We’ve all dealt with them — a clogged drain that backs up water in our sinks, toilets, and tubs. A small problem that can cause major headaches.

Drain snakes have quickly become a popular do-it-yourself solution, especially as an alternative to caustic chemical products. But are they the best option?

Here’s what you need to know about using one yourself and when to call in a professional.

How Drain Snakes Work

A drain snake is a long, flexible cable with a cone-shaped end called an auger. This end is fed into the drain until it reaches the obstruction. By twisting the handle, the auger hooks onto the clog and pulls it back out of the drain.

Some snakes are specially designed for toilets, called toilet augers. These entail a hand crank that sends the cable into the toilet pipes to break up a clog that a plunger fails to take care of.

Beware of Dangers to Your Pipes & Yourself

Drain snakes can be used successfully by homeowners to effectively clear clogs, but when used improperly they can open the door to bigger drain cleaning issues.

This is particularly true if your home has galvanized or zinc-coated pipes. Using a drain snake with too much force can damage the coating, which is there to help prevent corrosion. Scraping the coating can exacerbate your current problem by adding chunks of metal to the clog as well as lead to cracks or rusting in your pipes that result in costly problems down the road.

Finally, a drain snake can also pose a risk of injury to the user. That may sound silly, but the snake’s coiled wire creates more energy than you may realize and can recoil at high speeds if you’re not careful.

Trust Your Greater Phoenix Area Home to the Professionals

If you have a tough clog that needs a skilled hand, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. Even if the answer is using a drain snake, allowing an expert to handle it could save you time, frustration, and even possible injury.

Bumble Bee Plumbing is a fully licensed, bonded, and insured plumbing contractor that knows how to properly diagnose and fix your toughest clogs. To learn more about our residential plumbing services in Phoenix, Glendale, Scottsdale, and Peoria, AZ, contact us online today or call us at (623) 294-2888.

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