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Can’t I Just Clean My Drains on My Own with a Drain Snake?

We’re glad you’re asking this question (one that plumbers often hear from customers) because it at least means that you aren’t considering using a chemical drain cleaner from a store to clear out a clog. Using a plunger or a hand-crank drain snake (a.k.a. drain auger) is always a much wiser idea, since you won’t risk doing damage to your drains from acidic chemicals, or damage to anyone in your household with toxic liquids and fumes.

There isn’t anything wrong with using an inexpensive drain snake to break through a clog in a sink, shower, or bathtub in your house. The drain snake won’t damage the drainpipe, and it may manage to clear out enough of the clog to allow drainage. But the problem is that a store-bought drain snake won’t actually clean your drains, and at best should be thought of as only a quick, temporary solution before you call on professional plumbers.

The Store-Bought Drain Snake vs. Professional Drain Cleaning

Let’s look at what a standard hand-crank drain snake actually does. A coil of wires, sometimes covered with Velcro-hooked fabric, travels a short distance down the drain. When it rotates, it drills down into the clog. This will usually puncture a hole through the clog, allowing liquid through. When the drain snake is drawn out, it will often pull pieces of the clog with it, clearing out more space.

But that still leaves a great deal of debris behind that the drain snake isn’t able to remove. The remaining build-up in the drain will quickly start to catch more debris, and the clogging will come back again. In others words, a drain snake isn’t cleaning your drains at all.

Professionals use tools that will fully clean your drains, not only eliminating clogs but seeing that the drainpipes are free from the build-up that will bring clogs back. Powerful mechanical drain snakes (which only professional should handle) and hydro-jetting are methods that licensed plumbers will use to make certain that you have actual drain cleaning and not just a hole punched through a clog.

Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. is now entering our 40th year of great plumbing service in Orlando, FL and the surrounding areas. Our qualified and fully-trained plumbers can assist you with any plumbing need you may have!

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