Which Plumbing Tool is Best for Unclogging Drains?

Repair main and woman talking behind tool bag
You’ve probably been wondering how we work our magic on your plumbing. Come on! You know a “magician” never reveals tricks of the trade. Still, there are several tried-and-true tools that we absolutely stand behind. Some of this equipment you may be able to find at your local home improvement store, while other tools should be reserved for professional use. Either way, these instruments help us deliver the best plumbing service for your needs.

HydroScrub® Jetting

When your plunger isn’t getting the job done, our Memphis plumbers swoop in with HydroScrub® jetting to remove tough clogs and clean dirty drains. A traditional hydro jetting approach uses 3,000-5,000 PSI to blast away unwanted drain clogs. We use anywhere from 16 to 17 gallons of water per minute, so it’s vital that this technique gets the job done the first time.

Drain Auger

A drain snake or drain auger is a popular tool to dislodge clogs. It’s extremely effective when used correctly, as it has a metal cable with a corkscrew at the end. Still, you have to be careful about using this drainage tool in old, previously damaged, and corroded pipes. You may cause more problems if you use a drain snake without the proper knowledge of what’s happening inside your plumbing.

Before running out to purchase a drain auger, let our Memphis plumbers inspect your home pipes and ensure they’re strong enough to withstand this unclogging method.

Flange Plunger

The classic cup plunger will never go out of style and is one of the most common ways you can remove pipe blockages on your own. A flange plunger is a slight upgrade from the conventional cup plunger everyone is familiar with. This drainage tool has a smaller cup (the flange) and typically a longer handle to maximize dislodging efforts. One of the best things about this plunger is that the design prevents it from turning inside out like cup plungers are prone to do when you’re unclogging a toilet.

We recommend investing in a cup plunger and a flange plunger for more unclogging options and to keep germs and bacteria away from other areas of your bathroom. You wouldn’t want to use the same plunger to clear clogs in the sink and toilet. That’s definitely not a hygienic situation.

Video Inspection

Gone are the days when plumbers are expected to shimmy themselves into tight spaces to get a first-hand account of what’s going on inside your plumbing. Well, sometimes we do have to get a bit dirty and inspect hidden areas, but we digress. When you have a severe clog, video camera inspection is our go-to.

With this strategy, we can:

  • Locate and retrieve lost items
  • Inspect a septic tank
  • Perform a thorough plumbing inspection
  • Prevent future emergencies

While this isn’t an unclogging tool, video inspection equipment is ideal for our Memphis plumbers to detect drain clogs and design a plan to permanently remove the clog.

The Drainage Tool We Don’t Use to Unclog Your Drains

A list of this caliber wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t also discuss strategies that we don’t use as professional plumbers and ones we recommend you stay away from.

Drain Cleaning Chemicals Are a No for Us

When you notice your water draining slowly, your first instinct might be to grab the liquid drain cleaner. Wait for a second! We don’t typically try to talk you out of any drain-clearing method you feel may be right for your plumbing. However, we strongly discourage you from using store-bought chemical drain cleaners to eliminate clogs. Why?

Chemical drainage products can wreak havoc on your drains because they can:

  • Melt PVC pipe bonding or glue –You may not damage the pipes themselves (if you’re lucky), but you could weaken the pipe adhesive, causing small leaks that worsen over time.
  • Destroy good bacteria – If you have a septic tank, using a liquid drain cleaner can kill the good bacteria by promoting algae growth and causing imbalances in enzymes that break down the waste. Don’t be surprised if you use a chemical drain cleaner and foul smells are much stronger.
  • Cause corrosion – Chemical drain cleaners can have extremely acidic properties that eat away at plumbing material. Pipe corrosion is very common in plumbing that frequently uses harsh drain cleaners.
  • Harm the environment – Once a liquid drain cleaner is poured down your sink or toilet, do you ever wonder where it goes? The short answer: Possibly into your water supply. From there, water treatment facilities treat the water, which gets recycled back to your home. However, if the water isn’t properly treated, you could end up drinking or showering in potassium hydroxide (lye) or sulfuric acid.

At Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Memphis, we know how to clear pipe blockages easily using the best tools and equipment on the market today. Years of knowledge and on-the-job experience don’t hurt either! Our Memphis plumbers are ready to help you remove pesky clogs and get your drains flowing freely again.

Call us or schedule service online today!