Top Reasons Why You Shouldn't Snake a Main Drain | HMS Plumbing
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Top Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Snake a Main Drain

Cleaning a clogged drain using drain snake

Top Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Snake a Main Drain

When you have a slow or clogged drain, the first reaction is to grab a plumbing snake or chemical liquid — clear the clog in a rapid fashion, and the drain is ready to be used once again. However, there are many reasons why you shouldn’t choose this method. Here are a few pro tips on maintaining your main drain. Your pipes will last for several decades as a result.

Understanding Basic Plumbing

A drain snake isn’t the best answer to any clog because of the typical, plumbing configurations in residential homes. Most residents don’t think about their pipes too often because they’re hidden within walls and floors. These pipes are actually complex systems that have a flow to their orientation.

Picture the pipes as a tree with branches and a trunk. The branches are the pipes installed within your walls. The fruits or flowers are the fixtures, such as toilets and faucets. When you see the trunk that connects all of these pipes, it’s referred to as the main drain.

This main drain carries every drop of water from the home to the sewer. A clog along the main line is a serious issue, but a well-maintained system won’t have these problems. The professionals should investigate the problem instead of the residents taking matters into their own hands and forcing the clog out of the pipe.

Unclogging the Main Drain

Consider the size of the pipes within your home that you can see, such as the plumbing underneath the kitchen sink. These lines are narrow in comparison to the main drain. In fact, main drains can be several inches in diameter so that multiple water sources run rapidly through them.

Using a drain snake on your main line is difficult. It’s not readily accessible unless you have a main clean-out opening. If you access the clean-out area, the clog can still extend several feet.

Allow the professionals to clear these pipes. HMS Plumbing has the tools to identify and reach the clog. Understanding why the clog occurred in the first place is important too. You want to stop items from becoming lodged in the pipe, such as:

  • Grease
  • Hair
  • Food particles

Drain Snake

Take one look at the way a draining snake is shaped, and you’ll realize that the professionals should really take over this job. Features of a drain snake:

  • Metal, coiled shape
  • Corkscrew tip
  • Plastic housing and mechanical arm

The snake’s function is relatively simple. Guide the tip into the drain, uncoil its length and the pipe clears out in no time. However, you have no visual of the metal length as it extends into the pipe. It might encounter obstacles or become tangled.

The plastic portion that’s in your hands can also snap and break. The coiled metal places a lot of pressure on the plastic, which can cause an injury when the snake becomes stuck.

Damaging Fragile Lines

Pipes are durable. They withstand hot and cold conditions for decades. However, this doesn’t mean that the pipes aren’t without their flaws. Hairline fractures occur over time. They may not be major problems now, but they can become worse over time.

This can cause things to go wrong fast. For example, your hairline-cracked pipe has a clog. Placing a draining snake down the pipe is the next course of action. The aggressive motion against the crack creates a large fissure. Pull the snake from the drain and a leak is caused by the snake’s friction against the fragile pipe.

Slipping at the Control End

You know that most snakes come with a plastic housing and metal components. The work is wet and messy. Your hands might slip on the plastic during the coiling process. Any slips can mean an injury and cause even more problems.

HMS Plumbing has the safety gear and tools to complete the job without a scratch. We also have the necessary training to get the job done with little hassle.

Clogging the Drain Even More

Most residents don’t realize that they can actually worsen their clog issue with a snake. The tool might have a corkscrew at the tip, but the motion might tangle the clog into a more difficult pull. A few scenarios might occur, including:

  • Packing the clog in even tighter
  • Twisting the snake until it becomes stuck
  • Losing the tip

When a clog becomes too compacted, the plumbing professionals may need to remove that pipe section. This service is a lot more costly than simply removing the clog itself. Part of the surrounding pipes might be damaged too.

You’re aware of the potential leaks that might develop out of a snaked pipe. If cracks and fissures don’t occur, your pipe might be scratched by the drain snake. Interior scratches may not seem like a big deal, but in reality, it can cause:

  • Deteriorating of the pipe’s interior lining
  • Corrosion
  • Rust
  • Bursting pipes

The only way to know if your pipes have any corrosion is with a professional’s evaluation. We can run cameras into the line so that you know the extent of the damage. Unclogging and repairing the pipe might be the next steps to take. Ignoring a corroded line will only lead to more expensive repairs in the future.

To learn more about clearing a clog safely, call HMS Plumbing today at 877-205-9436 or contact us here.

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