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.
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
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.
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
We also educated the neighbour so the WA haven't been bothered either.
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.
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.
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
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?
"News Groups" <?> wrote in message
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
shove rods in (I felt sick with the smell)
nearly there. All the rods are in so I pushed them in and out to create some
pressure at the blockage
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
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...
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.
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
Ordinary household soda crystals keeep sink traps free of grease if used
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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