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Using a Plumber’s Snake To Unclog a Drain

Although a clogged drain is an extremely common problem, it can also be pretty serious. You should not ignore drain problems because they’ll never clear by themselves. In fact, the more time you spend ignoring congested drains, the higher the likelihood of the issue getting so bad that they will become entirely blocked. Congested drains are an inconvenience you can live without, that’s for sure. Taking this into account, let’s find out some of the problems that can arise due to a clogged drain.


If you have a leak, you may need to call out a Canning Vale plumber to rectify the issue. You see, if the pipes in your home are clogged, there’s got to be somewhere else for the water to go. Hence, you end up with leaking pipes which, of course, is not a good thing. Leaking water rushing through your pipes could end up damaging your system, floors and walls. You’ll see warping and water stains which are sure signs of a problem even if you can’t see much water yet.

Leaking pipes can also lead to mildew and mould as well as attracting bugs. To ensure your pipes and home don’t end up damaged, it’s crucial to call out a plumber without delay.

Poor Drainage

Probably the most obvious sign of a choked-up drain is poor drainage. A clog will make it difficult for water to flow through. Consequently, drainage will be far slower than it usually is. And, if you see water bubbling up when you’re trying to drain it, you really need to hurry and phone a Canning Vale plumber because this is a sign that the blockage is severe.

Filthy Water

Cleanliness is a top priority in any home, which is why if you notice that your water seems dirty, you have to act fast. Clogs tend to be the perfect place for bacteria to breed. In addition, waste and food can be caught up in these blockages. Dirty water is a health risk. The longer blocked up drains are left, the more likely it is that your water will be dirty (which is a pretty scary thought!) To fix the issue, simply get in touch with Baywood Plumbing Services, Canning Vale. We provide a reliable, knowledgeable and fairly priced service to residents and business owners throughout the local area. Alternatively, you can have a go at fixing the issue with a plumber’s snake which we’ll cover later in this blog.

Health Risks

Dirty water also poses a health risk to your family. If anyone has asthma or airborne allergies, odours from drains can be a problem. Additionally, if your actual water is contaminated due to the blockage, skin can be irritated, so that’s something to watch out for.

Bad Smells

If the blockages in your drains are so big that they stop water from making its way through, your pipes could dry out. When this occurs, there is absolutely no moisture to soak up waste smells. What then happens is that bad smells will be released right into your home. Horrible odours can also arise through stagnant water sitting in pipes too. Also, when the clog begins to trap waste and food, it’ll create a bit of a stink!

Unclogging Your Drains Yourself – Using a Plumber’s Snake

One handy item to have in your arsenal of DIY tools is a plumber’s snake (also known as a drain auger) in case you wish to tackle unclogging a drain yourself. A snake is a brilliant tool for unblocking drains. It’s far, far better than a plunger. Thus, if you have attempted to clear your clog with a plunger but it’s not worked, your next best bet is a snake.

Bear in mind that although a snake is more effective than a plunger, it IS more difficult to use. If you don’t utilise it in the recommended way, it can lead to major leaks as well as pipe damage. So, just read on to find out everything you need to know about safely and correctly snaking a drain.

So, How Do Drain Snakes Work?

If you’ve ever seen a drain snake, you’ll know that it’s a long flexible metallic cable (usually 50 feet long) that either has a small auger (in the design of a drill bit or a corkscrew) or an uncoiled spring on one end, whereas the opposite end of the cable has a handle. This piece of equipment is usually stored coiled up and mostly comes with a hand-operated handle or crank.

You insert the auger end into the clogged pipe, rotating the handle or crank to uncoil the snake. As the snake moves deeper into the pipe, the blockage gets broken up and the problem is (hopefully) solved.

Handy Tips

If you’re in any doubt about using a snake, call out the plumber Canning Vale residents trust, Baywood Plumbing & Gas. However, if you’re happy to have a bash at clearing your drain yourself, here are some useful tips to help.

  • Wear old clothes
  • Put some old towels underneath the pipe you’re unclogging
  • You may need to remove the p-trap or p-bend which is curved and is found below the sink. You can do this either with an adjustable pipe wrench or with your hands. Give it a good clean. This could make things easier for you and could potentially solve the problem
  • You also have the option to remove the drain trap arm (the section of pipe between the sink p-trap and the main drain pipe that passes through the wall). The arm should usually have a nut you can loosen then you can clean everything well. If the arm is glued to the wall, don’t bother trying to move it at all.
  • If you’ve removed the sink trap arm, have a look through the drain for blockages. You might be able to pull these out with an old hanger wire.
  • If you still haven’t found the clog, thread your snake gently and carefully down the drain. Don’t force it. Oh, if you haven’t removed the trap, remember to run cold water as you snake.
  • Rotate the handle at a consistent pace. If you feel any resistance, you may have found the clog. So, simply rotate the auger to break it up. If you hear any scraping sounds, re-adjust the snake immediately.
  • If you feel that the clog is stuck to the snake, you can pull it out gently. Just remember to work the snake until it uncoils fully or till there’s no more resistance.
  • Once, you’re finished, clean everything up and reassemble it. Then, check whether the sink is draining properly. If not, try snaking again. If that still doesn’t work, call in a plumber.

Baywood Plumbing & Gas has all the expertise, tools and equipment to find and clear even the most stubborn clogs. Contact our team today to book a quote.

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