4 Basic Plumbing Tools & Supplies to Keep in Case of a Blocked Drain Emergency


You are getting ready for a party at your house. You have already invited a number of people to come over. A few hours before the party, you are suddenly disturbed by a foul smell coming from the bathroom. You went to check up on it and found out that you have a blocked drain! You’re already puzzled on how to deal with it for the party’s about to start within a few hours. Now this is one plumbing problem you could easily solve on your own just by having the basic and cost-efficient tools in plumbing. So what are these essential tools you need in dealing with a blocked drain emergency?

Here’s a list of tools and supplies you need to keep inside your house at all times including tips on how to use them:

    1. Plunger

    Once the clog has formed, it is time to bring out the plunger! It is also called as a plumber’s friend or a force cup. The plunger is the basic tool for clearing blocked drains or blocked pipes in a toilet or sink. From the word plunge which means to thrust or force quickly, a plunger forces water down the drain to clear away blockages. Basically, there are two types of plunger- the cup plunger and the flange plunger. Make sure you use the right plunger for the job. If you’re dealing with blockages in your sink, bathtubs and shower, it’s best to use the classic cup type but when you’re dealing with toilet problems then the flange type is your best choice. In using a plunger you will be needing some water to cover the plunge head and make a tight seal around the plughole. To improve the seal, you could add some petroleum jelly to the rim of the cup. This technique increases the suction. You push the plunger in and out vigorously, enough to force the blockage out of the pipe and allow the water to run freely.

    2. Drain rod and wire

    If you’ve done enough plunging and the problem remains unsolved, then a drain rod or a drain wire might be the tool that will actually save your day. Drain rods and and wires can clear away obstructions that resist simple plunging. Use a length of wire through the plughole and pull the blockage rather than push it downwards. You could use a corkscrew cable device. It has a spiral cable, which seems to be like a curtain wire, with a corkscrew-like end to remove the blockage and a winder so you can twist it. Just a tip, you should never twist the rod anticlockwise, chances are it might unscrew underground.

    3. Drain Cleaner

    Well, this is actually a no-no because some chemical drain cleaners might actually do more harm than good because of how unsafe they are to use but since we’re talking about tools that could provide immediate remedies for your plumbing emergencies then this can still be of help.

    But you must remember to never use this on a completely blocked sink for it could damage the pipes. Never use this also together with a plunger, chances are the chemicals might splatter into your skin. Only use this when the blockage is at least partially clear and if the plunger fails to do the job. Drain cleaners are poisonous so it should be kept away from children and pets.

    4. Heavy- duty gloves

    Since, we’re dealing with nasty and smelly stuff, you might consider wearing a pair of gloves. Heavy- duty waterproof gloves will protect you from anything you might encounter down the drain. If you’re using chemical drain cleaners then it is essential for you to wear these. When using a plunger too, the handle might get slippery, these will help you hold on the handle as you do the task.