What Do Plumbers Use to Unclog Toilets & Drains?

What Do Plumbers Use to Unclog Toilets & Drains?

Isn’t it amazing how plumbers seem to work like magicians when unclogging your toilets and drains?

But, here’s the thing. Plumbers and heating engineers don’t just magically fix your problems. They actually have an arsenal of tools that help them do and complete their jobs.

Most plumbers conduct a pipe inspection first the moment they enter your home. These pipe inspections must be done at least once every couple of years. Through these, plumbers get to know how water runs in your home. This may also alert you, the homeowner, if repairs are necessary or if there are leaks anywhere.

As for clogs in drains and toilets, a pipe inspection will help the plumber determine the cause of the blockage.

If you have always wondered what plumbers use to unclog their clients’ drains and toilets after a pipe inspection, here is a quick overview of each one of them:

Cable Cleaners

Cable cleaners work for both large and small plumbing jobs. These machines use spinning blades at the tip of the cable for cutting through clogs. The blades will also help in scraping out build-up of residues on the pipes.

Drain Auger

A drain auger is meant for bigger pipes such as those in showers or toilets. Drain augers are available in motorized or manual designs.   

Hair Snake

Hair has always been one of the top culprits when it comes to drain blockages. Most shedding occurs in the shower so those 50 to 100 hairs that an average person sheds daily will find their way down the shower drain.

A hair snake is the tool that plumbers use for hair removal and these are usually available in various sizes and are made of plastic.


Plumbers use a hydro-jet for the toughest kinds of clogs. It is a tool that sends out pressured water through the pipes for breaking down build-ups in the drain. A hydro-jet is usually faster and more efficient than typical drain snakes. It not only removes the clog but also cleans the drains at the same time. 

Pipe Cameras

Pipe cameras are video cameras connected to the cable that allow plumbers to get a good view inside the pipes. The plumber will manoeuvre the cable all over the drain system to see those pipe parts that are otherwise unreachable. It helps them determine the right tool to use for fixing the clog.


Plungers are often used for unclogging toilets but these can also be used to fix light clogs in showers and sinks. Plumbers may try to use a plunger first to unclog a drain. If it doesn’t work, this indicates a heavier clog that needs a different tool.

Manual Drain Snake

Manual drain snakes resemble a long cable with a tip that looks like a corkscrew. A handle is attached to the cable used for cranking the cable through the drain. The plumber will first put the cable’s end in the drain’s opening and use the crank for pushing the cable down through the drain. Upon reaching the clog, the plumber will manoeuvre the cable until he breaks through the clog.

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