What’s the Best Tool to Unclog a Drain?

Clogged drains end up turning everyone into a do-it-yourself plumber. If your typical household plunger doesn’t handle the clog, most people automatically reach for the drain cleaner, but if your system isn’t equipped for the harsh chemicals, the consequences could be dire.

Which Common Drain Unclogging Tool is Best?

In our experience, the three safest tools to use when unclogging your drain are the common plunger, plumbing snake, and hydro-jet.

Below, we will explain what these tools are and how to employ them best. If you’re faced with a severe clog issue that won’t dissipate after repeated attempts, it’s probably time to call a plumbing professional.

Why Shouldn’t I Use Chemical Drain Clog Remover?

Drain clog remover is made of toxic chemicals designed to dissolve everything in its path. Due to its corrosive nature, clog remover can damage or destroy surrounding plumbing with enough exposure. Not even cleaners that claim to be “safe on pipes” are completely safe. What’s worse, drain cleaner is only a temporary fix, as it burns holes just small enough for small amounts of water to get through. Even if you think the substances clogging your drain have been cleaned out, sooner or later, the clog will return.

What Should I Use Instead of Clog Remover?

If the plunger doesn’t do the trick, two more tools that are completely safe to use in your drain are a plumbing snake or a hydro jet.

How to Use a Plumbing Snake

A plumbing snake is a long metal cable with an auger (or coil) on one end and a crank on the other end. To use this device, you insert the auger into the drain, and use the crank to uncoil it until it reaches the clog. Once you’ve identified the location of the clog, you crank the handle in the other direction to recoil the auger. The plumbing snake will break up and capture the clogged material. A good habit to keep in mind is to rework this routine a couple of times until you’re sure the drain is completely unclogged. Plumbing snakes can be great for older plumbing systems that can’t withstand the power of a hydro jet. However, you should still be careful while snaking because too much pressure or force in the wrong direction can cause a tear in the pipe.

What is Hydro-Jetting?

A hydro jet is a little more complicated, and we don’t recommend just anyone use them. Hydro jets are constructed of a hose and a water pump. The pump pressurizes the water, which the hose feeds down the drain. The force of the water breaks up the clogged debris so it can more easily and flush down the drain. A hydro jet should not be used for older plumbing systems because the force it exerts could likely break the pipes. If you’re not sure what type of plumbing you have, please stay away from this tool, lest you’re willing to risk having to replace your whole system.

When Should I Call a Professional Plumber?

Although these tools can make unclogging drain clogs easy, they are not recommended for those who do not know how to use them properly, as it could cause further damage to the piping. Furthermore, if the problem persists, is getting worse, or is severe enough from the get-go, it’s time to call the professionals. For professional plumbing support, as well as assistance with HVAC, electrical, and much more, call Ace Solves It All.

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