Blocked Drains
27th Sep 2021



In plumbing, a soil pipe is a pipe that carries away sewage or waste water from a toilet to a soil drain or the main sewer. If your soil pipe is blocked, chances are you’ll smell an unpleasant odour and notice that your toilet is draining slowly. If left untreated, you could also experience backed-up sinks and even toilet waste pushing up into your bathtub. Horrible!

If you suspect you have a plumbing problem, don’t panic! Check out our FAQ page to identify your concern. You can also do a basic inspection to see where the blockage is located. Even if you don’t unblock it yourself, you’ll have a much better idea of what’s going on when your call Drain Surgeon for a quote. Click here for contact details, or fill in your details and we’ll call you back within 15 minutes, any time of the day or night. 

So what causes a blocked drain? In general – soil pipes are blocked when foreign objects enter the system, or build-up over time. This could include sanitary products, nappies, your toothbrush or even kids toys. Grease, fat and hair can accumulate over time and your system can also be exposed to leaves and tree roots that cause cracks and blockages.  

Unblocking a soil pipe yourself could potentially be a slightly messy endeavour, so you can always call the professionals at Drain Surgeon where no job too deep, too dark, or too dirty. But if you’re up for the job, here are some quick pointers to get you going. You can also check out our video “How to unblock soil pipes” here.

Start by inserting a plunger into the toilet bowl, pushing it all the way down to the bottom. Pump up and down and see if you can unblock the soil pipe like that. If the obstruction is near the top of the soil pipe, this might work. If it doesn’t, follow the next steps:

To unblock a badly blocked drain, trace the soil pipe, and remove the cleaning eye immediately downstream of the blockage or affected appliance. If no water flows here, the blockage is in the section between the affected drain and this first cleaning eye. If you do see water here, move unto the next section.


• Place a rod or catch stick into the cleaning eye to prevent any debris from shifting and blocking the pipe further down from the blockage.

• Fit a corkscrew attachment to the clearing rod and insert it into the blocked soil pipe until the blockage is reached. Rotate the clearing rod clockwise so that the corkscrew grabs the blockage and then remove the clearing rod, while still turning the corkscrew, to pull out the blockage through the cleaning eye.

• Repeat this procedure until the water that was backed up flowing freely once more.

• Remove the catch stick from the cleaning eye, thread your hosepipe into the section and open it up at full blast to ensure the water is flowing properly.

• Replace the cleaning eye when done.


• Identify where your blockage is located by removing the cleaning eyes in the sequence leading towards the main connection.

• Once you’ve discovered the section where the water stops flowing, remove the blockage as described above. 

If all this sounds a bit daunting, don’t stress! At Drain Surgeon, we offer electro-mechanical drain cleaning, and high pressure hydro jetting of sewer and storm water drains with pipe diameters up to 900 mm. Our video-camera system assists in diagnosing problems with underground pipe installations, pinpointing blockages, cracks, roots and leaks. By reducing the need for exploratory digging, this system saves you time and money.


Drain Surgeon is the largest plumbing group in the Southern Hemisphere. We will give you quick and professional service no matter what your plumbing and drainage needs may be.

Call us today and our plumbing team will take care of it – any time of day or night. We offer plumbing services 24 hours a day across South Africa and we’ll take care of any plumbing problem that’s arisen in your home, regardless of its severity. We’ve been in the business for a long time and we’ve seen it all, so you can enjoy peace of mind in knowing that one of our expert plumbers will be with you soon. 

Download the app here and save R150 on your first job! Check out our testimonials here to hear what other happy customers have to say. We hope to add your testimonial there next!

Why call Drain Surgeon? We offer all general and specialised plumbing services, 24 hours a day.

• We are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

• Your call will always be answered by our helpful staff – never an answering machine.

• You do not pay extra for services outside office hours.

• We will keep you informed throughout the process.

• Our technicians will always be professional, highly competent and wear our easy recognisable uniform.

• The Drain Surgeon vehicles carry all the equipment to complete most jobs immediately. how to unblock soil pipes

• We leave all work areas clean and tidy.

When you call us we will endeavour to solve your problem quickly and professionally. how to unblock soil pipes

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