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Do you fancy yourself as a bit of a DIY all-rounder? If so, you probably already know a little bit about that most common of pesky everyday plumbing problems – the clogged up drain. And in many, many cases, your little DIY tricks can actually be extremely successful. However, we’re also going to dive into some of the key differences between the drain cleaning tools and tricks you might use at home, and the really serious tools used to unclog drains by the true professionals – the friendly local plumber Brisbane recommends the most.

But first things first: Do you sniff a drain blockage?

The handy DIY plumber may see, smell and hear the most common signs of a developing drain blockage. Fail to spot them, or fail to act upon them, and you’re risking property and asset damage and unhealthy situations for your family and pets.

Those signs include:

  • The sights: Is water or waste slow to drain or already backed up?
  • The smells: Catching a whiff of rotten-eggs-meets-sewage? Those drain smells are from bacteria feasting on drain gunk.
  • The sounds: Hear gurgling, bubbling and other odd drain sounds? That’s your drains struggling to cope with their job due to a burgeoning blockage.

So now that you’ve detected a problem, what should the hopeful and handy do-it-yourselfer do about it? It’s time to compile a decent list of all the most common and easy-to-use tools you can handle for unblocking a drain.

They include:

  • A kettle: You may associate it with a cup of tea, but a full kettle of almost-boiling water poured down the offending drain can really soften up and dislodge some of the most common causes of blockages like grease and oil.
  • Bi-carb: You’ve probably got it in the pantry, so put it in a cup and turn it into liquid by using white vinegar. Pour it down the drain, follow it up with another kettle of hot water, and leave it to fix and fizzle for a while.
  • Commercial cleaner: Head to the supermarket and get a bi-carb-like solution with some serious chemical power added to the mix. It’s great for blockages more serious than that lump of grease encountered by the humble kettle. (But be extra wary in using it as it may cause serious pipe damage!)
  • Plunger: We’ve all got one, and it’s probably already under the sink that’s backed up. Just ensure it makes a perfect seal around that drain opening, and pump away.
  • Drain snake: You’ll find these for just a few bucks in the hardware store, and it’s a simple, hand-held coil that can slither down the drain to hack away at what’s blocking it up. Just be careful not to hack away at the pipes.

Are you going to need a PRO drain cleaning tool?

However, we’re sad to report that – while extremely helpful in many cases – the DIY tools listed above are simply not going to be powerful enough for really complex blockages. That’s because a blocked drain isn’t always because of a wad of grease and hair – it’s sometimes a tree root, a deeply-embedded object, pipe calcification, or even pipe damage or collapse.

In these cases, you’re going to have to call in the cavalry. In their fully-stocked plumber’s van, you’re likely to find the following professional and heavy-duty drain unblocking tools that go way beyond the abilities of the household tools listed above.


This sophisticated drain inspection camera won’t do the actual unblocking, but it will pinpoint with HD-precision exactly what’s causing the problem – even if it’s hidden in one of the deepest and darkest corners of your plumbing system.

2. Water jetter

With the information from the CCTV camera, our plumbers can get to work with their high-powered, ultra-high-pressure, super-hot water or jet rodding equipment. Getting their power from thousands of PSI of water pressure, they’re so good at blasting away blockages that they’ll leave the insides of your pipes so shiny and slippery that debris will find it hard to stick to them again.

3. Motorised auger

This is the drain snake’s Big Daddy – powered not by your forearm, but by a powerful motor. With its heavy-duty, coiled auger with a powerful debris-smashing front end, it can snake all the way down there just like the CCTV camera, and then carve through a blockage almost like it’s not there.

4. Excavation/pipe relining

It’s an unfortunate fact that some blockages are so problematic that actual invasive and destructive excavation can sometimes be necessary for pipe repairs or replacements. However, in many cases, an ultra-modern technique can be used – pipe relining. Using this state-of-the-art drain cleaning tool, all that’s needed is a single drain opening, and the entire offending section of pipe can be completely relined without digging up a speck of dust.

Brisbane’s drain masters use all the best tools

Who better to come to your professional drain unblocking rescue than Brisbane’s drain masters themselves? Brisbane Plumbing & Drainage has ‘drainage’ in our name, because ‘drainage’ is our game. Don’t stress about the limitations of your DIY drain cleaning tools and knock the problem on its head once and for all with a single visit from our friendly crew. Give us a call today – and we’ll be there in a flash.