Drainage Hazards And Ideal Solutions 18 Jun 2018

Why You Should Never Snake a Main Drain

It’s natural to want to handle most of your plumbing issues yourself. Snaking drains and plunging toilets are things that should be within anyone’s realm of expertise. With basic drainage problems, de-clogging can usually be left to an amateur.

But there are some errors that have costly side effects. In these cases, it’s almost always better to look into professional services. Professionals have extensive experience in the plumbing field and will understand regulations and rules that you might not have knowledge of.

One example of this is in the snaking of main drains. It’s something that should never be done, even if it seems like an optimum solution to the problem. Here are the reasons why.

What Is a Drain Snake?

Drain snakes are flexible coils of steel that have a cross handle. These snakes are used for the dislodging of stubborn and persistent drain clogs when plunging doesn’t fix the issue. There are multiple models available on the market, some handheld and some motorized. They’re designed to fit every drain size. But clearing a blocked main drain with a snake is a risky endeavor that shouldn’t be undergone by anyone who isn’t a professional.

Toronto Regulations for Clearing Drains

For Canadians, it’s important to understand the ways that legislation affects you and your drain. This legislation might be enacted on both a city and federal level. In Toronto, new regulations have been put into place. These regulations prohibit people from using mechanical or rotary drain cleaning equipment such as rooters or snakes without first receiving a professional drain inspection.

The new regulations come after the Toronto sewer lines were penetrated by Enbridge gas lines. This penetration has created a safety hazard that’s serious enough that consequences could prove deadly. For Toronto citizens, in particular, snaking a main drain could release toxic gases.

Unfortunately, many plumbing companies decide not to follow the regulation safety procedures. The “new” regulations have now been in place for several years, so there’s no excuse for plumbers not to know about them. Citizens who are less versed in the plumbing industry might have more of an excuse, but you won’t have any excuses after reading this blog post.

Safety Hazards Regarding Blocked Sewers

Natural gas lines have been installed through the Enbridge Gas Distribution. These trenchless practices may have accidentally penetrated your home’s sewer line. There’s no immediate safety risk unless the natural gas line becomes damaged, but attempting to clear a blocked main drain by using a drain snake has serious potential to damage that line.

For this reason, it’s essential that you contact a professional when you have a tough clog in your drain. They’ll be able to inspect your sewer line and ascertain whether the natural gas pipes are a problem. Furthermore, they’ll be able to clear your drain in a safe and efficient manner.

Natural Gas Line Damages

Natural gas is a cleanly burning fossil fuel. For the most part, the gas is made of methane. There’s no natural odor to the gas. To help with seeking out gas leaks, Enbridge uses Mercaptan, which causes natural gas to smell like a rotting egg. If this chemical reaction occurs in your home, you’ve been subject to a natural gas leak.

Natural gas lines can become damaged during unsafe digging procedures and home renovations. Sometimes even home renovations that have been governmentally cleared accidentally interfere with natural gas lines. Ontario does have regulations dictating that all natural gas lines around a property must be properly located before any digging can take place.

The following are signs that you’ve damaged a natural gas line while clearing your sewer line:

  • Hissing sounds
  • Bubbling water
  • The scent of rotten eggs
  • Drifting and blowing dirt

When natural gas lines are damaged, anything from gas leaks to fires and explosions can occur.

The Ideal Solution

You want to hire a plumbing company that understands the regulations at play and effectively mitigates the risks associated with pipe clearing. You want professionals who take care of your home and ensure that you and your family are safe.

Brothers Plumbing is a Canadian plumbing company that can handle a wide range of different plumbing services. We have more than fifty years of experience in:

We’re the company to call when you need help dislodging a stubborn clog from your drain. We can assess the threat level inherent in a clog and help you take further steps if any natural gas lines have been breached.

If you believe a natural gas line might have been breached, you should exit your home immediately and report it to the appropriate authorities. If you’re trying to move a stubborn clog and you think you may be on a natural gas line, 24/7 emergency plumbing services are worth looking at. When your clogged drain isn’t an emergency, you can schedule an appointment or have a basic consultation.

Remember: Snaking a clogged drain is illegal unless you’ve had a professional evaluate it. After an inspection has been completed, you might as well enlist the professional help to unclog the drain too.

For more information about the plumbing services we offer at Brothers Plumbing, or for an estimate of your project’s scope and cost, give us a call today at (800) 742-0018 or contact us here.

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