Reasons to Have a Plumbing Snake in Your Home

Nov 20, 2023 | Do It Yourself

If you’re a homeowner, the thought of dealing with plumbing problems can be intimidating. But there’s no need to fear – having a plumbing snake in your arsenal will make it easier and less stressful when dealing with those pesky clogs. The ability to effectively clear blocked drains makes owning a plumbing snake an incredibly useful tool for any homeowner, and one that pays for itself over time by helping prevent large repair bills due to excess water damage caused by blockages or backups.

In this blog post, we’ll explore why having a plumbing snake is essential for homeowners and how to use one safely and efficiently. Keep reading if you want to learn more about making your home maintenance as stress-free as possible!

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What is a Plumbing Snake?

Have you ever experienced a clogged drain or shower? If so, then you might have heard about the plumbing snake. A plumbing snake, also known as an auger, is a flexible metal or plastic cable that helps to remove blockages deep inside drains. It is a useful tool for homeowners and professionals alike. The device comes in different sizes and types to tackle various types of obstructions like hair, soap, and other debris that stick to the insides of pipes. Plumbing snakes can be a bit intimidating to use, but with a little bit of practice, you can use them like a pro! Overall, a plumbing snake is an essential tool for preventing expensive plumbing repairs and ensuring that your pipes are running smoothly.

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How Do Plumbing Snakes Work?

Have you ever wondered how a plumbing drain snake works to clear clogs in your pipes? Well, wonder no more! Plumbing snakes are flexible rods that are inserted into drains and sewer lines to clear blockages. The snake’s auger or hook-shaped tip rotates as it is extended into the pipe, grasping debris and pulling it back out. The snake can be manually operated or powered by an electric motor. A plumbing snake is an effective tool for clearing clogs in pipes, but it’s essential to use it correctly to avoid causing damage to your plumbing system. So, the next time you have a stubborn clog, consider trying a plumbing snake before calling a plumber!

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Types of Plumbing Snakes

Dealing with blocked drains can be a frustrating experience, especially if you’re without the right tool, a drain snake. A drain snake is a cost-effective and efficient tool for unclogging pipes, but with a variety of options on the market, it can be a challenge to select the most suitable one.

Manual Drain Snake

Manual drain snakes, also referred to as drain augers, are easy-to-use handheld tools that are ideal for small-scale blockages. Composed of a steel cable and a handle, they are available in lengths ranging from 25 to 100 feet. When you feed the cable into the blocked drain and rotate the handle clockwise, it captures debris causing the clog and pulls it out.

Closet Drain Auger Cable

Closet augers, colloquially known as toilet snakes or toilet augers, are specifically designed to unclog toilets. These snakes have a shorter and stiffer cable compared to manual drain snakes and are intentionally crafted to navigate the bends of a toilet’s p trap. It’s essential to maintain a clean toilet bowl by only flushing waste and toilet paper.

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Electric Drain Snake

Electric drain snakes are a more technologically advanced version of manual drain snakes. Equipped with a motor that spins the cable, they are suitable for tackling larger and tougher blockages. They also come in various sizes, lengths, and power choices.

Sectional Drain Snake

Sectional drain snakes are modular in design, with the cable divided into multiple segments. For instance, a 50 feet long snake cable could be divided into ten 5 feet sections. These sections can be connected to extend the length of the drain snake as per your requirements.

Drum Drain Snake

Finally, drum drain snakes are the most robust and largest type of drain snake available. They are often used to clear significant blockages in sewer lines and can be operated either manually or with an electric motor.

How to Unclog a Sink With a Drain Snake

Let’s face it, a clogged sink can put a serious damper on your day. But fear not, because unclogging it with a handheld drain snake is easier than you might think! First, remove the sink stopper and any visible debris. Then, insert the drain snake into the drain hole and slowly turn the handle, feeding the snake further down the drain until you hit the blockage. Use a back-and-forth motion to break up and remove the clog, and rinse the drain with hot water to make sure everything is clear. With a little patience and know-how, you’ll have your sink flowing freely in no time!

How to Unclog a Toilet With a Toilet Auger

We’ve all experienced it – a clogged toilet and no plunger in sight. But fear not, because a toilet auger, or closet auger, can be your new favorite drain cleaning machine in this situation. To begin, insert the end of the toilet auger into the toilet drain and start turning the handle clockwise. Continue to feed the snake through the drain until you feel resistance, which usually means it has hit the clog. You can then begin turning the handle counterclockwise to break apart the clog and clear the drain. It’s important to keep in mind that you should never force the snake or push too hard, as this can damage the toilet. With some patience and a little elbow grease, using a plumbing snake can be an effective method for unclogging your toilet.

When to Use Drain Cleaners

If you’re dealing with stubborn clogs in your shower or sink drains, reaching for a drain cleaner and a plumbing snake could be your best bet. Drain openers work to break down stubborn grime in your drain line and make it easier to remove clogs that your plumbing snake can’t remove alone. The first step is to use the drain cleaner according to the instructions on the bottle. Let it sit for the recommended amount of time, usually around 15-20 minutes. It’s important to adhere to the drain cleaners instructions to ensure the safety of your drain pipe, septic tank, and sewer line. Then, it’s time to break out the plumbing snake.

Insert the snake into the drain and gently turn the handle while pushing the snake further down the drain. This will help dislodge any stubborn build-up that the drain cleaner didn’t dissolve. It’s important to use caution when using a plumbing snake to avoid damaging your pipes. By combining the power of drain cleaner with the precision of a plumbing snake, you’ll have those drains flowing smoothly in no time.

How do I Clean a Drain Snake After Use?

Dealing with a clogged drain can turn a good day sour fast, but having a plumbing snake on hand can be the perfect solution to this common household problem. However, once you’ve worked your magic and unclogged the drain, you might find yourself staring at your plumbing snake, questioning how best to clean it. Fear not, as we’ve broken down the process into manageable steps. Firstly, you should ensure that you’re wearing appropriate safety gear. Gloves and eye protection are a must, preventing any unsightly grime or potentially harmful bacteria from coming into contact with your skin or eyes. Second, to remove the visible debris and gunk, a simple wipe down with a rag or paper towels often proves sufficient, ensuring that the bulk of the accumulated dirt is removed.

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Next, you’ll need to give the plumbing snake a thorough cleanse to remove any residual grime. To do this, soak it in a bucket filled with hot, soapy water for a minimum of 20 minutes. This process will allow the soap to break down the remaining dirt and grime, making it easier to remove. In case you notice any stubborn dirt clinging to the snake after the soaking process, don’t worry. An old toothbrush often proves to be the perfect tool for scrubbing away the remaining debris. Finally, rinse your plumbing snake thoroughly to remove any soap or loose grime. It’s crucial to let the snake air dry completely before storing it.

By keeping your plumbing snake clean, you ensure that it remains in top condition for future use. Additionally, a clean plumbing snake helps to prevent any icky buildup from sticking to the tool and ending up back in your pipes, ensuring your plumbing system stays as clean as possible.

When to Call a Professional Plumber

Dealing with plumbing problems can be a real headache. Especially if you’re dealing with a stubborn clog that just won’t seem to go away. In such cases, it’s important to know when to throw in the towel and call in a professional plumber. A skilled plumber will be able to assess the situation and provide the necessary repairs to ensure the problem doesn’t keep coming back. Don’t risk further damage to your plumbing system by attempting to DIY every problem. At Maryland Sewer & Plumbing Service, our professional plumbers have the plumbing tools and necessary skills to fix any clog. Let our experts handle your plumbing problems and save you from unnecessary hassle and stress, book your plumbing service today.


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