What Is a Drain Snake?
Sometimes called a plumbing snake or an auger, a drain snake is used specifically to remove blockage from your pipes, especially larger pipes like a clogged main drain line. They are made of a flexible metal cable that can literally ‘snake’ through the twists and turns of your drain or pipe to reach the clogged area directly. Some are hand powered while others are electric. If you can’t get a drain snake, or you aren’t sure the one you have for home use is large and powerful enough for your clog, call a licensed plumber who can bring a drain snake larger in diameter for more fire power. For best results, you’ll want to obtain a hydrojet type drain snake, as a clogged main drain line can be a large job.
Preparing to Snake a Clogged Main Drain Line
- Find the clean out port that goes to the main drain. Remove the cover.
- Take the hose from the snake machine and insert it into the clean out as far as you can.
- Secure the hose so it stays in place.
- Power up your snake. Most snakes are now hydrojets that use a nozzle with water that is forced through the pipes and a heavy enough head to hammer at the clog and break through the blockage.
Checking the Progress
- Feed the hose through the main drain line. If the line is clear, there should be nothing in the way to block its progress through the pipe.
- If the drain snake has a camera attachment, use it to check and make sure you’ve cleared out the clog, have clean pipes, and haven’t caused any breaks in the clogged main drain line.
With a little training and a lot of determination, you can easily clear out your clogged drain yourself. However, if you make the attempt and can’t get things flowing, or if you’re worried about damage, you can always call a local plumbing company for assistance.