What is a Plumbing Snake and How Does it Work?

A plumbing snake is one of the most effective devices for cleaning and unclogging drains. In most cases of clogged kitchen or bathroom sink, plungers are sufficient to unclog the drain and allow free flow of water down the drain. However, in some instances, the blockage can be so severe that plungers are not able to clear the drain. This is when we rely on plumbing snakes to clear a clogged drain.

Sometimes, plumbing snakes are also referred to as plumbing jack or electric eel. Structurally speaking, plumbing snakes are flexible augers that can reach remote points within a pipeline where plungers can not reach. The coiled metallic wire has gaps between the wires at one end.  These gaps are kept to ensure that the objects causing blockage of the drain can be retrieved. At the other end of this coil, there is a device with a crank. The wire can be rotated and directed inside the pipe with the help of this crank. At times, the blockage is broken down by the wire instead of pulling it out. Plumbing snakes are also effective in increasing the inner diameter of the pipes by cleaning and scraping the pipes from the inside.

Though plumbing snakes are highly efficient in clearing tough blockages, using them is not really the easiest of tasks. Using them may turn out to be quite a handful for people who have never used this tool in the past. Initially, it is important to be extremely careful because one small mistake may cause serious damage to the pipe. Be sure to immaculately follow the tips mentioned below so that you can use plumbing snakes successfully.

Before you get started, keep a bucket and cloth handy because there is a chance that water and dirt may start flowing out of the pipe. Do not forget to wear plumbing gloves because you would be required to handle the pipe on many occasions. Now, remove the drain cover and slowly put the plumbing snake’s neck inside the drain. Depending on the pipe size and blockage amount, you can choose from different sizes of plumbing snakes. However, for a beginner, it is always advisable to start with the smallest available snake and opt for a larger one later if required. Now, once the snake is inside the drain, start the clockwise rotation of the crank. Please do not hurry because this is a time-consuming process. Keep inserting the snake within the pipe until you are able to find out the area of blockage. When a clog is detected, keep rotating the head till the time the blockage is completely under your grip. Now, pull the snake out of the pipe slowly and steadily. Be well prepared now to face an extremely messy situation. Finally, after clearing the debris, clean the pipe with hot water.

You may also call us at any point in time if you feel that your clogged drain is too difficult for you to deal with. Thanks for going through this post and please visit again.

Written by Tanya Klien

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