3 Tools a Plumber May Use to Clear a Blocked Drain

If you a drain in your home becomes blocked, and you cannot clear the blockage using a plunger or a chemical drain cleaner, you will need to ring your local plumber. Below is a guide which will help you to understand the different tools and techniques employed by a plumber to clear a blocked drain:

CCTV Camera

Most plumbers now carry CCTV cameras in their vans. These compact cameras are attached to the end of a flexible fibre optic cable which transmits the image back to a small monitor. The plumber will insert the camera into the drain and will push it along the pipe until it comes to the site of the blockage. The plumber will be able to use the images broadcast by the CCTV camera to determine the type and location of the blockage. This is important, because the plumber may wish to use different approaches to clear different types of blockages. As well as identifying the type of blockage, the camera can also be used to inspect the blocked pipe for any sign of damage or decay.


Hydro-jetting involves the use of specialist pumps which supply a high powered jet of water. The plumber will place the nozzle of the hydro jet into the drain before switching the water supply. As the high-pressured water hits the blockage, it will generate enough force to unclog the drain. However, you should never attempt to carry this out yourself using a garden hosepipe, as it is unlikely you will be able to generate the required level of water pressure and will instead just flood the drain further.

Power Rodding

If a large amount of debris has collected on the inside of a pipe, your plumber may decide to use a technique called power rodding. This method involves inserting a specialist plumbing snake into the pipe. The plumbing snake is fitted with sharp blades which are powered by an electric motor. As the blades begin to spin, they cut into the blockage and begin to break it down. The smaller pieces of debris can then be washed down the drain when it is rinsed with water. Power rodding is much more effective than using a traditional plumbing snake which relies on brute force which can damage the pipe.

If you would like further advice and information about how to clear blocked drains, you should contact a professional plumbing service.