If a plunger is not enough to unclog your drain, then a drain snake may be used. There are different types of drain snakes that plumbers use to clear flooded kitchen and bathroom. Whether you’re having problems with toilet clogs or sewer drain waste buildup, it’s important to hire an expert who can snake a drain using the right tools for specific measurements and sizes.
A drain snake is a spiral auger that is approximately 1/4 inch thick. This tool comes with one handle on the end. It is pushed into the clog and cranked to remove the cause of blockage. Snakes are the best options when choosing between a plunger and a big gun is not applicable to clear out a clog.
Snakes vs. Plungers
When it comes to efficiency in cleaning drains, plungers and snakes are the most common tools used in households. For simple clogs, you can easily use a plunger. However, plumbers prefer using drain snakes to remove too stubborn clogs. While snakes are more powerful in clearing off drains, they are also more hazardous to use.
Using a drain snake is not as easy as using a plunger. In fact, using drain snakes improperly can damage your pipes and eventually lead to more leaks. If you don’t know how to use a snake, better leave it with the experts. You can hire a local plumber to snake your drain in the most effective way possible.
How Drain Snakes Work
With a long, pliable metal cable, drain snakes are designed to help plumbers make cleaning drains easier. The uncoiled spring and handle on each end facilitate clog removal, while the small auger which looks like corkscrew drills into the blockage to break it up so the bits flush through the pipe.
Typically, snakes can measure up to 50 feet. If you are not using the cable, you can coil it up for easy storage. Most drain snakes available today are hand-operated, some even have rotatable handle or crank. You can find different designs to match the type of drain you want to unclog such as tub drains, toilets, shower drains, kitchen drains, washing machine drains, and bathroom sink drains.
Here’s how to snake a drain:
- Push the auger into the opening of your drain, then rotate the handle to the drum containing the coil. The snake will start to penetrate through the drain.
- Continue pushing the snake into the pipe until there is resistance from the clog. Applying more pressure when you feel the clog is too stubborn to be removed can help in the process. Also, you can bend the handle around the curve by cranking the snake. When you turn the curve, the auger will slide through the pipe until the clog is reached and cleared away.
- Turn the auger until the clog is pushed through the drain. The tip should attach to the blockage while rotating the snake. The clog will chop up after successful spinning. However, if the blockage is too hard, the snake head will entangle it. If it’s not breaking through, you can pull the snake out and the clog will likely to come along with it.
- For several minutes, run water in full volume to clear away the clog. With full force water, it can easily flush down any blockage in your drain. On the other hand, it may come out with the auger once you pull the snake out.
If you’re snaking a drain by yourself, don’t forget to wear old clothes to protect you from grease and other elements that may come off while unclogging. In addition, you can put some used towels under the pipes to keep things easier to clean right after. Snaking can be messy depending on the type of clog you are trying to remove.
Snaking a drain can be easy if you know how to properly use an auger. This plumber’s tool is an effective method to drive out clogs in drains while making sure there’s no damage created. Aside from this tool, you will also need rags, wrench, and gloves to safely snake a drain. After all, it’s a messy ob for a DIY-er.
However, if it didn’t work, the best thing you can do is contact your local plumber. You need someone who has the expertise to snake a drain so that there will be no other problems that may arise. More importantly, professional plumbers can quickly take care of your project according to your requirements and affordable budget.
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