How To Use a Plumbing Snake Properly

Most clogs, when caught early, can be cleared with drain cleaner or a simple plunger. For major clogs the use of a sewer snake may be where you have to turn. The proper use of a sewer snake is important because this tool is simple to use but can also cause additional damage when used wrong and in the wrong situations.

Galvanized Pipes

Many older homes may have galvanized pipes that were used in plumbing. The material inside a galvanized pipe can flake off and cause problems. When you use a snake with this type of plumbing you can exasperate and already serious blockage and cause permanent damage to the plumbing. It’s important to know what kind of pipes are in your home to avoid major repairs caused by the use of a snake or auger.

Drain Cleaners

Many drain cleaners contain caustic chemicals. If you used any of these cleaners to resolve the problem initially, always wear protective gear to avoid burns to your skin or eyes when using a snake. Whenever possible, always use and environmentally friendly drain cleaner.

The Correct Technique

When using a sewer snake it’s important to use the correct technique to save yourself some time.

  • If you are not initially successful with the small snake graduate to a slightly larger snake to try and clear the clog When you hit the clog pull back slightly and turn the crank again to try to eat away at the clog little by little. Repeat this until the clog is clear.
  • If it gets hard to turn the crank turn the crank counter clockwise and try again.
  • If the clog seems rather hard to get through try to use the auger to pull the clog out through the drain rather than push through it.
  • Never force the auger.

Be Prepared

Always have a bucket and a towel handy. The bucket will come in handy if you pull the clog out with the auger and need to dump the clog somewhere. The towel will allow you to wipe up any water or drain cleaner that may drip on the floor.

As always, proper use of tools is important and when you are dealing with the plumbing in your home it’s even more important because one mistake can cause major problems that will cost you a lot of money to resolve. If you have doubts about what you are doing call someone who knows what to do to resolve your problem.

About Preferred Plumbing & Drain

Preferred Plumbing & Drain has been providing plumbing services to the Oakland and surrounding East Bay areas since 2004. Preferred Plumbing & Drain is a Licensed Contractor (Contractors License #856944) and a PHCC member.

With Preferred Plumbing & Drain, the estimate is always free and there is no extra charge for nights, weekends, or holidays. There are no trip or travel charges. And you approve the estimate before any work is started.