How To: Snake a Clogged Drain

If you are a homeowner who likes to do things yourself and don’t like to call in help when something goes awry in your home, then this article is for you. Snaking drains, and cleaning up after a sewage backup and very common in most homes. It is no surprise that drains get clogged, and that sewage can backup and spill onto your floors etc. Here are some helpful tips to do these things on your own if the issue can be resolved with no extra help from a plumber.

Snaking a Drain:
When you snake a drain, it is very important that you use the right type of equipment for each plumbing system. A toilet needs different equipment than a shower would, and if you end up using the wrong equipment, you may do more harm than good! A toilet stoppage is the most common amongst clogged drains, and a toilet auger needs to be used for this type of job. A tub would be a different situation, and you would need to use a different type of cable for this job, preferably a thin cable. The first thing to do is to remove the tub stopper, than insert the cable into the drain and from there, the stoppage should dissipate. A shower stoppage is probably the easiest to unblock, and a thin cable should also be used in this case. A washing machine drain is also fairly easy to unclog because many of the lines have a clean-out near the washing machine that can be used. Kitchen drains usually have a clean-out on the outside wall and most of the time can be snaked out from there. A main line drain definitely needs a larger cable to clear the stoppage. If you use a cable that is too small, the cable may double back on itself and tie itself into knots in your drain. Large cables can be rented, and are always a good idea to use when dealing with a main line stoppage.

If you have a sewer backup in your home, it is not impossible to clean this up by yourself. It is very important not to bring your family into the flooded area, that way they will avoid the bacteria and the risk of getting severely sick.

Cleaning Up Sewage Backup:

The first thing to do when cleaning up a sewage backup is to remove all of the flood waters by natural draining or by pumping the water out. From there, you should remove any dirt, soil, and debris from the surfaces that came into contact with the bacteria-infested waters. Wash down all surfaces that have been affected down with warm or hot water and a low-suds detergent. Repeat the process by rinsing off the areas with warm or hot water. From there, you should sanitize all surfaces with a mixture of water and pine-sol/lysol, or a mixture of laundry bleach and water.

This will get rid of any lingering odors. Open up windows and turn on fans to air out the affected area. Also, it is important to be careful not to track any debris into the cleaned areas of your home. When dealing with a flooded home, it is important to have your utility company shut off your gas and electric. Do not touch any electrical boxes/outlets in the flooded areas. After you have finished cleaning the flooded area, it is important to practice personal hygiene and make sure that you take precautions. Do not touch your mouth, nose, or eyes after coming into contact with the raw sewage waters.

These are just a couple of tips to help you in when dealing with a clogged drain or a sewage backup in your home. If you have any further questions, call your local plumber out to your location to help with any issues you may have.

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