Every homeowner should own, and know how to operate, a plunger. Most of us keep it right next to our toilet for those times when we flush and see the water rising. It only takes one time watching in horror as the contents of the toilet spill out onto the bathroom floor, to know just how important a plunger is, and that it needs to be stationed next to the toilet at all times.
However, most people don’t realize homeowners often need to take it a step further to handle a home’s pipes. Now, we’re not talking about heading out and purchasing a plumbing snake. It’s not necessary. But did you all know that you can rent plumbing snake equipment? Did you also know they’re not as scary to use as you think they are? Even more importantly, do you know the plumbing situations for a snake? As always, we’re here to help out our beloved homeowners!
What is a Plumbing Snake?
Let’s take a moment to explain what a plumbing snake, also known as a drain snake, and a drain auger, is. Basically, it’s a long flexible metal cable with a cone-shaped bit on the end. The cone-shaped tip can twist and turn, and latch onto a clog in a pipe, so you can pull whatever is clogging up your drain out of the pipes.
Not scary, right? The keys to using one of these pieces of plumbing equipment? Having a lot of patience, and a slow, steady and gentle hand. Now’s not the time to show off with muscle and speed. It’s all about steady hands, and finesse.
Plumbing Situations for a Snake
Plumbing Snakes are kind of the first step to take after a plunger, but definitely an affordable step before having to call a plumber. We get it, owning a home is expensive and if you can handle a clogged pipe on your own for less money than what a licensed plumber costs, we support the decision. Listen, not everything’s a plumbing emergency, right?
However, there are times you just won’t know if the job can be done by a drain snake. Not to worry, we’re happy to help suss that out for you.
Your Plunger Isn’t Cutting It
Basically, if you’re plunging your heart out. Putting everything you have into plunging. Giving it the old college try with every push of the plunger, and the darn thing still doesn’t want to drain…. You might need a plumbing snake. And by might, we mean you probably need a plumbing snake.
Curves are awesome….except when the curves are clogged pipes. More often than not, your pipes under your sink have curves and a plunger just won’t work. Listen, things often slip down the drain before we realize what happened. It’s life. None of us are perfect.
When a pipe has all those curves, things get stuck up in the bends of those curves and there’s no way you’re going to reach it with anything else but a plumbing snake. Since most of us don’t have one of these in our trusty “toolbox”, renting a plumbing snake is a great option.
Hair in the Shower Drain
Have long-haired family members? Do they take showers? If you don’t have some kind of drain screen over the shower drain, guess where all that hair’s going? Unfortunately, over time, the hair collects in a big old clump, clogging up the drain and makes it impossible for water to drain down the pipe.
If you find yourself taking a shower and your feet are soaking in the tub, clearly it’s time to snake the drain (and purchase some kind of hair catching device for the drain). Although drain snakes are readily available, it’s not something you’ll want to use often.
Pipe Clog Prevention Tips
Once you’ve plunged, snaked, and cleared out your plumbing pipes – consider some of these prevention tips to keep your drains and pipes clear.
- Purchase a hair catcher for your shower and bath drains
- Put strainers on sink drains to catch things before they boogie down the drain
- Pour boiling water down your SINK DRAINS to melt grease (once a month should work, but if you accidentally drip some kind of oil down the drain, you can pour boiling water down to help melt it away before it causes issues)
- Every few months pour ½ cup of baking soda down your SINK drains, and add a ½ cup of white vinegar. Let it sit for a bit, and then turn your hot water on and let it run down the drain for a couple of minutes.
Pipes Still Clogged?
You’ve used your plunger. You’ve rented a plumbing snake and used that, too. Neither has worked and you’re ready to sell the house and start renting again so a landlord can deal with plumbing issues….. Don’t sell your house. Just call reliable and experienced master plumbers to handle the clogged pipes. It’s what we do! More importantly, it’s what we do well!