Tips on using a Roto Snake
Snaking a plumbing drain can be a great way to save you money. Clearing drains backing up, there are some things a homeowner should know before they dive into using a plumbing snake when the drain backing up. These machines can be dangerous if not used properly. It is always a good idea to have another person with you while you operate the snake. You will need auger mitts to operate the larger plumbing snakes. An auger mitt will prevent the auger from breaking a finger or damaging your hands. Do not snake a plumbing drain without auger mitts. Before starting the plumbing snake make sure both you and the person with you know how to shut the plumbing snake off in case of emergency.
For Your Safety
- Have another person with you while you operate the snake.
- Do not snake a plumbing drain without auger mitts.
- know how to shut the plumbing snake off.
Locate A Clean Out To Snake Through
Notice that in the picture to the left a 3″ clean out is shown. This particular drain pipe is located in the basement and a clean out has been installed before the drain enters through the concrete and then out to the city main plumbing drain. If you are having water back up in a floor drain, than this is a good clean out to use. The plumbing snake will pass by the floor drain line, on the way out of the home.
Locating your clean out is up to you. If you have any questions about locating your clean out or tips on how to find yours leave a comment below and we will be quick to respond.
Remove The Clean Out Cover
Now that we have located the plumbing drain clean out we need to remove the cap or cover off the plumbing drain. If you have a threaded cap than turn the cap counter clockwise with a pipe wrench or adjustable pliers.
If you have a plumbing drain clean out with bolts than remove the bolts off the clean out. Try to make sure not to wreck or damage the gasket on the clean out. When a plumbing drain, drains. The gasket is what stops water from exiting through this type of clean out.
Drains Backing Up
The first thing you will need to do is insert a section of the snake coil through the snakes “whip”. Insert the coil through the whip to the front of the snake. Using a tool for disconnecting coil lengths you will need to disconnect the first coil from the other coils.
Once you have a section of coil through the whip and in to the plumbing snake you will need to select an auger head. There are many different auger heads to choose from depending on what your dealing with.
Selecting an Auger Head
In this particular snaking we went with a root cutting auger head. We did this because we know that in the past this drain has roots growing in it. A good auger head to use is your not sure is an arrow head. An arrow head will get the drain at least up and running.
Insert the end of the coil with the auger head into the drain. Keep your snake only a 2-4 feet away from the clean out. To much coil out may result in the coil getting wrapped around your arm or hand.
Running the Plumbing Snake – Drains Backing Up
Put the plumbing snake in forward when you are snaking down the drain. You can use reverse when you are trying to remove the snake from the drain. The snake should not turn the coil when the machine is on. If the machine turns the snake coil than there may be something wrong with the machine and it may not be safe to use.
Once the snake is in forward place one hand on the snake coil USING AND AUGER GLOVE and the other hand place on the lever coming off the snake.
Depress the lever down to make the snake catch the coil and start to turn the coil. Use the hand on the coil to manipulate the snake down the plumbing drain.
Let off the lever and pull out more of the coil. Depress the lever again and keep repeating this process until you have hit and removed the blockage.
You can test to see if the drains backing up by removing the snake from the clean out and running water down the drain.