What Do Plumbers Use to Unclog Drains?

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Plumber Using Plunger in Kitchen Sink

What Do Plumbers Use to Unclog Drains?

When you’re faced with a stubborn drain clog, knowing the right tools and techniques to use can make all the difference. For professional plumbers, having a diverse toolkit is essential to handle any plumbing challenge efficiently. In this blog post, we will explore the tools and methods that plumbers use to unclog drains, ensuring that your plumbing system operates smoothly.

Understanding the Tools to Unclog Drains


The first tool that most homeowners reach for when dealing with a clog is the plunger. This tool uses air pressure to dislodge clogs that are close to the drain’s surface. Plumbers often use a plunger first to see if a simple solution can clear the blockage. It’s a non-invasive and quick method that can sometimes spare the need for more complex interventions.

Hand Auger (Drain Snake)

For deeper or more stubborn clogs, a hand auger, commonly known as a drain snake, is the next level of defense. This flexible, long cable is threaded through the drain to physically contact and break apart the clog or retrieve it from the pipe. It’s especially useful for unclogs in bathroom sinks and tubs, where accumulated hair and soap scum are common culprits.

Motorized Drain Auger

When manual snaking doesn’t suffice, a motorized drain auger can offer the extra power needed. This tool works similarly to a hand auger but is powered by electricity, providing more force to break through tougher blockages like tree roots or hardened buildup in main sewer lines.


Hydro-jetting is a method used by professional plumbers to not only unclog but also clean the pipes thoroughly. This process involves shooting a high-pressure stream of water through the pipes, effectively blasting away years of accumulated grease, sediment, and debris. It is one of the best tools to unclog drains that have severe, recurrent clogs, restoring pipes to near-original condition.

Plumbing Camera Inspection

Sometimes, the best tool to unclog a drain is not a tool but a camera. Advanced plumbing issues require precise diagnostics, and a plumbing camera inspection allows plumbers to visually inspect the interiors of pipes. This can identify the exact location and nature of the clog, which aids in selecting the most effective unclogging strategy.

Techniques Used to Unclog Plumbing

Apart from tools, professional plumbers rely on proven techniques to effectively clear drains. One common method is the combination technique, where a plumber might use a motorized auger to break up the clog followed by hydro-jetting to clean out the residues, ensuring the clog doesn’t re-form quickly.

Another technique involves the strategic use of environmentally friendly drain cleaners as a maintenance measure to prevent clogs from developing in the first place. These cleaners use enzymes to break down organic matter in the pipes, which can be a proactive way to maintain clear drains without the use of harsh chemicals.

How Do Plumbers Unclog Pipes?

The process begins with an assessment. Plumbers first determine the best approach based on the type of clog, the location, and the overall condition of the plumbing system. They might start with a plunger if the clog is minor and located near the drain opening. If this doesn’t work, they might switch to a more robust tool like a drain snake or even opt for hydro-jetting for comprehensive cleaning.

In more complex situations, such as when clogs recur frequently, plumbers might recommend a full pipeline inspection with cameras to identify underlying issues like pipe misalignments, breaks, or severe buildup that typical unclogging methods can’t address.

Why Choose Professional Help?

While many homeowners attempt to tackle drain clogs themselves, professional intervention ensures the job is done safely and effectively. Plumbers have the tools and expertise to diagnose accurately and resolve clogs without damaging your plumbing. Using incorrect methods can lead to pipe damage, which could result in costly repairs down the line.

Contact Absolute Plumbing

At Absolute Plumbing, we understand the inconvenience and potential hazards of clogged drains. Our team of experts is equipped with the best tools to unclog drains and the experience to handle any plumbing issue, ensuring your system is restored to optimal condition swiftly. Whether it’s a simple fix or a complex cleaning with hydro-jetting, we’re here to help.

For all your drain clog needs, don’t hesitate to reach out. Contact Absolute Plumbing today, and let us take care of the rest. Your plumbing deserves the care of skilled professionals, and we’re committed to providing you with the best service possible.