Using Plumbing Snakes for Household Jobs
Posted: May 31, 2017
Every home will inevitably get clogged drains. There are a few ways you can clear out your customer’s problem drain. The first strategy is to use a plunger. This is the least expensive option and should be attempted first, even if the customer has already tried it. The customer may have also tried to use drain cleaner to clear the drain. This is not recommended because many cleaners are harmful for the environment or are meant for maintenance purposes. When a line is blocked more than what a plunger can solve, professional technicians will turn to a quality plumbing snake to service the lines.
How does a plumbing snake work?
New to the industry or never used a plumbing snake before? A plumbing snake, also known as a drain cable, is a long metal cable, which can be modified on one end with a blade or other accessory. Common sizes range from 25 feet to 150 feet long and are ¼” to ¾” in diameter. The best size to use depends on the job. Small residential lines generally call for ¼” cable, while 11/16” or ¾” cable is more commonly used on mainline drains. The hollow core plumbing snake, the most popular drain cable style, is flexible and can bend around any curves of the drainpipe without getting stuck. When a technician is new to using drain snakes, it is common to break or kink the cable more often. If that happens on the job, or a longer cable is needed than what you have available, there are splice cores available that can repair or extend the cable to get the job done. Any DuraFlex sewer cables purchased from Duracable come with a 30-day warranty.
A plumbing snake works by feeding the end, with or without a blade attached, into the drain and moving it forward through the line while the cable spins inside the drainpipe. The twisting motion allows the blade to spin, cutting through any clogs. Other ends, such as a retriever, can grab onto the clog and pull it back when the cable is retracted.
Using a plumbing snake
Safety and cleanliness come first for your customer. So, when using a plumbing snake, you should begin by laying down old towels or a work mat around your work area. Make sure to wear heavy-duty protective gloves to keep your hands clean and to prevent injuries from running the cable. Keep an empty bucket on hand to collect any debris that you pull up from the drain.
Using an inspection system first before running the plumbing snake down the line often makes the job easier. Once you’ve seen what the issue is, you can select which equipment will best fit the job. To start using the snake, feed the cable into the drain slowly. When the cable encounters a blockage, move the cable back and forth to loosen whatever is in the way. We recommend starting with a smaller blade attachment to begin clearing the clog and move to a bigger blade to clean the whole width of the pipe. If there is something blocking the pipe that the customer would like returned to them, use a retriever to pull the clog back up from the pipe. Once the drain is clear, run water down the drain to remove any loose debris the plumbing snake dislodged.
Educate the customer on avoiding future clogs
Providing superior customer service includes teaching your customers how to avoid future clogs by being careful about what they put down their drains. Oil-based products and grease cause the most common types of clogs in the kitchen, and hair is a major cause of blockages in shower and bath drains. Greasy pots and pans piled in the kitchen sink can be particularly problematic. As the grease is washed down the drain, it starts to solidify as it cools, lining the walls of the pipes and increasing your chances for clogs as other kitchen debris becomes trapped in the greasy lining. To avoid this, recommend to your customers that they use paper towels to wipe down food residue and oils from their dishes. This can save a lot of trouble in the future.
We also recommend using ProClean Drain Cleaner to maintain their drains after a professional clears them. ProClean Drain Cleaner does not contain harmful chemicals that could harm your customer or their plumbing – it can be regularly used in all types of pipes without causing corrosion or other damage. By following the dosage instructions on the bottle, they can avoid clogs building up to the point that they need professional assistance.
To learn more about the right type of plumbing snake or other tool for your job, contact the experts at Duracable Manufacturing at 877-244-0740.
This article is written by a professional author