How do you handle clogs in your drain pipes? If you instruct your maintenance team or handyman to grab the plumbing snake out of the utility closet and clear the clog, you may be causing yourself more problems. Plumbing snakes are designed to twist into clogs and pull them out. When it works, the drain is clear. When the method fails, the clog could end up much worse and/or get pushed farther down the drain line. Here at Nu Flow, we recommend hydro jetting as a safer alternative. Hydro jets break apart and push clogs down the drain line and into the municipal sewer system, which cleans your residential building’s drain line better than a snake without compromising the structural integrity of your pipes.

How Plumbing Snakes Work to Clear Clogs

Plumbing snakes, which are sometimes referred to as plumbing augers or drain snakes, are used to manually clear drains. These plumbing snakes can be purchased in a variety of lengths and either with a manual crank or a motor. They are threaded down the pipe until they reach the clog. Then, they are turned. A hook or claw at the end grabs the clog and breaks it apart.

When it works, the bulk of the clog is pulled out of the drain and the remnants of the clog are flushed into the sewer system with water from a faucet or hose. When it doesn’t work, the clog either doesn’t get removed or is pushed farther down the drain, which can make it more difficult to remove.

Benefits of Plumbing Snakes

  • When they work, they work quickly.
  • They may be easier on older pipes than hydro jetting.
  • They typically work on soft clogs, like hair, toilet paper, and soap scum.

Drawbacks of Plumbing Snakes

  • They have the ability to scratch, crack and punch holes through pipes.
  • They can be dangerous to operate for the inexperienced.
  • They are not effective at removing extremely tough clogs.
  • They may not completely remove the clog, which means another clog may quickly reform.

When Drain Snakes Fail to Remove the Clog

When a drain snake fails to remove a clog, it indicates that your pipe has a serious problem. There may be tree roots in the line, fallen pieces of pipe from a severely corroded line, or another hard object, like a toy, that is clogging the pipe. In these instances, the drain snake will not remove the clog, and it may even push the hard debris further into the pipe.

Additionally, using the wrong type or size of plumbing snake can damage your pipes. There are several different types of plumbing snakes, including mini-rooters, toilet snakes, top snakes, and snakes for drains. If you use the wrong type of drain snake for the drain line, the snake could loop back on itself or scrape the sides of the plumbing pipe, causing damage that could lead to leaks and/or the need to replace the damaged piece of pipe. If you suspect that you have a tough clog, extreme corrosion, a partially collapsed pipe, or are inexperienced with the use of plumbing augers, it’s best to call for the services of a licensed, experienced Chicago plumber.

An Alternative to Plumbing Snakes – Hydro Jetting to Clear Clogs

When you have a clog in your drain lines or sewer line, hydro jetting is a better option than snaking. This is because a stream of pressured water is sent down the drain. When the water hits the clog, it breaks it apart and flushes it into the municipal water treatment system.

Hydro jetting also doesn’t just clear the problematic clog. It cleans the entire pipe. This helps prevent future clogs by not leaving anything in the pipe that debris could stick to in order to create another clog. Hydro jetting works on grease, hair, limescale, and corrosion build-up.

Signs You Need Hydro Jetting Instead of a Snake

  • Sewer smells in your Chicago Building
  • More than one drain is slow.
  • You’ve experienced numerous clogs within a short timeframe.

Pros of Hydro Jetting

  • It cleans the entire pipe.
  • It can be used to remove tough clogs.
  • It doesn’t damage pipes.
  • It’s environmentally friendly.
  • It can be used on all drain and sewer lines for residential and commercial buildings.

Cons of Hydro Jetting

  • It must be done by a licensed professional plumber.
  • It cannot be used on extremely corroded and/or weak plumbing pipes.
  • It does not fix clogs that were the result of bellied lines or collapsed pipes.

Cleaning and Extending Your Drain Pipes Useful Lives with Hydro Jetting and Pipelining from Nu Flow, Serving Chicago

If you experience frequent clogs, even after having them regularly cleaned, it may be time to consider epoxy pipelining. Epoxy pipe lining seals cracks and holes and creates a smooth surface for wastewater to flow. This means that debris is less likely to get stuck to a lined pipe.

The pipelining process starts with a thorough camera inspection. This allows our team of pipelining professionals to see any clogs and debris and determine the age of your plumbing pipes. Next, we clean your pipes, and our method of pipe cleaning is hydro jetting because it removes all the debris down to the pipe walls. This maximizes the interior of the drain pipe or sewer line to ensure water flows through the pipe at the desired rate. Then, we line the pipe with an epoxy pipe liner and let it cure.

Once your pipes are lined with our epoxy liners, the useful life of your pipes is extended, and you do not have to worry about further corrosion in the host pipe. Pipelining is also more affordable than pipe replacements because drywall and other finishes are not extensively removed, and all of our pipelining services come with a 10-year warranty.

To learn more about how the pipelining process can clean and restore your plumbing pipes or schedule a pipe assessment, call us at 815-790-9000.