When you have a clogged pipe, you’ll find a drain snake can be a cheap, effective, simple-to-use tool to fix it. But do DIY home drain augers help or hinder?
It’s a complicated question. While many are sold as tools anyone can operate, it’s also easy to use them improperly! Some misuses can make the clog worse, while others can damage the pipes and create problems down the road.
What DIY Tools Are Available For Snaking A Drain?
Snaking a drain involves twisting a coil into the clog and either breaking up the obstruction or pulling it out. Either way, you’re clearing it so that water and waste can flow down the drain. Most home drain snakes have a claw or hook at the end to help grab what’s blocking the pipe.
For at-home use, you’ll find a couple of different options:
- Top snakes are small, handheld plumbing augers used for clearing minor clogs by pulling them.
- Toilet augers slip down the porcelain surface and force their way through the obstruction; they protect the coating of the toilet drain.
- Mini-rooters are medium-sized drain augers that are larger than top snakes. They are made of metal and may use motors to propel the snaking mechanism into the drain.
Whatever tool you have on hand must be used properly, as drain snakes can cause injuries. It’s a bigger problem for users unfamiliar with how snaking tools function. The more powerful the snake – i.e. there’s electricity involved instead of old-fashioned elbow grease – the greater the need for expertise.
Is Your Drain Snaking Tool The Right Size?
Before using a home drain snake tool, make sure it’s the proper size for your drain. Using the incorrect size could cause the snake to loop back on itself and scrape the insides. It’s a problem that could lead to coercion, leaks, and damage that requires a pipe replacement.
How Old Are Your Pipes?
The age of your pipes is something you have to consider when removing the clog yourself. Older systems may have drains coated in zinc to prevent rusting, and damaging this coating could lead to harmful corrosion.
Using an improper tool on old pipes can chip pieces from the inside of your pipes, and this could add to the blockage and make the situation much worse. While this can happen to newer pipes, too, it is something to prioritize in older homes.
Hiring A Professional Can Help You Avoid These Problems
Sometimes blockages can occur deep in piping systems and out of the reach of a DIY home drain snaking tool from a local hardware store. In these cases, using the snake will only cause damage to the pipes and frustrate you.
Professionals use techniques like high-pressure water streams or hydro-jetting to cut through any obstacles, completely clearing any buildup so that they flow at capacity. These are safer than augers because high-pressure water will not damage your pipes.
At Drain Tech, we also use advanced technology that most homeowners can’t afford, such as video drain inspections, to ensure we use the proper technique before attempting anything. It helps you avoid any potential damage to your drainage system!