If you’ve ever heard the frantic yelling of your spouse or kids from the bathroom because a toilet is overflowing, then you’ve also understood how much blazing speed you have in reserve for not only going to where you’re needed but grabbing a toilet plunger on the way. Unfortunately, no matter how great your plunging skills are, the clog remains, so you decide it is time to break out the heavier equipment – the plumbing snake. In your mind, there is no way this clog is going to make a fool out of you.
There’s just one problem – you really don’t have a lot of experience using a plumbing snake. In fact, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve never used one, but buying one seemed like a responsible thing to do when you bought your home. Luckily, you’ve got the water no longer overflowing, but things are semi-disaster, and everyone is counting on you to make things right.
OK. So, maybe that’s a little too Mission: Impossible, but it’s not that far off from the truth. Plumbing snakes are something that most folks don’t have a background in. What’s more, if you happen to use it incorrectly, you could actually do more harm than good. If you decide that using a plumbing snake is the way to go, it’s important to think of things in terms of knowing when to throw in the towel as well.
Here are a few ways of knowing when you can’t unblock a clog with a plumbing snake:
Don’t Know the Type of Snake – Perhaps the harshest reality you may face when deciding on using a plumbing snake is realizing that there is more than one type. If you can’t readily identify the type you have, then you probably won’t know the best way to use it for a clog.
Can’t Actually See the Clog – Unless the clog is pretty close to the surface, you’re working blind. Anytime you take on a project where the point of work is out of your line of vision, you’re taking a chance that may ultimately become too risky.
Clog Isn’t Going Away – It may seem a little too on-the-nose, but if you get to working with a plumbing snake and nothing is happening, it means you’re not getting the job done anytime soon. It may mean two things: 1) you’re actually using the snake in the wrong way; or 2) the clog is further down the line & will need some professional help to take care of it.
In the end, home maintenance experts and repair companies alike say that the best thing you can do when faced with a plumbing snake possibility is to call a solid, dependable plumber. Not only will they be able to diagnose the issue you are having, but they’ll also have access to the right tools for the job & have the know-how to use them the right way.