Electric-motor-operated power snake by Rigid Tool - contacts given in this articleDrain Un-Clog: how to use a Power Snake

  • USE a POWER SNAKE to CLEAR a BLOCKED DRAIN - CONTENTS: Guide to how to diagnose a blocked main building drain - using a power snake to try to clear the blockage. How to use a power snake to clear a blocked main building drain to sewer or septic tank. Step by step main drain line replacement, house to septic tank (or sewer)
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about how to cure a blocked building drain line using a power snake
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How to de-clog a drain line using a power snake:

This article describes how we use a plumbing snake (you can rent a power snake or drain auger) to un-block a building drain line - a step in diagnosing and curing blocked drains, possibly leading to drain line repair or replacement.

Page top photo, a Ridgid power snake used for cleaning plumbing drains, septic lines, sewer lines. This 120V drain cleaning machine unit is manufactured by Ridge Tool Company and includes a 75 foot cable with assourted augers and cutter tips.

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Where to insert the power plumbing snake when clearing a blocked line

Photograph of an overlowing toilet caused by a blocked building drain

Once a drain line blockage is traced to the main building drain, it makes sense to try to clear the blockage. The procedure of using a power snake or drain auger can either fix the drain line blockage, or even if that doesn't happen, the procedure can diagnose:

In the blocked diagnosis and repair drain case we are discussing (beginning at SEWER LINE REPLACEMENT) once we were convinced that the drain blockage in the building was at the main drain, the plumber elected to use a power snake to attempt to clear the drain line, entering the line at the coupling we'd opened for inspection.

That avoided having to mess with an old, corroded main waste cleanout plug, and it meant that we were entering the line for sure upstream of whatever blockage there was.

We're not showing photos of the power snake itself - the author was a bit too busy to take photos at that moment.

We knew we were entering the building drain-waste line with the power snake before the blockage because there was standing water in the pipe when we opened it. Had we been below the blockage the pipe would not have been full of waste.


Power plumbing snake operation: how to use the Power Snake to DeClog a drain

Photograph of the waste line where the power snake was to be inserted. (C) Daniel Friedman Photograph of the waste line where opened in the basement during drain blockage diagnosis and cleaning (C) Daniel Friedman

A two-man team was needed to wrangle the heavy power snake machine into the space where it would operate.

The plumber selected a snake head attachment which was small enough to enter the drain line but had teeth that he expected would grab and perhaps permit removal of a possible obstruction.

Operating the power plumbing snake the plumber fed the snake, basically a strong flexible wire coil which is rotated during operation, into the drain line until an obstruction in the drain was indicated by resistance felt against the proceeding power snake.

Drain Cleaning Machines & Power Augers

Power snake (C) IAP - brand ID needed The power drain cleaning auger shown at left [we need a brand ID] provides an illustration of the key working parts of a power drain cleaning machine.

Most drain cleaning companies provide both hand augers and power-operated drain cleaning equipment.


Continue reading at FIND DISTANCE to DRAIN BLOCKAGE or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.

Or see KINETIC WATER RAM for an alternative tool useful to clear blocked drains

Or see this

Article Series Contents

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