4 Methods for Unclogging Underground Drain Pipes

There’s a popular phrase in real estate that the three most important things are “location, location, location.” When it comes to unclogging a drain pipe, the plumbing version would be “access, access, access.” The reason is that being able to see and reach the pipe makes the process simpler, faster, and more effective. 

Unclogging Underground Drainpipes

So what can you do if you have a blockage in a hidden pipe, especially if it’s buried below the ground on your property? There are several methods for unclogging an underground drain pipe, including cable rodding, blow bag, hydro jetting, and the picote milling machine. Each of these techniques has distinct advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to consult with a professional plumber to determine the best approach for your situation.  

Cable rodding

Rodding can go by several other names like rootering, snaking, and augering. Regardless of what you call it, the process involves pushing a metal cable through the drain pipe. The goal is to poke and break up the blockage so water can once again pass through. 

Blow bag

A blow bag (also known as a drain bladder) uses water pressure to unclog drains. The device looks like a deflated balloon and is made from heavy-duty rubber. The blow bag is attached to a water source and the clogged drain pipe. After it fills with water, the bag releases a powerful rush of water through the pipe that will hopefully break up the blockage. However, a blow bag must be used with care since too much pressure can damage pipes, especially old ones with weak joints. 

Hydro jetting

Hydro jetting is a newer method of drain cleaning that is like power-washing the inside of pipes. A high-pressure hose is inserted through the drain pipe. The intense blast of water is strong enough to remove greasy and solid debris yet still safe for the pipes.

Picote Milling Machine

For extremely stubborn clogs such as ingrown tree roots or hard sediment build-up, a Picote system takes a similar approach to cable rodding but adds specialty heads to the end of the cable. This allows the Pictote machine to break up blockages, brush away debris, and provide wall-to-wall cleaning. 

Professional drain cleaning

As you can see, dealing with outdoor, concealed drain pipes such as sewer lines or irrigation drains can be challenging – yet not impossible. So if you have a drain that is slow or backed up, don’t wait for the problem to get worse. Instead, call Rocket Plumbing for the best drain cleaning service in the Chicago area. Schedule an appointment by calling 773-219-1200.

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