five minute job in my experience. I wasn't in a position to be able to pay a drain clearing firm to do it. I found it very therapeutic when the stinking mess suddenly disappeared with a whoosh. Good luck.
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Very many thanks Group, for the many advice. I most likely would try some of the methods, before paying another 160 ( I still don't think it's worth it. He didn't use anything but only drain rods for less than 2 hours!) Also, I would like to ask the Group about using chemicals to unblock, Any suggestion?
One last question, assuming I have a clear drain today, what kind of precautions do I take. We have no nappies and stuff but we do have greasy food from time to time. It seems that we started to have this problem since we stopped using our dishwasher, maybe it had helped to stop the forming of the grease. We are not sure. Someone suggests pouring coke regularly to de-grease, does it work?
Cheers
P
"News Groups" <?> wrote in message

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A set of drain rods can be bought for about 30. Mine are old bamboo rods given to me by a great uncle and they came in very handy on Xmas eve.
Do not look at the following if you are eating.
open the cover
http://i18.tinypic.com/2mcf32p.jpg
shove rods in (I felt sick with the smell)
http://i10.tinypic.com/2d0c6t2.jpg
nearly there. All the rods are in so I pushed them in and out to create some pressure at the blockage
http://i17.tinypic.com/44slb3b.jpg
done
Adam
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I know it's bad netiquette simply to endorse or re-iterate another post, but ARW is right... Buy a set of rods and DIY...
I watched the guy with rods clear our blockage about 3 years ago (48.50 - good value judging by others' experience). It looked a straight forward job - and wasn't particularly smelly. So when it blocked again a few months later, I bought a set of rods and the pack of assorted end-bits from local jewsons (28.38 inc vat for the lot).
It really was very straightforward (I only used the end-bit - described so appropriately by Palindrome as a "torture implement") and kept pulling and pushing gently, while gradually twisting clockwise (never do the reverse, for obvious reasons...). I pulled out assorted clumps of garden greenery, twigs etc., which was easily buried afterwards. I probably went further in with the rods than the "professional" had done - and have had no blockages since.
Throughout, I had water supply (hose) and bottles of bleach and dettol at hand, and chucked a few bucketfuls of this down, once blockage was cleared. Minimal pong. And I thoroughly cleaned and disinfected rods before storing them away. The whole thing took barely an hour - and I really am an amateur, with (normally) no stomach for this kind of thing...
--
Martin

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"Pete Lodd" wrote:

The only chemical I know of is caustic soda. Caustic soda will dissolve grease but is more suitable for unblocking bathroom/kitchen sinks and drains; you would have to pour a very large amount into a sewer because it will be diluted by the large volume of trapped water. Physical unblocking is normally the only way to unblock a sewer. I don't see how Coca Cola will work, it has no degreasing action at all as far as I know, and would be diluted by the water in the drain.
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"News Groups" wrote:

Replying to myself, caustic soda needs to be in contact with the material to be dissolved for up to 24 hours in order to work, therefore in my opinion it is no use if just poured down a free running clear drain. The drain needs to be blocked.
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"News Groups" <?> wrote in message

Ordinary household soda crystals keeep sink traps free of grease if used regularly.
I've used Wickes enzyme unblocker to clear a blocked storm dran and also the kitchen sink drain (blocked by dippy student lodger putting washing powder in wrong drawer of machine)
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I bought a set of rods only this week from Wickes, about 20 I think, and included a scraper attachment for cleaning gutters - worked very well!
David.
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