You head down to the basement only to discover you must wade through a pond to access your washer and dryer. You’re shaving or brushing your teeth one morning as the water in the sink slowly rises up to greet you. You flush your toilet, and in lieu of hearing that familiar swirling sound as you exit the bathroom, your blood runs cold as you hear water splashing on the tile. Such is the occasional plight of the homeowner; plumbing problems.
Depending on the severity of the issue, clogged drains, pipes and sewer lines can sometimes be addressed by the homeowner. But all too often, commercial drain cleaners and chemical solutions are tried first in a drain cleaning or unclogging endeavor. Not only do many of these prove to be ineffective for the more stubborn clogs, but they are generally environmentally unfriendly and may cause damage to your plumbing.
A “Snake” by Any Other Name
The next logical step in the do-it-yourself plumbing repairs progression is to grab the plunger and start pumping. This will sometimes cause debris in a water line to dislodge, but not always.
It may be time to break out the heavy artillery: The plumbing snake. A “snake” is a flexible auger coming in various lengths and thicknesses. Simple snakes for residential use are usually either hand-cranked or attached to a drill. The industrial strength snakes used by professional plumbers are motorized and can cut through just about anything that might be plugging up a pipe.
Homeowners should first try a smaller snake to attempt to locate and break up clogging debris. The snake should slowly be fed into the pipe until the clog is detected, and then pulled back out of the pipe in order to break up or extract the debris.
Plumbing supply outlets and hardware stores often have snakes available for rent. If a clog proves too much for the homeowner to handle, or if they fear they will damage their plumbing, reputable plumbing contractors or established plumbing companies will have the tools and expertise necessary to get the job done.
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The Unclog Blog is written & published by Thompson Plumbing Heating & Cooling
(Photo via flickr)