Pipe Cleaning

Does the water in the shower no longer drain properly or does the water in the sink remain standing? Then the drain pipes are probably constricted or even clogged by various types of dirt! But before you have to call an expensive craftsman or pour highly toxic chemicals down the drain, here are some cheap and simple solutions that will clear the pipe in no time. Simple, but effective.

1. Locate and inspect the problem area:

Problem areas and pipe blockages can have many causes. They can be caused by grease, hair, food residues or other substances, some of which are accidentally or unknowingly washed down the drain. However, lime deposits on pipe connections can also be the cause.
For example, fats and oils are initially liquid when they come out of the hot pan or at room temperature, but when they come into contact with the cold pipe and cold water they stagnate and get stuck in the pipe. Other things such as hair or food remains can then adhere to these solidified fats and a blockage is not far away.

First of all, the problem area must be located and closely observed so that the right measures can be taken. But how do you find it best, when usually only a few centimetres can be seen inside the pipe?

The easiest way to detect such a blockage is to use an inspection camera. With the long elastic cable or even the gooseneck extension you can penetrate particularly deep into the pipe. An LED light attached to the camera provides the best view, even in very dirty pipes.

Item No.: 612229
WALTER inspection camera equipped with a waterproof flexible gooseneck and a mini-color camera with dimmable LED lighting ideal for inspecting awkward, inaccessible places, as well as for finding and retrieving small items.
Item No.: 611981
The FERREX 3 m gooseneck is suitable for inspection cameras and can be attached quickly and simply.

When you have found the troublemaker, you can either see directly what it is, be it hair, is it lime or a mixture of all of these? Then you should make a gradation, how much the tube or the spot is dirty, so if it is light, medium or heavy pollution. If you are not sure, you should show the photos from the inspection camera to an expert and consult his opinion.

  • Light soiling can only be removed selectively and with simple methods. This is a small fat deposit or hair in the pipe.
  • A medium soiling is already slightly more extensive. It can also be recognized in advance by the fact that the water runs off noticeably more slowly. It can be whole food remains and coarse lime deposits.
  • If the water is very dirty, it drains very poorly or not at all. In this case it is usually a mixture of everything or particularly coarse dirt. Most of the time the camera cannot see much of the original pipe anymore.

2. home remedies to solve pollution instead of expensive and toxic chemicals

Chemicals from the various drugstores are usually neither good for the environment nor for the pipe itself. That's right, pipe cleaners often contain very aggressive chemicals that can attack the surface structure of a pipe, so they often cause more damage than they really add value.

In most cases, simple household remedies such as boiling water, baking powder or vinegar essence will help. In more severe cases, different types of tools such as the classic suction-pressure pump or a pipe cleaning spiral may be used.

What is used when?

For light soiling, such as settled fat, it often helps to simply pour boiling water directly into the spout. Most fats should then become liquid again and run off with the waste water.

If this life-hack did not help or if the water still runs off slowly, it is possible that other impurities such as hair or lime get stuck in the pipe. Depending on how close the dirt is to the drain, you can try to pull it out with a toothbrush or the hook of the endoscope camera. But a simple housewife trick could also be helpful: Baking soda and vinegar! Put three tablespoons of baking powder into the drain and pour a cup of vinegar essence. After it has stopped bubbling, pour in just a cup of hot water and with a little luck the pipe should be clear again.

If the pipe is still dirty or the dirt is very stubborn, only real tools will help. Here the well-known suction bell can be helpful. The sink or wash basin must now be filled until the suction bell is completely under water. Then the Pompes must be moved carefully up and down. In this way the solid dirt is loosened with even over- and underpressure. If there is still lime scale contamination in the drain, a specialist must be consulted!

3. pipe cleaning spiral

Pipe cleaning spirals consist of a strong but flexible spring-like coated wire. Thinner spirals run better and more smoothly through pipes, but can deform and expand and loosen more easily. Thicker spirals are usually more stable but are somewhat harder to pass through pipe systems.

At the beginning of a pipe spiral is the drive, this can be operated manually or with the help of a suitable connection via a cordless screwdriver.
Due to the flexible spiral and the continuous rotation of the drive, the spiral rotates in the pipe and the dirt is scraped off the walls of the pipes and can then be easily rinsed away with water. The spiral is subjected to torsional stress. In this way the spiral builds up sufficient tension through the rotation of the motor. If the spiral is at the end of a pipe and the torque becomes too high, it can overturn and it is particularly difficult to remove it from the pipe, so this should be avoided at all costs. If the torque increases, this is noticeable, but most noticeable in the hand crank.

At the end of the spiral is only an open wound tip on simple spirals. Professional tools often have replaceable drill bits with claws.

Attachments can be various pipe tools, it can be a milling cutter, a leaf drill, a twist drill or a club drill.

Item No.: 072990E
The ROTHENBERGER Industrial Cleaning Spiral solves all common pipe blockages with ease.

4. suction pressure pump

In addition to the conventional suction bells and pipe spirals, there are also so-called suction pressure pumps. They are particularly easy to handle, but extremely effective. The pistol-like design ensures a stable grip and easy use. A pump is integrated at the end of the shaft with which a vacuum is created, which is later released jerkily by the trigger. At the end of the device there is a rubber attachment which is flush with the blocked drain. The overflow must be blocked for this purpose. A towel or similar is suitable for this. A suction pressure pump can also be used for the toilet with the matching accessory attachment.

Item No.: 1500000006
The ROTHENBERGER Industrial high pressure drain cleaner is perfect for cleaning and removing soilings in drain pipes.
Item No.: 071991
The suction pressure hand pump works effectively with negative pressure and rinses the blockages free again. Versatile use, eg. washbasins, sinks, urinals, showers, bathtubs etc.

5. which tool is the right one?

A classic plunger is perhaps the simplest, but not always the most effective, and in the case of serious blockages it is also very power-intensive. You are always well advised to use a pipe cleaning spiral and it will remove almost any type of dirt from your pipes, but it is considered to be a professional tool and is only really necessary in the case of very heavy soiling. The suction pressure pump is easy to handle, not very expensive to purchase and suitable for most types of dirt. An endoscope camera is always very helpful and can also be a real relief in many other areas. Now it is your decision which pipe tool is best suited for your purposes. WALTER offers a wide range of these and also has access to an extensive range of particularly high-quality ROTHENBERGER Industrial tools.