Skip navigation

Serving the Olympia, WA area since 1994



What Is a Drain Snake and Why Do We Like Them So Much?

Monday, December 2nd, 2013 at 2:28 pm

A typical scene between a homeowner and a plumber in Lacey, WA, courtesy of Brooks Plumbing:

Homeowner: I’m glad you’re here. This clog in my kitchen sink… I just can’t get rid of it.

Plumber: You’ve already tried a plunger, I assume.

Homeowner: Yes. It didn’t work. It must be a thick clog.

Plumber: You didn’t pour any chemicals down the drain, did you?

Homeowner: Oh, no! I paid attention to your advice from the last time. I know those cleaners are full of acids that can damage my pipes. And I don’t want that stuff accidentally splashing onto my skin or my eyes, or leaving fumes in my home.

Plumber: Good. You did the right thing by calling a professional for the job. I have just the tool to solve the problem.

Homeowner: What’s that? It looks a bit like a rolling vacuum cleaner.

Plumber: This is a powered drain snake. Sometimes we call them augers. Whatever the name, most plumbers really love them. They can get rid of tough clogs quickly and without damaging the pipes.

Homeowner: I’ve heard of drain snakes, but never understood how they worked.

Plumber: I’ll explain. A drain snake works something like a more powerful corkscrew on a long line. It’s a wound metal coil that rotates so it can pierce into a clog that’s blocking up the drain. The line is flexible so it can reach down far into your piping until it encounters the clog. The motor turns it so it screws into the clog. Then the snake can draw out the clog, or force it to crumble and break apart. Either way, it gets the drainpipe cleared away and can attack tough clogs of both organic or inorganic material.

Homeowner: Wait, aren’t there drain snakes that don’t need motors? And can’t I just buy one from a hardware store and do the job myself?

Plumber: Yes, there are manual drain snakes. And professional plumbers sometimes use those as well for simpler clogs. However, I don’t recommend you try to use them on your own. A drain snake, handled improperly, can end up causing damage to your pipes because of scratching. You should always call on a professional plumber in Lacey, WA when you’ve got a clog that’s too tough to handle. Besides having the best tools and knowing how to use them, we can also detect if there’s something else wrong with your plumbing that has caused the clog, such as a break in the sewage line.

Homeowner: Then I’m glad I called Brooks Plumbing.

Plumber: You can always trust us to deliver quality in everything we do. Now don’t worry, the drain snake will have your kitchen drain clear in no time at all…


Comments are closed.