Blocked Drain Clearing Process

Our Blocked Drain Clearing Process In Detail

No two properties are the same | No two drainage systems are the same | No two blocked drains are the same

Average times for our blocked drain clearing processes below cover about 80% of all blocked sewer lines we attend however there will always be those exceptions to the rule.


On arrival we will introduce ourselves and then carry out several assessment processes simultaneously. 

  • Talk to you about the blocked drain symptoms and any history of drain blockages.

  • Visually inspect the blocked drain symptoms you are experiencing.  

  • Determine the location of the sewer system on your property.

  • Locate where your sewer line connects to the Sydney Water main line.

  • Estimate the location of the blockage within the sewer system.

  • Look for any suitable accessible sewer cleanouts.

Provided a suitable accessible cleanout is available assessing the blocked drain can take on average 10 - 30 minutes.

From our experience we find about 80% of homes we visit have one or more accessible sewer cleanouts somewhere on the property that we can use to clear the blocked drain they are experiencing. More information about cleanouts here.

If cleanout access is not available, we will discuss with you what other options you have. Having your homes Sewerage Service Diagram (SSD) available in this instance will also be extremely helpful. An SSD is a plan of your sewer system.

For homeowners who already have experience with Plumbers and recurring blocked drains on their property this step can take as little as 5 minutes as they should be able to provide us with all the information we require to move to step-2.


Once we have gained access to the sewer line we will setup our high pressure water jet and CCTV drain camera equipment at the point of entry (Cleanout) into the sewer line and proceed to clear the blocked drain using high pressure penetrating and flushing nozzles. 

Depending on how many metres of drain we are servicing the design of the sewer system and whether we are dealing with a tree root blockage or a non tree root blockage clearing the blocked drain can take on average 10 - 30 minutes.

An explanation of the correct use of water jet nozzles 

Penetrating and flushing nozzles

Penetrating and flushing nozzles are designed specifically for clearing the drain by penetrating through the blockage and flushing the waste material downstream to the Sydney Water main line and must always be used first. If the blockage is a non tree root blockage in most cases penetrating, and flushing nozzles are all that is needed to clear the drain. 

If the blockage is caused by tree root intrusions penetrating nozzles will create a pathway through the tree roots to enable the waste material to flow to the main sewer line however penetrating and flushing nozzles are not designed to cut and remove tree roots. Once a pathway through the tree roots has been achieved and waste material cleared, a CCTV camera inspection can be carried out to assess the extent of the tree root problem.

Hydraulic root cutting nozzles

Hydraulic root cutting nozzles are designed specifically for cutting and removing tree root intrusions from the inside of drainage pipes and must always be used after penetrating and flushing nozzles have created a pathway through the tree roots. Once the drain has been cleared using penetrating and flushing nozzles, CCTV camera and root cutting equipment can then be used to remove any tree root intrusions.


After the drain has been cleared, we will carry out a CCTV drain inspection of the sewer line to confirm the following.

  • Confirm the drain is clear of all waste material and if further flushing is needed.

  • Determine whether or not the blockage was caused by tree root intrusions.

  • Inspect the condition of the pipework for any faults or damaged sections.

If our CCTV drain inspection shows a clear drain with no tree root intrusions our work is finished. Inspecting the blocked drain can take on average 10 - 30 minutes.

Clearing a non tree root sewer blockage is a 3-step process.


If the blockage was caused by tree root intrusions the first 3 steps must be carried out to prepare the drain for root cutting and removal. Root cutting is performed by visually positioning a hydraulic root cutting turbine nozzle at the point of root entry inside the pipe using our CCTV drain camera then cutting the tree roots back to the inside surface of the drain. If there are multiple root entry points along the sewer line this process will need to be carried out multiple times. How long it will take to complete the root cutting process will be influenced by the following.

  • The length of the tree root affected drain.

  • The number of tree root entry points.

  • The number of lines that need clearing.

  • The diameter of the pipework.

  • The structural condition of the pipework.

  • The design of the drainage network.

  • The degree of tree root impact.

  • The species of tree.

Some species of trees have soft easy to cut roots and other species of trees have extremely difficult roots to cut so estimating a time to complete the root cutting process is difficult as this is determined by the individual circumstances of each job however estimating 10 - 60 minutes could cover all but the most difficult tree root blockages.

Clearing a tree root sewer blockage is a 4-step process.


Drain location work is optional and not considered an essential part of blocked drain clearing unless we need to find hidden or buried access points to gain entry into the sewer line or for some other essential reason. For non tree root blockages or regular drain servicing to remove tree root regrowth, location work is not normally required. For tree root blockages location work is beneficial if the homeowner wants to carry out any drainage repairs or renewals, when cleanouts need to be found or installed or locating buried inspection openings to access another part of the sewer network or sometimes the homeowner just simply wants to know the location of the issue for curiosity's sake. For whatever reason it is we can supply accurate location, depth, and direction information.

We carry out electronic drain locations for sewer lines and stormwater drains for a variety of reasons.

  • Renovation and extension work.

  • Building granny flats.

  • Drain relocations and alterations.

  • Installation of pool backwash gullies.

  • Diagnosing damaged or defective drains.

  • Locating tree root intrusion points.

  • Installing or locating hidden sewer cleanouts.

  • Locating buried inspection openings or boundary shafts.

  • Locating sewer reflux valves.

To name a few!

Depending on what we are locating and how many of them, drain location work can take on average 10 - 30 minutes

We do not automatically carry out location work when clearing blocked sewer lines so the homeowner will need to request any location work they require at any time during the drain clearing process.


CCTV drain inspection video documentation is optional and not considered an essential part of blocked drain clearing. For non tree root blockages or regular drain servicing to remove tree root regrowth recording video of the work is not normally required. For whatever reason, if the homeowner requests video documentation of any CCTV drain inspection we carry out we can supply the video footage on USB flash drive or uploaded to YouTube as an unlisted video.

We do not automatically record every CCTV drain inspection we carry out so the homeowner will need to request the drain inspection to be recorded before we start the inspection.

If you require further information regarding our blocked drain clearing process call us anytime!

Our Expert Blocked Drain Plumbers Are Ready To Help You! Call Us Today!

"When all you do is clear blocked drains, you get very good at it!"

DRAINS 'R' US Plumbing Blocked Drain Plumber Sydney

Established 60 Years

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LP Gasfitters

Roof Plumbers

Licence No. L8884


02 9451 0488

0414 516 215

PO Box 74

Frenchs Forest

NSW 1640



Monday - Friday

7:00am - 5:00pm


Monday - Friday

8:00am - 4:00pm



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