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DRAIN UNBLOCKING: TOOLS OF THE TRADE

October 19, 2020

When you call out a professional plumber to deal with your blocked drain, you may be surprised by the number of options available in their plumbing armoury to deal with the problem successfully. Here we take a look at the pros and cons of five different methods that can be used to clear a blocked drainpipe.

1. Plunger

A tried and tested plumbing solution, plungers come in a range of different sizes and strengths. A plunger fits snugly over a pipe end, bath or sink grate, and intermittent pressure is then applied to create a suction effect. Ideal for removing small blockages, plungers are easy to use, convenient and economical. Unfortunately, they have limited effectiveness, and are only of use for removing small blockages in close proximity to where they’re applied.

2. Water closet auger

Also known as the toilet auger or plumbing snake, the water closet auger is a bendy wire coil that has an auger bit (a screw-shaped end) at one end, and a handle at the other. The auger is useful for baths, sinks and toilets. It can help to break up blockages, as well as hook bits out of the pipe. Augers are useful for smaller blockages, or blockages which aren’t too impacted. They have limited effectiveness for removing firm blockages (such as tree roots), or those which are tightly lodged.

3. Plumbers’ plunger

These are flat discs of rubber (or similar material), to which a handle can be screwed. Working in the same way as a traditional plunger, they can be customised to provide a close fit on a range of different pipes. The plungers are capable of exerting a considerable amount of pressure, and are ideal for removing blockages in straight sections of pipe. The main disadvantage of these is that a good fit is required for the plunging action to be successful. In addition, these don’t push blockages out of the way, they only exert a pulling effect.

4. Small water hydro jet

As the name suggests, a water hydro jet consists of a tank of water and a powerful pump that will blast the water down the pipe towards the blockage. The water is released at high pressure: around 4000 psi when the jet is used for clearing larger, main drain pipes, and around 1200 psi for smaller pipes. Perfect for removing most blockages, the water jet commands sufficient force to clear away grease, dirt or other build-ups. It may not be strong enough to blast away tree roots. Unfortunately, the machine uses a lot of water and can be time-consuming and costly to deploy.

5. Cable drain cleaning machine (large or small)

Arguably the most powerful tool a plumber has available, the cable drain cleaning machine consists of heavy-duty cables which are sent down the pipe to clear the blockage. The cables are heavy and strong: quite capable of shearing through a tree root or other solid blockage. Unfortunately, they’re not quite so good at dislodging grease balls or similar. Although they may break up the grease ball, enough may remain to adhere to the sides of the pipe for build-up to reoccur in the near future.

At Pinnacle Plumbing, our skilled team will always opt for the method that’s going to give the best results with the least disruption and expense to our customers. Using our expertise to diagnose the type of blockage and its position in the pipe, we will deploy the right equipment to deal with your blocked drain effectively, no matter what the issue might be.

Testimonials

Hear what our customers have to say about their experiences with Pinnacle Plumbing Group. 

  • Marg Campbell

    5 stars
    Fantastic service from Pinnacle Plumbing when we had to have the gas pipe running from the meter under our house replaced. I called Harry on the T...
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    5 stars
    Good service! Very responsive! Highly recommend for reliable and professional plumbing work!
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    5 stars
    Nick and the team are great. They're very professional, responsible, and do a great job. We've used Pinnacle a number of times for both business an...
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    5 stars
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    A great team, very reliable, great communication and good quality work
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    5 stars
    Conclusion: We strongly recommend Pinnacle Plumbing and will most certainly request them to do work for us in the future. The job: Around 10 perso...
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    We used Pinnacle Plumbing to undertake plumbing works as part of a home renovation. Not only were they reliable, professional and had great communi...
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    5 stars
    Such a great experience with Pinnacle Plumbing. I rang Nick on a Wednesday and by Friday noon, my toilet seat had been replaced efficiently and by ...
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    5 stars
    This company is very reliable and offers prompt service.
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    5 stars
    This plumbing service was great at communication, understanding immediately what the issue seemed to be. They asked if it was an emergency - no, we...
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    5 stars
    Andrew and Lee came out to fix our bath which was leaking into the ceiling below. They were super easy to deal with, explained everything well, and...
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    5 stars
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    5 stars
    Plumbers came to the site and fixed my drains for a decent price , very professional. Highly recommend.
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    5 stars
    Amazing work and great prices ! Best plumbing company in Melbourne. Highly recommend Nick and his team
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    5 stars
    I had a burst pipe at 7pm on a Wednesday night, called about 3 plumbers before finally I got on to Pinnacle who answered straight away. They arriv...
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    5 stars
    I have used Pinnacle Plumbing Group for various plumbing jobs during my renovations. Each time, the expertise of the team has saved me time and mon...
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    5 stars
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    5 stars
    Great service, very responsive, and showed up on time! Would highly recommend.
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    Second time I have used Nick Rybalko's Pinnacle Plumbing Group, last year for roof leak, this week for leaking toilet cistern. Fixed promptly both...
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    So grateful to Pinnacle Plumbing for working hard to accomodate me at short notice. They went out of their way to ensure that my issue was fixed pr...
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    5 stars
    These guys do absolute quality work ! Nick and his team are easy to work with and ensure the job was smooth for us from start to finish! Thanks aga...
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    5 stars
    Nick and his team have been very prompt, friendly and professional. They've done great work for our pub and we will happily use them again for any ...
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    5 stars
    Nick and Andy were great to deal with. Organised, on time and efficient to deal with on an older style roof, with a "bit going on". Support your lo...
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    Very impressed with the service for a replacement sink. Compared to other quotes we received, the price was competitive and took the time to confir...
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    I would definitely recommend this company. They responded promptly and fixed a roof leak, partially replacing the box guttering. Good service, goo...
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    Pinnacle Plumbing were helpful, efficient and professional when the hot water service in our rented property failed on the eve of the Easter holida...
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    Thank you so much Pinnacle Plumbing! Special thx to Kyle and Simran. Kyle have given us a valid quote parameters and attended as emergency case. Si...
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    I have had a variety of works completed from Pinnacle, all with professionalism and courtesy. They are quick to respond and easy to deal with, high...
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    Kyle and Nick were both excellent , experienced good plumber. very responsive and provide good solutions , will recommened !
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    5 stars
  • Kim R

    5 stars
    Nick was my first contact at pinnacle, he was lovely on the phone and managed to fit us in that week! Rhys, came out to camera our pipes. He was v...
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    5 stars
    Great service. Thank you Dan!
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    5 stars
    Superstar plumbers.
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    5 stars
    There was a leak in the bathroom that was running to the apartment below. The plumber was professional and friendly with both myself and the tenan...
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    Great service - Dan was professional, on time and listened to what we needed done. We definitely recommend Pinnacle plumbing.
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    The basics of what you want from a tradesperson they did what they said they were going to do when they said they were going to do it and at the pr...
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    On behalf of Anne Goyne:- They did an amazing job on in a very difficult location and got everything done within the quote and on time before the r...
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    Tradesman (Basil) turned up on time and was very polite. He was very professional keeping us updated with progress and after completion cleaned the...