How Do Plumbers Unclog Drains

How Do Plumbers Unclog Drains

When it comes to clogged drains, there are usually two types – a minor clog that you can generally unclog yourself without calling upon a plumber and a server clog that requires the professional assistance of an experienced and qualified plumber.

Minor clogs usually occur in kitchen sinks, toilets, and basins and can be cleared with standard equipment such as a plunger. On the other hand, server clogs typically occur in inaccessible locations such as underground pipes and sewers. They need specialist plumbing equipment such as a jetter or plumbers snake to clear.

When it comes to clogged drains in Auckland, the iSpecialise team are experts. We service the areas of East AucklandSouth Auckland and Hauraki Plains and can unclog any drain, regardless of how minor or severe it may be. If you have a clogged drain that needs unclogging and want to hire a plumber but don’t know what to look for to know if they’re up to the clog at hand, continue reading.

In this article, we’ll explain how plumbers unclog all types of drains and advise on the equipment and tools needed to tackle each clog with minimal disruption to your property.

Clogged Drain Lines

Drain lines are all the drains under your house that connect to each sink, basin, shower drain, and toilet. They carry wastewater from a fixture to the main drain. A clog in any one of these drain lines can cause significant disruption to your home.

However, a clog in one line won’t disrupt another line as they are individual, like a train route. Think of the main drain as the station and the drain lines as each train line. If, for instance, the toilet line is clogged, it won’t disrupt the kitchen sink line. You will still be able to run the kitchen tap without the toilet clog, causing the sink to clog.

If you have a clogged drain line in East Auckland, South Auckland or Hauraki Plains, you need an experienced team like iSpecialise to get in there and clear the clog fast. While some drain lines will still be functional, a blocked kitchen sink or toilet are problems you’ll want to fix quickly.

How Plumbers Unclog Drain Lines

Plumbers will address clogged drain lines differently depending on the line and location of the clog. A clogged drain line is considered minor in most cases and can usually be cleared with basic equipment that all plumbers carry.

Plumbers will usually first use a drain snake for clogged drains and sinks, such as shower drains, kitchen sinks, and bathroom sinks. Drain snakes look like a long cable with a corkscrew-looking end and can be manual or motorised. The snake uses a manual crank or a motor to push through the drain to reach the clog. The corkscrew end of the snake then breaks through the buildup and dislodges the clog. Motorised drain snakes are better for more stubborn clogs.

If a drain snake cannot clear the building causing the line to clog, they will move onto a hydro jetter. This will separate clogged drain specialists from general plumbers as not all plumbers invest in hydro jetters. Generally, only those who are clogged drain specialists will carry hydro jetters with them, so ensure the plumber you contact for your clogged drain has a hydro jetter! You don’t want to pay for their time if they don’t have the correct equipment for the job.

A hydro jetter is a high-pressured hose with an astonishing 5000pSi of water pressure. The standard water pressure is between 40-60pSi, to put that into perspective. The pressure of a hydro jetter can flush clear any buildup, including years of grease, oil, and soap that may be clogging your drains and sinks.

Clogged toilets are a little different to drains and sinks. The pipes are larger, and the clogs are usually more stubborn. As such, plumbers may start with a standard plunger, followed by a motorised drain snake. If neither a plunger nor motorised drain snake clears the buildup causing the line to clog, they will likely move onto either an auger or a hydro jetter.

An auger is much like a drain snake; only it is designed for larger pipes such as the toilet or shower.

Clogged Main Drains

There is much confusion about what a main drain/mainline/sewer main drain is. The main drain is your sewer line. It connects the drain lines from your house to the city sewer connection and is vital in removing sewage and wastewater from your home.

The sewer mains drain is often mistaken for drain lines, which are the drains that carry wastewater from your home’s fixtures to the main drain.

A clogged main drain is a severe problem that needs fixing fast and by an experienced plumber who has the right equipment to clear the buildup. A clogged main drain will cause wastewater, including sewage, to flow back up the pipes and overflow through drains, spilling into your home.

How Plumbers Unclog Main Drains

Plumbers can go about unclogging a main drain in a few ways; they can use a motorised drain snake, auger, or a hydro jetter.

As mentioned, drain snakes comprise a long cable with a corkscrew end that pushes through the drain to reach the clog. The corkscrew end breaks through the buildup to dislodge the clog. An auger is much like a drain snake; only it is designed for larger pipes and more stubborn clogs.

A hydro jetter is our preferred piece of equipment for unclogging main drains. We understand that time is money and that our clients want their main drain unclogged as quick as possible to reduce the costs of our services. As such, there’s no better equipment for unclogging main drains in East Auckland, South Auckland or Hauraki Plains. The pressure of a hydro jetter can break through any clog effectively and efficiently. It shouldn’t be the last resort; it should be your plumbers first resort.

Clogged Stormwater Drains

Stormwater drains are those that carry water from downpipes to the kurb into the city’s drainage system. When it rains, water from roofs runs into gutters then down the downpipes to the stormwater drains. It’s common for leaves and debris to collect on roofs and follow this same path or tree roots to infiltrate the underground pipe. The accumulation of leaves and roots growing in these drains can cause clogging, resulting in a backup in the drains and gutters.

While clogged stormwater drains won’t impact day-to-day activities in your home, such as the flushing of your toilets, drainage of your sinks etc., it can result in flooding during periods of heavy rain and shouldn’t be ignored.

How Plumbers Unclog Stormwater Drains

A hydro jetter is a plumber’s best friend when clearing stormwater drains. There is no better, no more efficient solution. The 5000pSi water pressure of a jetter has the power to flush out any clog with brut force. Drain snakes and augers are no match for a hydro jetter and just aren’t suitable for this type of clog.

If you have stormwater drains that need unclogging, seek only plumbers in East Auckland, South Auckland or Hauraki Plains that have a hydro jetter.


Clogged drains are never fun in any capacity. Whether you have clogged drain lines, main drain, or stormwater drain, you’ll want to fixed effectively and efficiently. Only plumbers with the right equipment can do this.

To unclog drain lines, plumbers will use either a plunger, drain snakes, auger, or hydro jetter, depending on the location of the clog. To unclog main drains, plumbers will use a drain snake, auger, or a hydro jetter. And, to unclog stormwater drains, plumbers should only use a hydro jetter!

If you have a clogged drain in East Auckland, South Auckland or Hauraki Plains, choose only iSpecialise. We specialise in clogged drains and have the right equipment to get the job done fast.

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