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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How To Use a Drain Snake

11/26/2021 (Permalink)

A clogged pipe can lead to water damage in your Rocky Mount, NC home.

A clogged pipe is a disruption to your idyllic home environment. Not only does it prevent the use of the fixture to which it is attached but it also can cause water damage if the toilet, sink, shower, or bathtub overflows. If you have already used a plunger and cleaned the trap, the next step is using an auger or drain snake. The snake breaks up the clog to allow water to flow freely through the pipe. Before you get started, though, it's important to know how to use it correctly.

Things To Know To Use a Drain Snake
1. Obtain an Auger

Unless you've used one before, it's unlikely that already have a drain snake stored somewhere in your home in Rocky Mount, NC. Therefore, the first step is finding one that meets your needs. To determine the type you need, it's helpful to know what is causing the clog:

  • Hair
  • Grease
  • Toilet paper
  • Excrement
  • Other items

If a little water is still draining, a small, manually operated auger will likely do the trick. However, if the line is completely stopped up, you may need a snake that's powered by an electric motor. These can be expensive if you buy them, but many hardware stores have rental options available.

2. Position the Auger

Once you have read the instructions on the packaging, you are ready to begin using the auger. Place the end of the snake in the opening of the drain. Then gently use the handle or turn on the motor to uncoil it and feed it down into the drain. If the pipe has a curve, you may have to adjust the pressure to curl the snake through it. You will feel resistance once the tip reaches the clog.

3. Break Up The Clog

When you reach the blockage in the clogged pipe, continue to crank the handle. This keeps the auger rotating, which is what it needs to do to break up the clog. According to water damage restoration experts, as the snake works its way through the stubborn material, you should feel it rotate more easily. If that doesn't happen after about a minute, slowly pull the snake out of the drain. It's possible the materials clogging the pipe are attached and will come up with it.

4. Test the Pipe

The only way you know that you have successfully broken up the blockage without a pipe break is to test it. Run water down the pipe and see how it drains. If you took care of the clog, you should see a marked improvement. If the clog was in the toilet, press the handle to flush it, standing nearby with a plunger at the ready. A normal flush means the auger did its job well.

A clogged pipe may be frustrating, but it's usually a pretty simple problem to fix. If you have an auger and know how to use it properly, you can unclog almost any pipe in your home. Knowing this useful skill helps you avoid water damage from an overflow and restores the usage of your sink, toilet, or bath.

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