When the plunger and chemical solutions have all failed, it’s time to call in the drain auger (aka, a snake). A snake is a thin, flexible coil used to dislodge stubborn clogs. They’re especially handy because they let you reach clogs deep within the drain pipe.
While you should always follow the directions that come with your specific tool, here are the general rules for using a snake:
- Push the end of the snake into the drain opening and turn the handle on the drum. Some snakes even fit as an attachment on an electric drill, giving it more power than a hand cranked auger.
- Push the snake through the drain until you feel resistance or pressure.
- Once you’ve found the blockage, rotate the snake until you feel it begin to break up and pass through the object.
- If the blockage is not solid (like a cluster of hair) you may not feel a sudden stop. Once your auger is near the end of it’s length, twist it several times and pull it out – odds are you’ll pull the clog out as well.
- Run warm water for a few minutes to dislodge any leftover residue.
While snakes work well against an existing clog, you can avoid them completely by:
- Using a sink strainer – A clogged kitchen sink is most commonly caused by fallen food scraps. A sink strainer will prevent you from accidently dropping food and other objects down the drain.
- Cleaning out your garbage disposal regularly – Help break down and wash away food particles by turning the cold water on while you use the garbage disposal.
- Not dumping oils and grease down the drain – Bacon grease may go down a liquid at first, but it will harden once it cools. It was found that fat and oil buildup caused about 47% of the 36,000 annual sewer overflows in the U.S.
The best preventative action you can take is to call Mitch Wright Plumbing, Heating & Cooling to scope out your home’s plumbing. We are here for all of your drain cleaning and heating needs, which is why we offer 24/7 emergency services!