We've all been there: your drain is clogged and you don't know what to do. Your first instinct might be to get out a plumbing snake to clear the drain, but you may inadvertently be making a costly mistake. Yes, a plumbing snake (aka: "pipe snake") are helpful—if you don't know what you're doing, though, you could be causing a great deal of damage.
Here are the main reason you might want to think twice next time you want to use a plumbing snake:
1: You Might Have The Wrong Snake
There are four main types of snakes: Top Snakes, Toilet Augers, Mini Rooters and Large Drain Machines. Each tool has a different function and level of power. Also, some are manual while others are motorized. If you don’t know which one to use, you’re more likely to make a serious plumbing mistake.
2: You May Scratch Porcelain
The metal of a plumbing snake can leave scratches in the porcelain of your toilet bowl, sink, etc.. In addition to looking bad, this can also lead to rusting, depending on the type of material underneath the porcelain.
3: You Could Damage Your Pipes
Maybe the most pressing issue when considering using a pipe snake is the potential for damage. Homes with older, galvanized pipes are especially susceptible to this because the end of the snake can flop around inside the pipe and scrape the sides. The aggressive force from a snake or improper use of a power snake may lead to cracks or complete pipe breakage.
4: You Could Get Injured
All pipe snakes have the potential to cause injury when used improperly. The energy in the coiled wire could make the tool recoil back on you. Using a powered snake is even more dangerous because it’s easy to lose control when you don’t fully understand how to operate the device.
5: You May Not Even Be Addressing The Real Issue
Since you can’t see what’s causing a clogged drain, you can’t be sure if a snake is the right tool for the job. It's even possible that sticking metal down the drain could make the clog worse. If your pipes are corroded, the snake can scrape pieces off and add to the blockage. Even when you seem to have cleared the clog, there’s no guarantee that all of the obstruction is now removed.
Hydro Jetting Is Your Safe, Reliable Option
Hydro Jetter is a machine that pressurizes the water, producing a powerful stream that clears dirt/mud, debris, years of build-up of grease and minerals in the drain while it moves forward. Hydro Jetting is different from a snaking/cable drain cleaning machine.
Check out our Hydro Jetting page to learn more!