If you’re like most people, you take your household drains for granted — until the moment they stop functioning the way they’re supposed to. Only when water begins backing up into your sinks, showers, or any of the other drains around your house, do you understand the critical importance of regular drain maintenance.
Reaching for a standard plunger can dislodge minor drain blockages that can cause backups, but unfortunately, many drain clogs are more severe, and many people don’t get off so easy. Those clogs usually require the use of a special tool called a drain snake, which happens to be widely available at hardware stores everywhere.
But just because you can get your hands on a drain snake doesn’t mean you should actually attempt to use it. Why not? The drain cleaning experts at Drain Blaster Bill’s share several reasons why below.
Drain Snakes Can Cause Pipe Damage
When used properly, a drain snake won’t damage your plumbing. But the key word here is properly. Many do-it-yourself types assume they know how to handle a drain snake, and yes, it seems rather self-explanatory, but the snaking process can actually be quite involved and often requires special training.
Have you been trained in proper drain snake use?
Depending on the age and type of the pipes in your house, a plumbing snake, when use improperly, is capable of causing plumbing damage. Abrasions on the inside of older, metal pipes can result in scale buildup or corrosion, both of which can cause more serious plumbing issues down the road.
Bottom line? Unless you’re well-versed in proper drain cleaning technique, leave the snaking to the pros.
You Can Exacerbate the Existing Drain Clog
If you don’t know how to properly clean a drain, how will you know whether your cleaning approach might cause more harm than good? Do you even know whether drain snaking is the appropriate technique for dislodging your particular clog?
Furthermore, do you have any idea what might be causing the clog? A drain blockage can develop for a variety of reasons, including:
● Damaged plumbing
● Pipe corrosion
● Improper plumbing installation
● Foreign objects inside pipes
● Grease buildup
● Scale buildup
● Debris accumulation over time
Without a camera drain inspection — which you likely don’t have the equipment for — it’s nearly impossible to determine what’s causing your drain clog. And without that knowledge, it’s foolhardy to attempt drain cleaning on your own. Because different types of clogs require various specialized approaches for best results, if you use the wrong tool, you could end up worsening the problem.
Drain Snakes Can Damage Plumbing Fixtures
If you have porcelain-coated bathtubs, toilets, or sinks, using a metal drain snake to dislodge a clog can result in damage to those fixtures. When you insert the snake into the drain, it can easily scratch up the porcelain if you’re not careful. And since plumbing snakes can sometimes be difficult to handle depending on the drain in question, many DIYers make this mistake.
While scratches in your fixtures aren’t the end of the world, they’re not exactly a sight to behold either. They can also give rise to further deterioration of the porcelain over time, which again, isn’t exactly attractive.
You Might Not Have the Right Snake for the Job
When it comes to using a plumbing snake to perform drain cleaning, there are a variety of options to choose from. These different types of snakes are designed to handle different forms and severities of blockages. If you use the wrong one, the process may be wholly ineffective. So — do you even know which type of drain snake you need for the job? You have four options:
● Toilet auger. Obviously, this drain snake is designed for dislodging severe clogs in toilet drains. It uses a hand crank that extends a long, flexible, metal rod into your toilet’s drainpipe to break up blockages.
● Top snake. This type of snake is the smallest option and it can work for a variety of drain clogs, depending on their severity. Blockages in shower, tub, sink, and washing machine drains can be dislodged with a top snake.
● Large drain machine. This is the most heavy-duty drain snake option and it’s designed to clear blockages in pipes that are at least three inches in diameter. Generally, professional drain cleaning specialists use this tool to clear blockages in major pipes that extend from the home to the street or sewer.
● Mini-rooter. These drain snakes are essentially medium drain machines. Like any other drain machine, they rely on an electrically powered metal snake to dislodge pipe blockages. They also feature cutting tools designed to break apart more severe clogs.
An experienced drain cleaning professional understands how to choose between these tools when performing drain cleaning. More importantly, only a specialist has the training required to properly operate these tools, especially the motorized ones.
Need Drain Cleaning in the Twin Cities? Contact Drain Blaster Bill’s Sewer & Drain Cleaning
If you’ve got a severe drain blockage in your house, get in touch with our team at Drain Blaster Bill’s, so we can get rid of it. We specialize in a variety of specialized drain cleaning procedures, including snaking, water jetting, and camera drain inspections. We also offer same-day service for your convenience. To get a free estimate or schedule an appointment, call our Stillwater, MN office today at 763-913-8719 or contact us online.