Having a drain that isn’t working can be very frustrating. If you have a slow drain or an overflow due to a blockage in the drainpipe, don’t reach for harsh chemicals that can damage your pipe and are bad for the environment. For a minor clog, a plunger may help break it up and get the water flowing again. For more serious clogs, a plumbing auger might be the way to go. A plumbing auger (also called a plumbing snake) can be purchased at a hardware store, but may be more effective in the hands of a professional plumber.
How to use a plumbing auger:
- The long metal tube is extended into the drain (corkscrew end first).
- When the corkscrew reaches the clog, you will feel some resistance.
- You will have to turn the hand crank to push the corkscrew piece into the clog.
- Once it is in the clog, you can slowly and carefully pull the tube out, bringing the clog up out of the drain.
Sometimes, for a more serious clog or mineral buildup in pipes, a plumbing auger is not the right tool. For these serious situations, hydrojet sewer and drain cleaning can be a great option. This specialized process needs to be completed by a professional because it can actually damage pipes if they are already weak. It also requires specialized equipment like a camera to check the pipes before starting the hydrojet sewer and drain cleaning and the hydrojet itself.
Hydrojet sewer and drain cleaning uses a highly pressurized stream of water to clear the drain. It can actually strip the inside of the pipes clear of mineral residue or grease buildup. It can even break apart tree roots that have gotten into the pipe. This process isn’t right for every drain cleaning job, but it is a great addition to a plumber’s bag of tricks for stubborn clogs and special circumstances.