When your home has blocked drains or clogged pipes, you want to exercise caution if you're thinking of tackling this problem yourself. The wrong materials or techniques can actually make the clog worse, or outright damage pipes and connectors. Consider how plumbers clear blocked drains so you can better understand why it's good to call such a professional to address any clog in your home, and how they'll make quick work of clearing it without causing damage.
A power rod, or power-rodding, refers to a type of plumber's snake that is usually only available to professionals. This rod will be made of a thin but very stiff wire or cable, and the rod will have sharp barbs around the outside. These barbs help to break up tough and stubborn clogs, and may also catch anything solid in the drain, such as a child's toy, key ring and the like. Because a power rod can also easily snag a pipe connector or cause damage to older pipes if not used properly, this is why it's often only used by professionals. However, it can mean clearing a tough and stubborn clog very quickly.
Replacing a pipe
In some cases, a pipe may actually need to be replaced rather than unclogged. If tree roots have wrapped around an exterior pipe and broken through, or if a pipe has frozen, it's best to replace these pipes rather than trying to clear them. A frozen pipe could easily burst, especially if you try to push through the ice or use too much heat to try to thaw it, meaning that your home could suffer a resultant flood. Cutting tree roots themselves won't fix the damage done to pipes, so it may also simply need replacing.
Note, too, that a broken or leaking pipe can actually cause clogs. One reason for this is that a broken pipe may be interfering with the vacuum action needed to create some suction that allows and encourages water and solid matter to flow through the pipes. A broken or leaking pipe can also mean that there is not enough water flowing through the pipe in order to push solid matter through, so a clog then forms. Trying to simply snake out such clogs yourself can be pointless, as they will just form again until that broken pipe is replaced and your home's plumbing has enough vacuum action, and enough water flow to avoid clogging.