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Understanding the Types of Drain Cleaning Equipment

 ABP-Close-up of handsome plumber hands repairing drain

A drain cleaning equipment is primarily intended to unblock and clear clogged drains. It is often used to clean sinks, tubs, and showers as well as sewer laterals and branch lines, trap arms, main lines, and commercial drains. Many people tend to see these cleaning equipment as synonymous with sewer snakes and pipe snakes, and sometimes can even include water blasters and water jetting. However, from a technical point of view, they fall under the general category of drain cleaning equipment types.

In any case, any equipment used to clear blocked drains is usually reserved for use only by a professional plumber. Some, however, are being used by many homeowners these days given the popularity of many DIY plumbing projects. Regardless of who uses it, many of these tools can be operated either manually, with the use of small gasoline engines, or powered by electric motors.

Signs That Your Drain Needs Cleaning

One or more of the below warning signs should be noticeable if your drains need to be cleaned.

1. Slow Drain Flow

If water is taking forever to go down the drain, it indicates that there could be a blockage in your pipes. Often, the slow movement of water as it goes down the drain is followed by gurgles.

2. Bad Smell

A foul smell emanating from your kitchen drain means that something is blocking the pipe downstream. Grease and various food particles are the likely culprit in this case.

3. Frequent Toilet Overflow

When there’s frequent overflow of water in your toilet, there’s a good chance that the problem lies in the sewer line.To resolve this, it is best to contact a professional plumber.

4. Water Backup

If water is backing up from your drain or sink, it’s likely that your pipes or sewer lines are clogged. This can eventually lead to water damage and unsanitary conditions so this needs to be resolved right away, often through professional sewer line cleaning services.

Types of Drain Cleaners

A variety of equipment options allows professional plumbers to correctly locate, diagnose, and remove blockages from drains and piping systems. These include the following:

1. Auger

Augers are more commonly known as drain snakes and they are available in two distinct types, namely, hand-powered and motor-driven. Both of these types use a flexible, long cable that is fed through the drain opening. The cable ends have a corkscrew that cuts through the clog to either break it down or remove it outright.

Hand-driven augers have a canister that a plumber uses to drive the corkscrew through the clog. These can reach a drain depth of 25 feet and work best in small-diameter plumbing applications such as toilets, sinks, and showers.

Motor-driven augers, meanwhile, come in different types and sizes, including handheld units as well as truck-mounted models.They work the same way as their hand-driven counterparts, although their range of reach can be several hundred feet. Most plumbers use larger types of motor-powered augers when working on clogged pipes that are found in main sewer lines.

2. Air Burst

Air-burst drain cleaners are made of air, carbon dioxide, and pressured gas that can dissolve or dislodge any clog. They work by pumping the pressurized gas through the pipe and directing the force to the area where the clog is located. Many units either have built-in air compressors or small carbon dioxide cartridges that work on producing the initial gas pressure burst.

The typical air burst drain cleaning equipment works well on drain lines that are full of water but is less effective in areas where the pipes are generally dry. It won’t work as well in large-diameter piping like those installed on main sewer lines.

3. Hydro Jet

Hydro jets use highly-pressurized water to clear clogs, with the plumber inserting an adjustable hosepipe with a flexible nozzle down the drain. The water pressure can reach 35,000 psi and is very effective at clearing blockages located in long drain pipes, including grease, sludge, calcified deposits, soap scum, and even ordinary household objects. Tree roots that may have invaded the pipe joints can also get flushed away through hydro jetting and brought all the way to the municipal sewer system.

Hydro jets are generally safe and won’t cause any harm to the environment as they rely only on pure water when completing a drain cleaning job. Many units are lightweight and portable and can be conveniently brought to different places where drain cleaning services are needed. More importantly, the equipment doesn’t require extensive digging or excavation, so homeowners need not worry that their lawns might be ruined.

4. Wire Brushes

Unlike other sophisticated drain cleaning equipment, small wire brushes can be readily purchased in different supply stores. They can be used to remove gunk trapped in the drain often with hot water and soap. Plumbers often have these brushes handy and use them for cleaning plumbing fixtures in much the same way as a toothbrush.

5. Video Inspection Camera

Sometimes, plumbers find themselves in the position of having to clean out a drain line that gets clogged repeatedly. The advent of video camera technology has eliminated this time-consuming process. As one of the modern drain cleaning tools these days, video cameras can provide many professional plumbers with a powerful and sophisticated way of easily diagnosing problematic pipes and accurately identifying the causes of blockages.

A high-resolution miniaturized camera works by being mounted on a flexible rod which a plumber pushes carefully down the drain. The camera captures different images found beneath the line, enabling plumbers to pinpoint the exact location of the problem in an otherwise difficult area. With video camera pipe inspections, many plumbing jobs are completed quickly and effectively.

Key Takeaway

With so many drain cleaners now available on the market, addressing simple plumbing concerns on your own has become quite popular. Interestingly, there are now drain cleaning equipment rental options for those who can’t afford to purchase the tools. Still, some of these cleaners are used only to fix complicated plumbing problems, and these are best handled by experienced plumbers who can guarantee efficient service.

Absolute Electrical Heating and Air has a complete line of modern drain cleaning equipment

When it comes to cleaning your drains, it is crucial that the needed cleaning tools are available. Absolute Electrical Heating and Air not only has them, every equipment comes with advanced features.

Call our Denver plumbing professional today so you can find out more details about our different drain cleaning devices and how each one of them can work for you regardless of the types of drain that might be involved. Contact us if you have other plumbing-related concerns and we’ll gladly help you out.


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