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Blocked Drains: Why Hire a Professional to Do It

When your bath, shower, sink or toilet begins to drain slowly or not at all, it is almost certain that your drain is blocked. There are other signs or pointers to a blocked drain. You may hear or see your toilet bubbling, or you start noticing puddles of water near your sink, shower or bathtub. You may also perceive bad odour coming from your drains. These are all indications of blocked drains, and it can be a frustrating experience, especially if you don’t know what to do. Many people would resort to one DIY method or another to resolve the problem, but bringing in a professional to unblock the drains produces the best results.

Why DIY methods are unsatisfactory

A minor blockage may clear with the use of a plunger, but more serious obstructions will require more than that. One DIY method often used is to pick up drain cleaners from a local store or supermarket. There are two types of drain cleaners: chemical and biological cleaners.

Chemical cleaners may be more effective if the blockage is due to mineral deposits, but it is not advisable to use them if your system utilises a septic tank. They usually contain a caustic substance called sodium hydroxide, which can damage your system. The use of natural solutions such as pouring hot water mixed with a few tablespoons of sodium carbonate down the drain may be less harmful, but this is usually less effective.

Obstruction caused by soap residue or hair can be removed by biological cleaners, which can dissolve build-ups in the drain with enzymes. These cleaners are generally gentler on the system, but their applications are quite limited.

DIY drain snake can also be used to unblock shower drains. A thin metal wire from an old coat hanger is turned into a drain snake by making a hook out of one end of the wire. The hook-end of the wire is let into the plughole and used to fish out blockages, especially those made of hair. This method obviously has a limited use.

The professional approach

The most effective solution for blocked drains is to call in the professionals. They will attend your premises with state-of-the-art drain inspection technology. CCTV camera inspection of your drain with this equipment will pinpoint the exact location of the blockage, and a recommendation of the best course of action will be made. Small drain obstructions can be cleared with the aid of hand-held equipment. More serious obstructions often require deployment of sewer jetters. These will be used to carry out a process called water jetting. High-pressure jets of water are sent through the network of drain pipes in the system. The force of the water dislodges any scum or fat deposits within pipes and flushes them away without causing any damage to the system.

When you call in professionals, your work will be undertaken by highly trained personnel kitted in protective clothing, carrying the latest equipment. You will also have the benefit of holding prior discussions with the team on details of the work to be undertaken, costs and expected outcomes so there are no surprises when the job is completed.


Hiring a professional is the way to go if you have any blocked drains on your premises. It is advisable to get in touch as soon as you observe any signs of blockage. This will ensure that a small drain obstruction does not turn into a challenging blockage.

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Ashley Woolf

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