Have you ever wondered what it means when the plumber says that your sewer line or your clogged drain needs to be “snaked?” Perhaps you know that a snake is used to clean out a clogged drain, but you think it’s just as good to use chemical solutions for treating drain back up? Well, first and foremost, most chemicals are highly dangerous. They have skull-and-cross bone pictures on them and are a poisonous hazard. They leach dangerous ingredients into our environment and present an obvious safety risk for anyone who has small children or pets in the house. It’s much safer and more effective to use a plumber’s snake, so read on to learn about using a plumber’s snake yourself as well as hiring a professional plumber for your drain back up needs.
Plumber’s snake is a nick-name for an important tool that plumbers use frequently to fix clogged and blocked drains. The drainage could be compromised by tree roots, sanitary products, hair, food, grease or any other type of blockage. The plumber’s snake is flexible so it fits down the drain and works to unclog the drain. If the drain is blocked due to tree roots then a special attachment is used to tear them up. Some plumber’s snakes are equipped with a camera which helps the plumber to clearly see why the sewer is backing up.
In the most technical terms, a plumber’s snake is a type of flexible auger, which is a boring tool used to force materials from one end to the other and break the materials loose. The snake is able to go into the drain pipe and bore out the blockage. A plumber’s snake is much more effective than commercially available drain cleaner, and it doesn’t risk deteriorating your pipes. As we mentioned above, it is also a safer option than using chemicals.
Depending on the location of the clog you might be able to use a plumber’s snake yourself. If you own or have access to a snake it can be useful in clearing out a clogged bathtub drain or clogged sink. Be sure to read all the instructions and take proper hygiene and safety precautions. You should consider the costs associated with buying or renting a plumber’s snake and know that there is a risk that you will not be able to fix the clogged or blocked drain. Calling a professional plumber assures the job is done correctly. Here is an article with some good tips on the DIY approach to snaking out a clogged or blocked drain.
If you are not comfortable working with plumbing or if the clog is more severe, it is important to call a professional plumber. Plumbers often use mechanical augers for sewer snakes so they can achieve a more effective result. In some cases the clog is too far in to the pipe and without professional plumbing repair equipment it just won’t be able to be be snaked properly. Calling a plumber to help you with your drain or clog is a very wise move and can end up saving you money in the long run.