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For Simple Plumbing Clogs, a Snake is a Charm!

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Posted on: March 13, 2019

Snaking a Drain - Len The PlumberOn this day, we have more to thank St. Patrick for than that pint glass of green beer or those festive shamrock sunglasses. Legend has it that Ireland’s most famous resident is the reason why the country is snake-free!

Historians will argue the Ice Age had more to do with the lack of slithery reptiles in Ireland than an Irish saint, but either way if St. Patrick was a plumber he’d want a snake in his arsenal tools to help fix common plumbing problems.

Here’s how you can use a snake to fix your plumbing problems.

First let’s define what we mean by a “snake.” In the plumbing industry, a snake is also called a drain auger. This long, bendable metal coil can either be used manually or it comes in a power version.

Step 1
When faced with a clogged drain, your first offense is a good plunger. Creating a good vacuum and then forcing air into it with a plunger, is often all you need to do the trick. However, every once is a while a tough clog won’t release with just a plunging action.

Step 2
This is where the plumber’s snake slithers in. The snake, which is usually about 1/4 inch think, is made to extend down into the drain to reach the root of the clog and push it forward. Plumbing experts like our Len The Plumber professionals, have special drain augers that are powerful enough to grapple with stubborn stuck clogs.

Homeowners can get their hands on plastic models that are capable of getting rid of difficult hair clogs, but aren’t strong enough to crack piping if used too forcefully. It’s important when using a plumbing snake to have a bucket on hand to collect the cause of the clog. It’s also advisable to wear protective goggles especially if you’ve already poured a chemical drain cleaner down the pipe.

Step 3
To use the snake, slowly feed the snake down into the drain and use the crank to move it deeper. As the snake meets the clog the rotation of the coil will help to break up the clog and also entangle it in the coil so you can pull it out with the snake.

Step 4
Detach the debris from the coil and run the faucet or flush the toilet to make sure the drain is completely clear.

If you’ve struggled to clear a clog, and your snake is coiled up hissing in the corner, it’s time to call in a professional. Sometimes a homeowner can do more damage to their plumbing by underestimating a clog or forcing a clog deeper into the drain.

Our Len The Plumber experts have professional-grade augers that can powerfully clear a clog that a common snake won’t touch.

Occasionally, a clog comes with some pipe issues that require advanced tools. If that is happening at your home, you need the expertise and experience of a company who has the advanced tools to diagnose the problem and get the job done. The Len The Plumber team can accurately diagnose your plumbing problem with a video pipe inspection. When you call us to clear your sewer line clog, you get that sewer line video pipe inspection for FREE.


So, even St. Patrick would be ok being armed with a snake to take on life’s little plumbing problems!

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