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Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Serving all of Chicagoland


Why That Drain Snake You Own Won’t Clean Your Drains

We recently wrote a reminder about why chemical drain cleaners are an absolute no-no when it comes to actually cleaning drains. (Or even simply removing a clog.) In this post, we’re going to look at another common consumer method for “drain cleaning,” which is the manual drain snake, also known as a drain auger.

Where a drain snake can help you

The standard store-bought drain snake consists of a long wire coil that you insert down into a clogged drain. When you turn the hand crank on the other end, the wires rotate and dig down into the clog like a corkscrew. You can then move the drain snake around to try to break up the clog, or simply drill all the way through it to open up the drain once more. Sometimes, you can draw the clog out using the drain snake. For very basic clogs, a drain snake can offer a good temporary solution to get liquid flowing down the drain once again.

Why a drain snake is usually insufficient

What’s at issue here is that a drain snake isn’t actually “cleaning” the drain. It’s pushing through a clog or breaking it apart, but this will offer only a brief fix. The debris and build-up inside the drain will still be there, clinging to the pipe walls, and the drain will either drain slowly or start to very soon after. Commercial drain snakes simply can provide thorough drain cleaning, and in cases of tough clogs may not do anything at all.

Let professionals clean your drains

Plumbers use motorized drain snakes to handle much more serious cleanings and un-cloggings. These devices can potentially damage drains if used incorrectly, so let the plumber take care of the work. For comprehensive cleaning, plumbers will also make use of hydro-jetting equipment, which scours away build-up on the drainpipe walls with blasts of high-pressure water.

Lifeline Plumbing, Heating & Cooling offers top-quality drain cleaning with the finest tools in Dundee, IL.