Snake the Line

Trade Life | Snake the Line

What does Snake the Line mean, exactly? When Plumbers Snake the Line, it is using a tool that reaches down into the pipes to remove clogs.  Clogs can cause blockage and create problems in your home’s plumbing system.  When dealing with a stubborn clog that your plunger can’t take care of, it may be time to Snake the Line!

1.    Different kinds of plumber snakes

It’s important to understand the various ways to Snake the Line in your home. Here are the various types and how they are used.

Hand augers- plumbers use hand augers when attempting to clear a sink or bathtub drain.  They are used in toilets as the wire might damage the bowl. 

Closet auger- This particular snake is used in toilets.  This shorter cable is usually sufficient since the majority of clogs occur in the trap area. 

Drum Auger- This is a powerful auger and designed to be used to unclog various types of clogs.  If you have tree roots clogging a drain, this tool is powerful enough to cut through the roots and break up the clog.

Roto-Rooter-The Roto-Rooter was invented in 1933 by Samuel Blanc.  His wife was actually the one who called it a Roto-Rooter.  She named it this because the blades rotate, when in the process of being used.  Other competing companies have made imitations, but this machine is manufactured by the United States Company, called the Roto-Rooter Plumbing & Drain Service.

2.  Steps to properly snaking a drain

To Snake the line it’s not for homeowners with no prior plumbing experience.  Using a plumbing snake improperly can not only tear up your pipes but may also cause leaks. Plus it’s dangerous and can cause bodily harm.

  • First, you will need to remove the p-trap.  This is the curving piece of pipe and prevents sewer gases from rising through the sink into our home.  By removing the trap, it makes the snaking process a little easier.  When you remove the p-trap, you should be able to inspect and clean the drain line.  You may find the clog instantly and snaking will not be necessary.
  • If you don’t find the clog initially, you will be able to push the snake into the drain opening.  As you push it down the drain, begin to rotate at a constant pace.  You want to make sure you are never forcing the snake because you do not want to damage your pipes.  Applying a small amount of pressure when cranking the handle, can be helpful in getting the snake to go through the curve in the trap if you didn’t remove it upfront. Getting past the trap is the hard part, but should then slide through smoothly until you reach the clog. 
  • Rotating the snake will allow the tip of the snake to attach to the clog. Once the snake attaches to the clog, you should be able to chop it up or pull the clog out with the auger.

3. Why is it important to keep drain lines clear and free of clogs?

A clog in your sewer line is the most common cause of a sewer backup.  If you have a clog in your sewer line it will not allow your wastewater to properly flow to the sewer lines. These pipes can become clogged due to a variety of reasons.  Food waste, coffee grounds, toilet paper, tree roots or other materials can cause a drain to clog. 

Keeping your plumbing system in good working order is of utmost importance.  Problems that seem small, can quickly escalate and cause major and costly repairs to your home’s plumbing.  Having a Licensed Plumber come out once a year to inspect and clean drains, would be money well spent. They will perform a video camera inspection and see if there is anything blocking drain lines.  They will also clean drains, removing any buildup in the pipes that could turn into a more extensive problem.  An ounce of prevention goes a long way in the long run!

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