The Difference Between Drain Unblocking and Drain Cleaning

By - James
25.05.23 03:37 PM

The terms ‘drain unblocking’ and ‘drain cleaning’ may seem similar and interchangeable. Although there is a slight overlap in one sense, in another they refer to different processes. As a home or business owner, you may have experienced issues such as slow draining water or unpleasant smells coming from your drains and knowing whether you need your drains unblocking or cleaning can be the first place to start.


Drain Unblocking

The process of removing a blockage that is preventing water from flowing through the drain system is called drain unblocking. Blockages can be caused by a number of things such as debris build-up, foreign objects being flushed down the drain, tree roots making their way into the pipes, and more. Drain unblocking will typically involve the use of specialist equipment such as a drain snake or high-pressure water jet to clear the blockage and allow water to flow freely through the drain.

Drain Cleaning

Drain cleaning is something quite different, on the other hand. This refers to the process of cleaning the inside of pipes to remove any build-up of debris, grease, or other materials that may cause slow draining or unpleasant smells. This is important for maintaining a healthy drainage system and prevent future blockages. Typically drain cleaning will involve using equipment such as a CCTV drain survey and jet wash to thoroughly eliminate any grime and dirt.
A member of the Grey-Water team uses a large plunging device to unblock a sink.

The main difference between these two processes is that drain unblocking focuses on removing a specific blockage that is preventing water flowing through the drain, but drain cleaning targets the health of your plumbing system by removing build-up that could contribute to future blockages. It is good to get your drains cleaned every once in a while, at regular intervals.


You may be wondering which you should opt for, as it is difficult to know without a camera if your drains are suffering from a blockage or simply needing to be cleaned. If you are experiencing water not draining at all, or backing up into your sink or shower, then it is likely that you need drain unblocking. However, if you are experiencing slow draining water or unpleasant smells emanating from your drains, it may be that you need your drains cleaned to remove any build-up within your pipes. We are on-hand to offer advice and help you understand which process is right for your drains. If you are experiencing these problems, do not hesitate to give us a call for rapid response drain unblocking or cleaning.

James