It’s not a good idea and we wouldn’t recommend for a DIYer to try and unblock their own drain with a drain snake or sewer machine. These machines are dangerous mechanical tools when operated by people who haven’t been trained in the operation of them and can cause serious injury to the operator and serious and expensive damage to your drains if used incorrectly.
The use of Chemical Drain Cleaners
The use of harsh chemical drain cleaners that can be purchased from your local hardware store or supermarket are not recommended. They can damage your plumbing fixtures if it comes in contact with ceramic surfaces, it can damage your sewer drainage system piping and is a danger to the person using it, the environmental and serious health hazard.
DIY Unblocking a Sink, Bath or Basin drain
Small blockages to waste pipes on basins, baths, showers etc can often be cleared using very hot water and a plunger. You will need to fill the bowl with hot water, place your plunger over the waste hole and plunge for approx 30 seconds. The plunger will bring the sludge from the drain back up into the bowl. Make sure there is always water in under the plunger and you are wearing safety glasses and gloves but after a few attempts if it is just a build-up of scum in the pipe the drain will clear. Remove the sludge from the bowl and rinse the drain out with hot water.
DIY Unblocking a sewer drain
Plain old hot water and a quality plunger can be effective in unblocking drains. If your drain is blocked by a build-up of paper or scum then hot water and a plunger can get it running again. You will need to fill the drain up with very hot water then plunge continually from your gully or inspection shaft until you hear it let go. It can sometimes takes 10min- 30min to get it clear. If this doesn’t work then it is time to get your registered plumber in with a CCTV Camera, sewer snake, sewer machine or water pressure jet.
Unblocking Drains with Sewer Machine or Drain Snake
A sewer machine or drain snake as it is commonly called, is used to unblock stubborn blocked drains. There are two types of drains. One is the main drain and branches leading to your fixtures and two is the waste pipe that connects the fixtures to the main drain. Common blockages to clear from a main drain with a sewer snake would be tree roots. Tree roots can get into the drain via cracks in the pipework of faulty joints. A sewer machine is used to cut the tree roots out of the drain. A common blockage in waste pipes is hair. It gets caught and matts up inside the drain. A small electric drain cleaner will cut the hair out and clean the pipe. Both these machines are dangerous and should only be used by trained operators.