In the Great White North, water damage has become the number one reason for home insurance claims. In fact, almost half of all Canadian homeowner's insurance claims are for water damage.
And no, it's not just because of the rising water levels in the Great Lakes, although these play a big part. It's also because of residential plumbing problems left unattended by homeowners.
For instance, water back-ups from clogged toilets and drains can cause indoor flooding. Blocked pipes can also burst, also resulting in flooding and water damage.
This is why it's important to hire a Toronto drain snaking expert as soon as you notice clogs in your drains. This way, you can prevent bigger and more expensive problems along the way.
The question now is, why do you need to hire a professional if you can just buy your own drain snake? What's the harm in carrying out a DIY drain cleaning job?
We'll answer all these questions in this post, so be sure to keep reading!
What is Drain Snaking and Why Is It Done?
A drain snake, also known as a plumber's snake or plumbing auger, gets rid of bigger clogs that a normal plunger can't. These are often the second weapon of choice for clogs that plungers can't dislodge.
Drain snakes use a bladed, hooked, or corkscrew-tipped cable to get rid of blockages in pipes. A plastic or metal canister encases the rest of the coiled-up cable. In a standard snake, a crank slowly feeds the cable into a plumbing pipe.
Plumbing augers come in various types, with some being hand-held devices. These manual snakes often have a 25- to 50-foot cable in them, with a tip equipped with a blade to cut through clogs. Some have a hook or a corkscrew tip that effectively snags debris.
Motor-powered augers are for clogs that affect the "deeper" parts of a pipe. For instance, mini-rooters (medium drain machines) have thicker cables that can go up to 75 feet.
Then, there are the sewer augers, the "biggest guns" in a professional Toronto plumber’s arsenal of tools. As the name suggests, they are commonly used for unclogging sewer drains. Their cables can extend up to 100 feet (or even longer) and also feature more powerful motors.
How Exactly Does It Work?
To carry out a drain snaking job, a plumber first inserts the end of the snake into the blocked drain. The cable gets fed into the pipe either by cranking the device by hand or pressing a switch in a motorized auger. Either way, the plumber has to keep extending the cable into the pipe until its tip reaches the clog.
Once it does, the snake operator can either release more cable or crank it back. With enough force, extending the cable can clear a hole in the clog or dislodge it from the pipe. The plumber can also crank the snake back to remove the ensnared clog through the drain's opening.
Why Should You Leave This Task in the Hands of Toronto Drain Snaking Experts?
Incorrect use of a plumber's snake can cause even more damage to your plumbing pipes. It can create more clogs, bust holes in your pipes, and even cause water back-ups. Worse, it can cause injuries that can worsen through infection.
Drain cleaning, in general, is always best left in the hands of pros. We'll go into more detail below to help you understand why DIY drain snaking could be dangerous.
Incorrect Use of Drain Snakes Can Damage Pipe Interiors
Many of these residential properties still have their original plumbing. Meaning, if you live in an older home, your plumbing pipes may be as old as your home. Your house may still be relying on clay sewer pipes, for instance.
Even if your home's construction took place around 2000, you likely have Kitec pipes. Back then, Kitec was popular because it claimed to be "durable" and cheaper than copper pipes. Unfortunately, these pipes corrode faster, with their life span being only 10 years.
So, why does the age or the type of plumbing you have matter when using a drain snake?
First, because the incorrect use of a plumber's snake can damage your pipes. Older or corroding pipes are even more susceptible to damage from improper use of a drain snake.
These damages can occur when the blade, hook, or corkscrew tip of the snake scrapes the interior of the pipes. In older or already-corroding pipes, those small scrapes can quickly become bigger. Since the pipes are already in bad shape, the scrapes can cause bigger chunks to break off.
You may only have a clogged drain now, but incorrect drain snaking can give way to bigger issues like leaks. Plumbing leaks and burst pipes can then cause indoor flooding and major water damage. Just to give you an idea, a flooded basement can cost up to $43,000 to repair.
Whereas expert drain cleaning in Toronto can cost as little as $200. That should be enough reason to make you rethink your plan of DIYing that drain snaking job.
Exposure to Drain Water and Sewage Can Have Serious Health Effects
Attempting to clear drains on your own puts you at risk of exposure to filthy drain water. This can happen when water trapped between multiple clogs come rushing back out of the drain. You may also accidentally touch the dirty water or it can splash on you while you remove the clog.
It’s even worse if you get exposed to raw sewage, which can cause many adverse health effects.
Campylobacteriosis is one such disease that may befall you. In Canada, this is the most common bacterial gastrointestinal infection. It's so common that more than 200,000 cases of this infection occur each year.
That’s only one possible ailment, but you get the gist. Drain snaking can put your health at risk, so better leave it to professionals.
You May End Up Injuring Yourself
From 2016 to 2017, injuries were the 7th leading cause of hospitalization in Canada. Many of these accidental injuries occurred at home, and yes, a lot of them are due to failed DIY attempts.
A snake drain may look innocent enough, but it's still a tool that can cause injuries if used incorrectly. The tip itself of the cable can puncture or cut your skin. However, it could be much worse if you get injured after you've already inserted the tool into the drain.
Nasty bacteria can get inside your injury and cause infections.
Even if you don't cut yourself, keep in mind that drain cleaning can take a lot of time. Standing, kneeling, or hunching for extended periods of time can result in body pains. All these, and you may not even be successful in clearing out the clogs.
DIY Snake Draining Can Cause Even More Blockages
True, most plumbing clogs are a direct result of the stuff you drain or flush away. However, the minerals in hard water can also be the culprit behind clogged drains.
Keep in mind that the average hardness of Toronto water is 124 milligram per liter. In terms of hardness level, this is "moderately hard".
While hard water isn't usually a health concern, it can cause scaling inside your pipes. Scaling occurs when mineral deposits settle and harden on a surface. On its own, these deposits can already clog your drain pipes.
Incorrect use of a snake drain can knock lose chunks of these hardened deposits. This can then give rise to even more potential blockages.
You May End Up Damaging Your Precious Fixtures
The bladed or hooked tip of a drain snake can easily scratch the surface of your fixtures. This is especially true for porcelain sinks, bathtubs, and tiles. While the scratches may be small, they will give way to rust and corrosion over time.
You Might Want to Recover Something You Dropped in the Drain
This may sound funny, but it happens to the best of us -- dropping valuable stuff down the drain. If a ring, bracelet, or any other jewelry has made its way into one of your drains, a plumbing pro can recover it for you.
A Standard Drain Snake Isn't Always the Right Clog-Removing Tool
A drain snake can remove clogs caused by food debris, hair, soap residue, tissue paper, and grease. However, household augers can do little against harder clogs, such as tree roots. They can even cause bigger problems if they snag a tree root that has punctured a hole in the drainpipe!
If this happens, the pipe can break or burst from the force of cranking back the snake. You'll be facing not only pipe damage but also possible water damage.
This is why it's best to hire a professional drain snaking company. Before they use an auger, they will first conduct a plumbing diagnosis and inspection. This allows them to determine what exactly is clogging up your drains.
From there, they'll know whether a drain snake is the best equipment to use. If it is, they'll choose the appropriate type of snake to get rid of the blockage.
Drain Snaking May Just Not Cut It
Some blockages are too big or thick even for motorized drain snakes. If your drains always seem to get clogged or water always backs out of them, then it may be time for water-jetting.
Water-jetting is a type of drain cleaning service that uses pressurized water. The water comes out of a special type of hose fitted with nozzles. Water-jetting equipment can deliver a powerful force of between 1,500 to 5,000 psi.
Rather than just clearing out a hole from clogs, water-jetting completely eliminates them. With its high-pressure water spray, water-jetting can dislodge even the most stubborn clogs.
Expert Toronto Plumbers Have the Latest Drain Cleaning Technology
Clearing drain clogs begins with determining the cause of the blockages first. To do this, Toronto plumbing experts use non-invasive plumbing video camera technology.
Seasoned plumbers also do this to confirm the state and health of the drain lines and pipes. This helps them choose the right drain cleaning equipment to use. If you only have minor clogs, then they're likely to use a mini-rooter for the job.
If there's too much build-up in the system, they may have to go with water-jetting. However, they will only do so if the pipes are strong enough to withstand the water pressure. If there's a lot of pipe damage, they might have to carry out plumbing repairs first.
Water-jetting is also recommended for homes that have more than one clogged drain. For instance, aside from a blocked sink drain, you may also have clogs in your bathroom drains. Multiple clogged drains are often a sign of main sewer system blockages.
Professional Drain Cleaning is the Safest, Fastest Way to Eliminate Plumbing Clogs
True, buying a plumber's snake costs less than hiring a Toronto drain snaking expert. This is actually one of the reasons that a lot of homeowners attempt to clean their drains on their own. However, these DIY jobs are also the reason many of them end up making things worse or even getting injured.
The bottom line is, using a drain snake without experience comes with far too many risks. The possibility alone of infected injuries should be enough to make you shudder. So, don't put yourself and your home at risk, and hire professional plumbers instead.Ready to get all those clogs completely eliminated from your drains? Then please don't hesitate to contact Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Toronto ON by calling (416) 699-8623 now to schedule your drain cleaning service in Toronto!