A plumbing snake is a device that is used to unclog a drain. There are plumbing snakes specifically for drains and plumbing snakes specifically for the sewer line. The snake is composed of a long flexible cable that has an auger attached to one end and a handle on the other end. The head of the auger is fed through the drain line until it reaches the clog. The head of the auger is then rotated so that the corkscrew shape grasps and pulls at the clog. The idea is to pull the clog out of drain line in order to allow the system to start draining properly. A homeowner can unclog a drain line when they have the knowledge on how to properly snake a drain.
The following is a list of tips on how to manually snake a drain:
1. You can pick up a snake at any plumbing supply store or hardware store.
2. It is important to wear rubber gloves to protect the hands from any debris and lay newspapers or old towels on the floor to absorb any spillage.
3. The first thing you have to do is feed the cable with the head of the auger into the drain. As you push the cable into the drain, turn the auger's handle in a clockwise direction.
4. As you feed the snake into the drain, make sure that you are repositioning it as it works it way through the pipe. Make sure you keep it steady as you push it through to avoid scratching the pipe.
5. Once you feel the auger make contact with the blockage, stop and continue to turn the auger's head and pull it backward and forward to chew away at the clog so that it will dislodge.
6. Once you have pushed the auger head backward and forward to chew at the blockage, you will eventually be able to break it up and loosen it enough to push the auger directly through the clog.
7. If the blockage is quite large, grasp and hold it so that you can pull it out of the pipe. This is where it is important to be wearing gloves because it can be quite messy. As you are pulling the snake out of the drain, use an old towel to slide along the cable so that debris will be wiped off. It is important to have a bucket so that have a place to put the debris and any dirty rags. As well, sometimes there may be a rush of water containing material so you will need a bucket to collect the water.
When many people have a clogged drain, they are hesitant about using a chemical drain cleaning product because they do not want harsh chemicals going into their septic system. A good alternative to using chemical drain cleaners is the plumbing snake. It is safe to use and will not damage the septic system. A plumbing snake is also very effective at removing tough clogs.