Blocked drains create a range of issues, including smells that you never want to experience twice. The smell is often enough to make you run for a plumber’s number. But, by following these tips, you can tackle most drain clogs yourself, with just a few simple tools, including your drain cleaning rods.
The key to successfully cleaning your drain is preparation. It is important to have everything you need to hand before you start lifting manhole covers and uncovering goodness knows what. The basic kit you will need is a drain rod set, pair of rubber gloves, disinfectant, hose and a garden spade. You don’t have to wear eye protection, but it is probably a good idea. Having a set of rods is important because if you only have the one and it won’t quite reach the blockage, then you are going to be left in a predicament. Once you have everything ready you need to locate the blockage; this is easier than it sounds. Start by finding the manhole cover closest to the main drain, rather than the one nearest the smell or overflow. If it is full then move on to the next one; if it’s empty, then you have found your starting point. To clear the blockage, you will need to insert the first of your locking drain rods, with plunger into one end of the chamber and find the mouth of the pipe. Add more drain cleaning rods as you need to work the plunger towards the blockage.
While moving your drainage rods forward, it is important to twist in the same direction as the screw on the join between rods. This is generally clockwise and is crucial to ensuring that they do not become unscrewed and separated while in your drain and add to your issues. Stick to this principle even with lockfast drain rods to give yourself that extra peace of mind. If the blockage is difficult to move, you can apply pressure by withdrawing the drain rods a short way and then pushing back again. This should be enough to move most obstructions, however there are other attachments you can purchase that can be used instead of the plunger to help break up the obstruction and aid in pushing it through the pipes. If using one of these attachments such as the corkscrew head doesn’t work, then it may be time to consider calling the experts. This will prevent inadvertent damage to your drains and drainage pipes. Once this is complete, remove the rods and use the hosepipe to flush water through the drain. It is important to not do this until the blockage has been cleared. The final part of the job is to clean everything with disinfectant and to carefully store your rods until they are needed again. Make sure the manhole cover is replaced carefully as well, ensuring you don’t trap your fingers or toes in the process.Of course, prevention is the best course of action when it comes to keeping your drains clear. But, when problems do occur it is good to know that with the help of your drain cleaning rods, you can get it sorted without the additional expense of calling out the experts.
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