Professional-grade plunger/drain snake
A quality plunger can handle small clogs pretty effectively. If a family member has flushed lots of toilet paper and facial tissue down your toilet, you can unclog easily with a plunger. For more stubborn clogs and obstructions that a regular drain snake cannot break down, there are motorized drain snakes. A professional-grade drain snake has a long coil of wire that can bore holes in the blockage and disintegrate the clog or draw it up.
A video camera inspection is the preferred method to detect collapsed pipes, leaking pipes and unknown blockages that could possibly be causing frequent back-ups. It involves the use of a miniature, flexible inspection camera with an LED light mounted at one end of a fibre-optic cable. The engineers will view the video feed on a monitor to examine objects and/or wear and tear.
Drain cleaning companies may also use hydro-jetting to clean drain pipes thoroughly. A hydro-jetter sends hot, high-pressure water down the pipes to penetrate through clogs and clear out contaminants such as grease and oil. As a hydro-jetter blasts out water at a very high pressure, the method is a specialized one that only professional drain cleaners should perform.
Tips on preventing drain clogs
Even if you don't have a lawn, consider using a compost bin to avoid putting sticky substances down the drain. Community gardens will accept the compost.
Cover all your drains with mesh screens to catch food particles, hair and other debris.
Once a week, pour hot water down your drains to dissolve gunk and grease so they don't accumulate and cause blockages.