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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How To Properly Snake a Clogged Pipe

8/18/2023 (Permalink)

Use a plumbing snake to unclog the drain in your White Bear Lake, MN, home.

Whenever you have a clogged toilet or drain, plunging is usually the first thing you do to try to break up the clog. However, when plunging doesn't work, many people resort to chemical drain openers. Because these chemicals can damage your plumbing, it is better to first try clearing the clog with a plumbing snake.

How To Unclog a Drain or Toilet With a Plumbing Snake

Using a plumbing snake is not particularly complicated, but there are a few guidelines you should follow. If you don't already have a plumbing snake, you can purchase one from most hardware or home improvement stores.

  1. Insert the Snake Into the Drain or Toilet

If you are dealing with a stopped toilet, you can insert the snake, which looks like a long thin wire with a coil on the end, into the opening in the toilet bowl. For sink or tub drains, insert it directly into the drain. If the snake won't fit through the drain cover, you may have to remove the cover or purchase a smaller snake.

  1. Push the Snake Into the Drain Until You Feel Resistance

If you are using a manual snake, you will need to turn the handle to feed the snake into the drain. You may need to apply pressure to get past curved areas. If you are using an electric model, follow the operating instructions.

  1. Rotate the Snake Until the Resistance Goes Away

Once you have reached the clogged area, rotate the snake to break up the clog. Once the clog is broken up, the snake should slide easily into the rest of the drain. However, if you don't seem to be making any progress, try pulling the snake out of the drain. If the head has embedded or entangled the material in the clog, it may pull the clog out with it.

  1. Run the Water or Flush the Toilet

To make sure your drain is fully unclogged, run the water for a few minutes or flush the toilet a couple of times. If everything seems to be working properly, then you are probably done. If you still have a clogging problem, then repeat the process. If after trying again, you still have an issue, you may have a pipe break or other serious plumbing issue that needs professional attention. Call a plumber in White Bear Lake, MN, to assist you.

  1. Clean Up Any Water

Water from an overflowing toilet, sink, or tub can damage your home and lead to mold growth if not dried out quickly. You can remove small amounts of water with a wet/dry vacuum or a mop and bucket. However, large amounts of water or water that may contain contaminants may be better handled by a professional water remediation company. Try to completely dry out your home within 24 to 48 hours. After this amount of time, mold growth may become a problem.

There are many options for tackling a clogged toilet or drain. It is best to start with the methods that involve the least expense and potential for property damage, rather than jumping straight to calling a plumber or using potentially harmful chemicals.

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