Digging up and replacing drains is messy and expensive, but sometimes inevitable.
It all depends on where the offending stretch of blocked drain happens to be. Sometimes you can be relatively fortunate and the drain is under soft soil where a bit of disturbance on the surface is of no consequence. But that’s only sometimes. But if the pipe is difficult to access there is an alternative – pipe relining
Electric Drain Cleaning
An electric drain snake or electric eel is a flexible cable with a cutting tool at the tip that cuts through and breaks up the blockage.
These sorts of tool can’t cope with really major problems. But they do make short work of stubborn blockages and can clear minor root invasions without too much trouble. We use them on what you might call standard blockages – the stuff you can’t shift with a plunger.
Hydro Jet Drain Cleaning
If you have the misfortune of suffering a more serious blockage further down your pipes, you need the big guns.
It’ll be necessary to deploy the heavy artillery of the drain clearing world, the hydro jet!
Like electric drain cleaners, these come in a range of sizes and lengths to deal with seriously blocked drains. The principle they use is in the name. They blast water at high pressure to break up and shift the blockage. It’s surprising what they can do.
Hydro jets come with specialised nozzles called root rats that direct the water jets at several angles to penetrate and break up a tree root choke. The larger hydro jets are serious pieces of equipment that need their own trailer, so you should find out first if you really need them or not. That’s where drain cameras come into their own
CCTV Drain Inspection
CCTV drain inspection is the best way to determine exactly where a blockage is and how difficult it might be to move.
It’s a camera with a light on a flexible cable that you feed down the drain to show you what’s going on. Very usefully, they also tell you exactly where the problem is. This is useful because a drain camera often shows you when a drain problem is not simply a blockage, but a breakage. A blocked drain and broken sewer pipe can be cleared, but the main problem remains.
Tree roots will enter through a crack and it’s inevitable that they will regrow and cause the same problem down the track. Sometimes the pipe will have collapsed due to soil movement and your sewage is steadily soaking into the ground. In short, a drain inspection can discover if you need to replace a section of drain. But, thanks to the drain camera, at least you know exactly where that section of the drain is.
Stormwater Pipe Relining
Most of what has been said also applies to stormwater drains. When the stormwater off your roof isn't draining away properly you'll encounter some slightly different problems, though.
There’s major potential for serious damage.
A hopelessly blocked stormwater drain means that the downpipes from the gutters can’t get rid of the water from a downpour. The water streaming off the roof has to go somewhere else. And so it overflows from the gutters and often back into the eaves and down the walls. That’s not something you want going on for the long term. And so, the solution is to unblock the stormwater drain using equipment such as the hydro jet.
Sewer Pipe Relining
Drain relining is a method of repairing underground pipes by inserting a new lining and creating a new pipe within the old one.
After the drain is cleared and prepared, a special resin-coated tube is fed down the pipe. The bladder is then inflated so the resin forms a new lining inside the old pipe. Drain restored! It’s an enduring repair that keeps root invasions at bay.
Blocked Drains FAQ
Blocked drains can be caused by any number of things. Some common causes include hair, wet wipes, tissue, oil, grease or soap. Tree roots are also one of the biggest enemies for Upside Down. Roots are invasive and stubborn, pouncing on any cracked or damaged pipes. Also, if you have kids, you’ll find a number of strange items end up going down the toilet or drain.
Depending on the cause, Upside Down will use an electric snake or hydro jet. The hydro jet is our heavyweight tool for all serious blockages. It uses high-powered jets of water to break up all clogs, including tree roots. As a result, it leaves you with clean and clear drains. Afterwards, we’ll send a CCTV camera down to check whether the drain itself is not damaged, or if it needs pipe relining.