Choosing the Right Drain Chain for Blockage Removal and Descaling Pipes

Proper maintenance and cleaning of pipes are essential to ensure efficient flow and prevent blockages. When it comes to blockage removal and descaling, selecting the right drain chain is crucial. In this post, we will talk about the ideal sewer cleaning chains for these tasks, considering different pipe materials and diameters. From experience, I discovered that the last thing you want to do is to use a chain with hard metal bits in a PVC pipe, even though I got the roots out, I still have nightmares about the damage I caused to the pipe.

In PVC Pipes:

When dealing with smaller PVC pipes with a diameter of 50mm (2″) we recommend using plain chains or mini drain chains for both descaling and blockage removal. These chains are effective in removing scale buildup and dislodging minor blockages. The flexibility and small size of these chains make them suitable for maneuvering through narrow PVC pipes.

For PVC pipes with a diameter of 75mm (3″) and above, we suggest utilizing circular chains without hard tips for descaling. These drain cleaning chains provide effective cleaning by breaking down scale deposits along the pipe walls. The circular chains will clean out the entire inner circumference of the pipe, without damaging the pipe walls. To tackle blockages in larger PVC pipes, plain chain knockers with a drill head are recommended. These chain knockers offer the necessary power and force to clear stubborn obstructions.

In Cast Iron Pipes:

When working with smaller cast iron and clay pipes, typically 50mm (2″) in diameter, a cast iron pipe descaler such as X-tip chains and mini drain chains with hard metal bits are the ideal choices. These chains are designed specifically for descaling and blockage removal in cast iron and clay pipes. The hard metal bits effectively scrape away rust, scale, and debris, restoring the pipes’ flow capacity.

For larger cast iron and clay pipes with a diameter of 75mm (3″) and above, circular chains with an additional drill head are recommended for descaling. The combination of the circular chains and the drill head ensures efficient and thorough removal of scale deposits. When it comes to blockage removal in these pipes, X-tip chains with a drill head are the preferred option. The drill head provides the necessary drilling force to break through tough blockages, while the x-tip chains clear the debris effectively.

Cast Iron Pipe Descaler:

To maintain the integrity and functionality of cast iron pipes, regular descaling is crucial. A cast iron pipe descaler is a specialized assembly of tools used to remove scale buildup and restore the inner surface of the pipe. By employing the appropriate chains to your flexible shaft, such as the circular chains with hard metal bits, the cast iron pipe descaler effectively eliminates scale, rust, and other deposits, ensuring optimal flow and preventing future blockages.

The difference between our Croco drain cleaning chain and the Picote Tiger chain:

One of our most popular chains is the croco drain cleaning chain. Our customers love it because it is efficient in removing blockages without being as aggressive as the X-tip chain. Our workshop also makes the Tiger chain for Picote. The difference between the tiger chain and our croco drain cleaning chain is in the shape of the teeth on the cutting edge of the chains. In contrast to the Picote tiger chain, which has serrated edges in a vertical assembly on the cutting edge, the croco chain has a criss cross serrated pattern. The hub assembly of the Picote tiger chain is very similar to the croco chain and they will secure to the drain cleaning flexible shaft in the same way using set screws. In our opinion the Picote tiger chain is a very good chain and equal to our croco drain cleaning chain.

Both sewer cleaning chains are highly durable, efficient and specifically designed for pipe cleaning and maintenance. The rugged construction of our croco chain and sharp teeth enable it to effectively remove blockages and scale.

Flex Shaft Machine:

The flex shaft machine is a versatile tool commonly used for pipe cleaning and descaling. Its flexible shaft allows for easy maneuverability in tight spaces and around bends, ensuring thorough cleaning of the entire pipe length. With its powerful motor and interchangeable attachments, including the chains discussed earlier, the flex shaft machine provides a comprehensive solution for both blockage removal and descaling tasks.


When it comes to blockage removal and descaling in different types of pipes, selecting the appropriate chain is crucial. In PVC pipes, plain chains, mini drain chains, and plain chain knockers with drill heads are recommended. In cast iron and clay pipes, X-tip chains, mini drain chains with hard metal bits, circular chains with hard metal bits, and X-tip chains with drill heads are the preferred options. By using the right chain and employing tools like the cast iron pipe descaler, our drain cleaning chains, and a flex shaft machine setup, you can effectively maintain your pipes’ integrity and ensure their optimal functionality.