Main Sewer Line Clog? Here Is How To Use A Sewer Drain Snake

Posted on: 15 January 2015

If your drains are running slow but you can't seem to get them unclogged, it might actually be due to a clog of the main sewer line. Using a small auger in your shower drain or a plunger in your toilet isn't going to help when the main sewer line is involved. Instead, you will need a heavy-duty sewer drain snake. Here are tips for using this type of snake and unclogging your main sewer line.

Check for Standing Water

The first thing you need to do when using a sewer drain snake is locate the main line and check it for standing water. Remove the cap from the sewer line and look inside. You may see some standing water, which is common for large clogs. If there is standing water, the drain machine cable should be run toward the street. However, if you don't see standing water, you can run the cable toward your house.

Position the Drain Snake

Once you know where you will be pointing the cable, you can get your drain snake ready. Position the snake as close to the drain as you can. This helps to prevent the tubing on the snake from tangling. It helps to have leather gloves on when you are using a drain snake because the machine can move hard and fast when it's turning. If you are renting the drain snake, they should provide you gloves that are appropriate for this type of machine.

Begin Using the Snake

Once you have the snake positioned properly, put the head of the cable and several feet of it into the drain pipe. Turn on the machine and hold onto the cable with both hands. You don't want to let go because it can snap back and injure you. Hold onto it tightly with both hands. If you are able to get a drain snaking machine that includes a spring to avoid this from happening, that is definitely ideal.

Clear the Drain

With the machine in the forward position, feed more of the cable into the drain and wait until you reach a spot where it feels like it is pushing pressure on the cable. This is usually a sign that you have hit a clog. Pull it back a few feet and you will be able to pull up whatever the head of the snake has captured in the drain. Continue with this method until you are sure the drain is clear.

For help with sewer lines, drains, wells pumps, and any other plumbing concerns, you can also always call a service to help get your plumbing in working order. 

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