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Home » Sewer Snake Issues & Solutions | Wimpy’s Plumbing & Air
Many do-it-yourself plumbers buy or rent cable snakes. After all, most of us have seen a plumber clear a pipe with a snake, so how hard can it be?
Unfortunately, there’s more to these snakes than may be apparent on first glance! Plumbers have different sizes of snakes, or electric sewer machines, each made to fit into different types of pipes. They also have different heads that they can attach to the pipes, and each one is designed to clear different types of clogs. They are trained to know which snake and head combination to use on each specific clog. Their snakes are also usually powered by an electric motor based on their truck, so they have more power than the ones you can rent in a store.
If you do decide to rent a cable snake, make sure it is the right size for your pipes. Not sure how big your pipes are? Ask at a hardware store or do some research online to find out what is standard in your area.
Once you have the right sized snake at home, prep yourself and the area where you’ll be working. You will want to cover the area with towels or plastic, in case the job ends up being messier than you had planned. You may also want to wear gloves, since drain clogs can be nasty things. Have a plan for what you want to do with the clog, too, since the snake will pull it out and you’ll have to dispose of it.
When you’re ready, feed the cable slowly into the drain. As it encounters the clog, you will feel some resistance. Keep twisting the cable until it seems like the head has anchored into the clog. Then, slowly wind the snake back up. It should bring the clog back, too.
Snakes can be difficult to handle, depending on their size and the head you are using. In addition, most of these devices are stored in a coil, and so they tend to want to coil again while you’re using them. If you don’t know how to keep this from happening, it’s easy to get the snake stuck in your pipe.
If your snake gets stuck in a pipe, your priority should be getting it out without damaging your plumbing. No matter the type of pipe you’ve gotten your snake stuck in, you can try to use a pipe wrench to pull it out. You may need to pull quite hard to free your snake from the pipe. Don’t pull so hard that you break your pipe, though!
Your snake may come out, but it may also break off and leave the head stuck in your pipe! At that point, it’s time to call a professional plumber. They have specialized tools that may be able to get your cable out without damaging your plumbing. However, they may also have to cut into your floor to access the pipe where the cable is stuck, or remove a piece of pipe and replace it entirely.
If you have a clog and you don’t want to risk getting a cable sewer snake stuck in your pipes, or if you already have a stuck snake, get in touch with Wimpy’s Plumbing. We are available 24/7, so no matter when your clog strikes, we can strike back. Visit us online or call (941) 322-1911 and we’ll come out to give you an estimate as soon as possible.