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6 Reasons Why You Should Leave Drain Snaking to Experts

9 Aug

Whether you live in an apartment, townhouse, city, or country, you will inevitably have to deal with a clogged drain at some point. When your drain becomes clogged, most people reach for a plunger to clear it out. However, if this fails, some will try to snake the drain out themselves. But this can lead to bigger problems. Here are some reasons why you should leave drain snaking to the experts.

What is Drain Snaking?

A drain snake is a tool that plumbers use to unclog drains. It is also referred to as a plumber’s snake. The snake is a long cable with a bladed, hooked, or corkscrew tip. If you cannot dislodge a clog with a plumber, a drain snake is the next step to help get rid of the blockage. A plumber will use a crank to slowly extend the snake down the drain while the tip works to remove the blockage.

Drain snakes can come in different sizes and range anywhere from 25 to 50 feet long. There are electric snakes that can dig deeper into a drain and extend up to 75 feet. For more commercial jobs, plumbers will use a sewer drill, motorized and can reach up to 100 feet.

Why You Should Leave Drain Snaking to the Experts

You should not try to snake a drain on your own. Instead, it is a job that is best left to professional plumbers. If done incorrectly, a snake can cause a lot of damage to your pipes. It could create a bigger clog, break your lines, or even cause your water to back up. You may even get injured in the process. When cleaning the inside of your drain, it should always be left to the experts. Here’s why.

1. Damage Interior Pipe

Many homes have been around for several decades, and so has their plumbing. Using a drain snake on these pipes can cause bigger problems. Because of the age of your pipes, they may be more likely to corrode. The material used in the past for pipes is not built to the same standard as today. Corroded pipes are more likely to be damaged if a drain snake is not handled by a professional. The tip of the snake can easily scrape the inside of the pipe. If your pipe is already rusting, this damage can quickly become serious. Improper snaking can also lead to water leakage problems as the pipe could burst open.

2. Toxic Water

When you try and clear a drain by yourself, you may come into contact with dirty drain water. This contaminated water may come rushing out at you as you work to unclog the drain. You may splash it on your hands, arms, or face. You may also touch it as you maneuver the snake in the drain. It can present a health hazard, particularly if it is sewer water. When you have water and debris building up in a pipe, it’s common for bacteria to grow. Professional plumbers are prepared to deal with these situations.

3. Injuries

Many Canadians are accidentally injured in DIY projects at home. While it is not easy to understand how someone could get hurt using a tool like a snake drain, it does happen. The tip is sharp enough to cut you if you touch it the wrong way. Things could worsen if you hurt yourself when you already have the snake drain inserted in the drain. If you happen to get cut and get dirty water splashed on the open wound, you could get an infection.

Even if you don’t have an injury like that, using a drain snake takes time. Spending a lot of time bending over or kneeling can cause you to feel sore and tired. You may go through all this and still not be able to clear the drain. Better to leave it to the professionals and stay safe.

4. Make it worse

Unfortunately, sometimes even the best intentions don’t always turn out the way we’d hoped. Using a drain snake to clear a blockage can sometimes make things worse. While clogs are often caused by something that has not flushed through the pipe, sometimes it is caused by mineral build-up from hard water. These minerals can cause scaling inside your pipe, which is then scraped off by the drain snake and cause a bigger blockage.

5. Damage fixtures

Even if you are very careful when using the snake to clear the drain, the tip can still scratch and scrape your fixtures, such as your porcelain bathtub or sink. These not only destroy the look of your bathroom, but over time they can rust and corrode.

6. Wrong tool

Depending on the type of clog you have, a drain snake may not be the right tool to fix it. Moreover, there are different kinds of drain snakes, and you want to be sure you’re using the best one for the job. The main types of drain snakes are:

  • Top snake is the smallest one and is usually used for various jobs, from sink drains to washing machine drains.
  • Mini-rooter – more powerful than a top snake, these electrical drain snakes can cut apart items in your pipes that are causing the backup.
  • Toilet auger – used to clear away clogs in your toilet. It is extended through the use of a hand crank.
  • Large drain machine – these drain snakes can extend up to 200 feet and are used in pipes at least three inches in diameter. Their length makes them an excellent tool to reach blockages in pipes that extend from your home to the street.

Sometimes drain snaking just isn’t the right answer. If that is the case, your professional plumber will know what other tools to bring in, such as a water jet to clean your pipes.

For more information about drain cleaning, call Brothers Plumbing at 1-800-742-8471 or contact us here.

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