You have a clog in one of your sinks, such as the main kitchen sink. This is obviously a serious problem, and you need it fixed right away. What should you do?
The first response is probably to reach for a sink plunger, if you have one. The second response may be to use chemical drain cleaners, but don’t do this. (These acidic chemicals are bad news for drains and everyone in your household.)
Another response is to use a hand-cranked drain auger, a “drain snake.” This is one of the better ways to get rid of a clog—but only as a temporary fix. A drain snake isn’t a form of draining cleaning, and if you want a tough clog not only removed, but the source of the clog removed as well, you need to call professional plumbers.
Where the store-bought drain snake is insufficient
The operation of a drain snake is simple: you send a coil of wires down into the sink until the wires meet the clog. You then crank the drain snake so the wires turn and drill down into the clog. Usually this will break a hole through the clog or cause the clog the break apart and wash down the drain. The drain snake will probably also pull up parts of the clog when it you draw it back out.
However, a drain snake leaves a lot of debris behind. It isn’t scrubbing or scouring the drain, only shoving through a clog and trying to snag parts of it. A large amount of build-up, such as hair and soap scum, will remain to make it easy for clogs to return, maybe in a few days or even a few hours. Furthermore, a drain snake cannot reach deeper clogs.
The best solution to get rid of clogs and really clean the drains so you have few problems in the future is to call for professional plumbers with advanced drain cleaning equipment. Next time you have a clog, go ahead and use a plunger or drain snake for a fast fix… and then reach for the phone!
Red Rock Mechanical LLC offers excellent plumbing service in Northwest Vermont and Plattsburgh, NY—and we have for over 23 years!