Frequently Asked Questions
No – We don’t use an electric eel. Many years of experience clearing blocked drains has shown us that the electric eel is an ineffective method, and may also cause damage to the pipes. We prefer to use a high quality camera in order to see exactly where the blockage is and what is causing it. We then insert a high pressure water jetter, capable of cutting through tree roots, to clean the pipe work and remove a blockage. We then send the camera down the pipe once more to ensure your pipes are clean and clear.
The electric eel is a spinning metal cable that operates by punching a hole through the blockage which may clear it in the short term, however, the blockage will likely return. Because the electric eel thrashes around inside the pipe it can easily break the pipes particularly when travelling around bends. Most sewerage and storm water pipes are made from PVC (houses post 1980), and PVC is very easily damaged or broken by the electric eel.
Most certainly – high pressure water jetters are able to output seriously strong blasting power up to 20,000psi! In a residential setting, you wouldn’t need to use more than 5000 or 6000psi in a PVC pipe. The pressure and angle of the water is able to cut out tree roots and other debris, yet does not damage the pipes. High pressure water can actually cut through concrete and even steel at a high enough pressure and with the correct nozzle. The pressure and nozzle can be adjusted to suit the situation the jetter is required for.
Yes we can – with our specialised technology we are able to accurately map out whole pipe systems from above the ground. This means no estimating or trial and error, digging in your yard or concrete driveway. There are several different ways we are able to do this:
Sewer and Stormwater pipes
- Camera and locator – the camera is sent down the pipework and emits a signal which the above ground locator is able to pick up. This is done by pressing a button on the camera, sending a signal to the locator which then detects where the head of the camera is.
- Trace rod and locator – a trace rod is sent down the line and an electronic signal is placed into the trace rod. The locator is then positioned over the top of the rod on the outside of the pipework and it picks up the electronic signal from under the ground.
- Sound location – acoustic equipment is used over the top of the pipe while a knocking sound is made inside the pipe. This is not as accurate as the electronic method as it does not provide a depth and the plumber is relying on simply listening for the loudest noise.
Yes it can – our CCTV cameras are made to travel through pipes with ease including multiple bends and even junctions. The camera is attached to the end of a long, flexible cable for ultimate exploring capabilities. We are also very different from other plumbers, because we only offer specialised services. This enables us to provide the most up to date and extensive range of equipment to our customers. We carry multiple cameras of varying sizes because each job is different and one size does not fit all. This means we can get easier access in many areas depending where the blockage is.
For example, the plumber may need to get into a particularly tight spot or difficult bend to remove a blockage but if they only have one camera and it’s too big to fit around the bends, they might need to remove the toilet to get the access they require and hopefully not damage the toilet in the process. We have a camera that is small enough to go down the toilet itself and can even get through 40mm traps. We have drain cameras which can negotiate pipes from as small as 16mm, right up to 750mm in diameter.
The camera is attached to the end of a cable that is pushed down the drain, stopping when it gets to the blockage.
Of course! With our relining technology, we are able to offer ‘no dig’ solutions for storm water and sewerage pipe breakages. Relining is carried out by inserting a ‘sock’ lining inside the existing pipe which is coated with a resin finish. The sock is inflated to the internal diameter of the pipe and the resin sets, leaving a smooth resin pipe inside the old one. This forms the new pipe work so any sections which have been relined are unable to be penetrated by tree roots.
No – plumbing is not a DIY task, this does not usually end well. Without using a camera to see what is causing the blockage, you will never know the root cause of the blockage. In addition, electric eels have a tendency to damage pipes, particularly as they go around bends. If you can’t see what you are doing underground, you may cause further issues in the pipe works. Put it this way – would you pressure clean your driveway blindfolded? Cleaning a blocked drain is illegal without a plumbing license and carries large fines.
We usually estimate anywhere between half an hour and 2 hours although if it takes two hours, there is a serious problem with the pipes. A more average time is between half an hour and 1 hour. Ease of access will also determine how long it takes to clear a blocked drain. If the plumber can easily find the inspection opening rather than having to go through the house, it will be a lot easier for them to clear it quickly. We carry over 15 different jetter nozzles. Each one has a specific job. If the correct nozzle is used for it’s specific purpose it can cut through the blockage quicker reducing the time further. We also use truck mounted reels which can shave off around 30 minutes of time that it takes other plumbers to lift, carry, unravel and roll up their hand held reels.
Firstly, we will try to find the IO (inspection opening) on top of the sewer shaft riser and have a look at what is physically visible and if we are also able to gain access through the IO. The IO is located outside the house so it’s a better alternative than trying to access the pipes through the house and will give the plumber an idea of whether the blockage is on the Council side or the owners’ side of the property. The IO has a 100mm diameter and this makes it easier to work with than other access points that are often smaller. The jetters potential is also maximized in this situation as it is flushing the debris downstream and into the council system. This means it is not fighting standing water if it were to be used upstream so the best level of power can be achieved.
If the IO cannot be found or accessed, we will first look for other entry points outside the house. This may include an outside gully or vent. Following this, we would start looking inside the house for a floor waste grate or toilet although this is not preferable due to the mess it may cause.
Yes, we can – our jetters have enough power to work in a full pipe. The drain cameras are waterproof and are still good at locating the blockage point in a full pipe.