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Wednesday, July 15 2020
How to Use a Plumbing Snake (and When Not to)

Drain clogs are a pain to deal with. Plungers can work for minor clogs, but you’ll find that some clogs are too much for this simple implement.

A drain auger, known by most as a plumbing snake, is a wonderful tool for dealing with clogs that a normal plunger can’t handle.

With that said, plumbing snakes are a bit more difficult to use properly. If you don’t use this tool correctly, you can cause worse problems by damaging pipes and causing leaks.

It’s vital you know how to use a plumbing snake the right way. Remember, if you have any doubts about your ability to DIY a plumbing issue, don’t hesitate to call a plumber like Barner Murphy. Better safe than sorry!

How Does a Plumbing Snake Work?

A plumbing snake is a flexible metal cable with an uncoiled spring (the auger) on the end that is used to clear up clogs. They tend to be about 50 feet long. You can coil up your plumbing snake for easy storage when not in use.

As for how they work, you insert the cable down the drain and slowly uncoil the snake until the auger breaks through whatever is causing the clog.

Using the Plumbing Snake

Prepare the Area (and Yourself)

Put on some clothes that you don’t mind dirtying. Grab some gloves and lay towels under the pipes you’re working on.

Consider Removing P-Trap and Trap Arm

This step is optional, but can help you get closer to the obstruction. You may even find the obstruction is in one of these.

But even if it isn’t, removing these makes it easier to get to the obstruction.

Now, if your trap arm is glued in place, don’t remove it.

Thread the Snake Into the Drain

Carefully thread the snake into the drain or into the access point if you removed the p-trap/trap arm.

Emphasis on “careful” here. Forcing the auger in too fast could lead to you damaging your pipes and creating much worse plumbing problems.

Slowly Uncoil the Auger

Begin uncoiling the auger while keeping the snake handle as close to the drain/access point as possible. Stay consistent with the pace of your unwinding. Once you feel resistance, you may have encountered the obstruction.

Carefully Move the Auger Around

Slowly move the auger up, down, and side to side to wear through the obstruction. If you hear scraping sounds, that’s your pipes — readjust so that you don’t cause damage.

If you think your auger is stuck, wind your snake back up. You might just pull the obstruction clean out.

Reassemble and Check Your Sink

Clean off the auger, reassembly any components you removed, then check your sink. There shouldn’t be any clogging issues if you removed the obstruction successfully.

Although unclogging drains with a plumbing snake is one of the easier plumbing tasks homeowners can do themselves, you may not be able to beat the clog.

In that case, don’t try harder. You don’t want to cause costly damage to your plumbing. Instead, you’ll want to call a plumbing professional.

If you have a clog that’s tough to beat in your Bucks or Montgomery County home, look no further than Barner Murphy. We’re happy to help you beat the clog and get your plumbing in full working order. Call us today!

Posted by: AT 08:55 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Barner Murphy Inc. - Bucks County - Plumbing
7204 Hibbs Lane, Levittown, PA 19057 | Phone - 215-945-8560

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