A drain clog can impact the entire family. A relatively minor blockage can bring activity in the home to a standstill. Clogs result from soap debris, dirt, hair, and toilet paper forming a mass in the drain. Removing this collected debris and unclogging the drain as soon as possible is the best way to restore your everyday schedule. Utilizing their decades of experience, knowledge of drain structure, and high-powered tools, plumbers can unclog drains quickly. But how do they do it?

Plumber’s Clog Removal Tools

Pipe Inspections

Pipe inspections are the first tool pulled from a plumber’s drain-unclogging toolkit. This visual inspection tells the plumber where pipes might leak and the route the water takes within the home. By analyzing water flow, plumbers may be able to determine where there’s a blockage preventing optimal flow and unclog drains in minutes. 

Camera Inspections

Pipe camera inspections are the second phase of the inspection process. The plumber uses a camera and connected cable to inspect the pipe’s interior. They feed the cable through the pipe to identify debris causing the obstruction. 


If the home has an overflowing toilet or sink, the plumber may first attempt to use a specially designed-plunger to loosen the clog. The plunger works in conjunction with several other drain-unclogging tools.

Drain Snakes

A manual drain snake is a tool resembling a cable featuring a corkscrew at the end. Manual drain snakes feature a handle the plumber will use to crank the cable and push it through the drain. When they reach the clog, they’ll break it apart using the corkscrew to push through the debris and break it apart.

Motorized Drain Snakes

With a stubborn clog, the plumber will turn to a motorized drain snake to add more power to the debris removal process. Motorized drain snakes either feature wiring connected to the motor or are wireless. Wireless motorized drain snakes are preferred when flexibility and movement are required to reach the debris in the drain.

A motorized drain snake features push-button operation, allowing the plumber to efficiently reach and remove the stubborn clog and control the tool’s direction. 

Hydro Jet

Plumbers use a hydro jet to remove tough clogs that withstand other forms of clog removal. 

Hydrojetting involves sending a highly pressurized water stream into the pipe to remove a blockage and any debris forming within the pipe interior. Hydrojetting helps clear the entire diameter of the pipe to reduce the chance of a blockage in the future.

Specialized Hair Snakes

Hair is one of the most common components of drain clogs. So much so that plumbers now have a specific tool built solely for removing a hair-based clog. The hair snake features durable plastic and helps plumbers carefully remove clogs from home sinks, showers, and tubs. 

Drain Augers

When plumbers face toilet and shower clogs, they use a drain auger. This tool is built to clear debris from 1.5 to 3-inch-wide pipes and is longer than drain snakes. 

Should I Attempt to Unclog Drains Myself?

While tools like plungers help homeowners remove minor clogs, call a plumber if you’re facing a persistent clog or are unsure about the next clog removal steps. Many homeowners attempt to pour hot water, vinegar, baking soda, and other chemicals into their toilet, only to find the clog worsens. In trying to remove the clog, you may damage sink and tub drains, which may cause raw sewage to leak into your system and cause backflow. 

When Should I Call a Plumber to Unclog the Drain?

Any time you have sitting water in a tub or sink and cannot remove the clog after trying the plunger for a few minutes, call your local plumber for help. Thunderbird Plumbing has decades of experience working with drain cleaning and clog removal equipment and can respond quickly to clog removal requests throughout Greater Victoria and the surrounding communities. 

Our office team can connect with our Victoria, BC plumbers for a response in minutes to your clog removal requirements. Call now to speak with the team and book a visit. 


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