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Coiled-spring steel drain-rods, anyone?

(13 Posts)
InvalidToffee Fri 19-Feb-16 20:12:21

The drain-gully into which our kitchen sink discharges is particularly deep. The trap leading to the drain proper is two-and-half feet down hence when blocked, which is often, it is reachable only by be-boilersuited orang utan.

There is a manhole about eight feet away; from which one would expect to be able to rod the drain upstream to dislodge/break-up the blockage. However, the drain takes two sharp, perhaps even right-angle, bends on its way to the manhole. Normal drain-rods i.e. polypropylene ones from the DIY-sheds, cannot get around said bends. Even a self-propelled (by pressure-washer) narrow-bore drain-cleaning hose can't negotiate them.

We'd prefer not to call-in one of the drain-contractors but find the best way of doing it ourselves. And before you ask, the current blockage has so far proved resistant to chemicals.

Such things as coiled-spring drain-rods exist, apparently. Has anyone experience of these, please? Are they likely to be stiff enough to take the requisite shove yet at the same time flex sufficiently, too?

Either they go round the bend or I do.

Thanks, in advance.


Fourarmsv2 Sat 20-Feb-16 07:21:27

Ours was quite good. But we ended up calling in the professionals. Who took about one minute to sort it because of the copious kettles of water and bottles of nasty chemicals we'd been pouring down. Sigh....

RingUpRingRingDown Sat 20-Feb-16 07:53:41

When our drains were blocked recent we tried all of the different drain rods (borrowed from neighbour's) but the thing that actually worked best was pushing down a standard hosepipe combined with lots if boiling water and nasty chemicals.

It took a fair bit if time and persistence but it worked in the end.

PigletJohn Sat 20-Feb-16 08:32:30

You say it gets blocked. Drains shouldn't get blocked. Is it mud (meaning broken) or is it congealed cooking fat?

Is it deep because the ground level has been raised up since the house was built?

How old is the house?

Fourarmsv2 Sat 20-Feb-16 19:51:51

Ours had a mixture of stones (new patio built and they obviously swept the rubbish down there) and fat. I blamed DH as we'd had a chicken just before it got blocked but the plumber said it's usually a build up of years of gunk.

RingUpRingRingDown Sat 20-Feb-16 19:56:53

Ours was coffee grounds 😳

InvalidToffee Mon 22-Feb-16 22:51:37

Hello, all, and thank you for your responses and observations.

Has anyone used the specific type of drain-rod about which I asked: coiled-spring steel ones?

In answer to the question about the house, it is a 1930s bay-fronted end-of-terrace. The rear patio has a four-foot drop to the garden, which slopes away. Some time after we moved-in (decades ago) neighbours who'd lived in the road for many years started to regale us with tales of a former occupant. He considered himself a dab hand at DIY, apparently. He wasn't – and oh, how we're paying for it.

InvalidToffee Mon 22-Feb-16 23:13:04

[Sorry: I accidentally posted mid-anecdote!]

I was telling of a former occupant of this house who would insist on doing DIY though disastrously inept. He decided to put in a new drain-gully; but because had also raised the height of the patio, the gully ended up being two-and-a-half feet deep. It is physically impossible to reach a hand down to the entrance to the trap, never mind feed a hosepipe into and around it. Moreover, the bodgemeister also took it upon himself to put in a drain-run with two right-angle bends. A neighbour who was helping him advised him that this was unwise inasmuch as it provided two sites at which fat could accrue; and that drain-rods would never be able to negotiate said 90-degree turns. The advice was ignored. The drains have been the bane of each successive owner of the property since. (There have been many.)

However, there is a happy ending. On Sunday evening the drain did finally clear – after I'd put a total of several kilos of caustic soda down it over the course of many days. And I shall note on the calendar to do it quarterly from now on, without fail. (Long illness had caused me to overlook that.)

Till next time... ? [Sigh]


InvalidToffee Mon 22-Feb-16 23:19:58

Sorry, 'piglet john', it was fat, fat: inglorious, malodorous fat.


PigletJohn Tue 23-Feb-16 00:43:13

I hope you've stopped putting fat down the drain now?



InvalidToffee Mon 29-Feb-16 01:20:52

Hello, PigletJohn,

Please excuse the lateness of my reply.

We don't put fat down the drain; well, not deliberately. All old fat (plus bacon rind, etc.) goes to bird-cake. Similarly, used oil is drained into a (placcy) bottle and binned. Perhaps we could be more punctilious by ensuring that each single greasy-looking crock' and utensil be wiped with kitchen-towel but I wonder at the cost and greenness of it.

We believe that the unnecessarily tortuous path the drain takes, including two right-angled bends, makes the whole run a fat-trap-in-waiting for even the minimal amount that does go through. Ordinarily, we treat it with five litres of caustic soda solution, twice-yearly; but it had slipped our minds for a year. (Life intruded.)

I'd still like an opinion from someone – anyone – as to the efficacy of coiled-spring steel drain-rods in 'difficult' drains. I'd rather not have to use a strong chemical; but am glad that once again, albeit very eventually, it worked.

'I. T.'

PigletJohn Mon 29-Feb-16 01:29:42

You could try washing-soda crystals. They are not dangerous and will degrade into salt. You can use them once a week down your sink plughole and overflow as well.

Kitchen roll that has wiped greasy pans is useful for starting barbies and bonfires but don't leave it in the garden as foxes will eat it.

user1476684426 Mon 17-Oct-16 07:16:46

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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