Roger Bisby tries out some Silverline Drain Rods and offers his insight into unblocking drains.
A lot of householders will buy a set of drain rods and attempt to clear a blockage themselves, but it is one thing owning a set of rods and quite another knowing how to use them. If you don’t know your way around an underground drainage system you are less likely to succeed, and you do hear of people getting stuck head first in manholes.
So even though anyone can pick up a complete drain clearing kit such as this one from Silverline it hasn’t put drain clearer’s out of business. There is also the fact that some people (strangely) don’t like to get anywhere near their drains.
That is fine by me because I don’t think there is any tool in my tool kit that has earned me more money over the years than my drain rods. It isn’t everyone’s chosen profession but I have enjoyed myself. I never owned a jet cleaner and there were very few times that I had to hire one. Most of the time the rods were all I needed.
Of course, there was a risk that what you fed down the drain would not come back up. Count them down and count them back out. To avoid this mishap I used to push and turn, always clockwise, and hope that I didn’t screw the worm so far into some fibrous roots that I couldn’t pull them back.
Back in the bad old days if you screwed it too far into the fibrous roots in one go you won’t be able to pull them out, and your only choice then was to unscrew and lose the screw head, or worse some of the rods as well.
This happened a lot, particularly to DIYers, but this LockRod system from Silverline has positive locating square ends and locking rings. Instead of screwing each rod into the socket of the preceding set you simply turn the locking rings in to secure them. They are brilliant, and they are also very bendy, so you can get them around tightish bends. In fact they are so good I am tempted to throw my old polypropylene sets away.
I always used to take two or three sets out on a call but most of the time though I never put that many rods into a drain and I never force them where they don’t want to go. I find that the plunger works even better from a distance.
Water isn’t compressible, so whatever force is placed on one end of the pipe must result in the same force on the other end. The suction you can build up, particularly on a long run, will clear all but the most stubborn blockages.
In these days of reduced capacity flushing cisterns and more and more people joining our ancient sewerage systems drain cleaning is a good place to invest your money and these rods are a very modest investment.