Everyone who has a clogged drain wants to know exactly where the clog ends up. It’s impossible to know without using certain proven techniques that have worked for centuries. Some methods are more effective than others, but all of them are known to help you locate the source of a clogged drain.
Insert a plumber’s snake or cable auger into your drain pipes until you feel blockage. Any long, thin and flexible cable can be made into a snake. Find one made of a soft material that will not scratch the pipe and create a leak. You can easily find cables as long as 100 feet; however, a cable as short as 25 feet is enough to locate the problem.
Nowadays, plumbers use cameras connected to cables that are inserted into pipes. They view the footage on a TV screen. The camera moves through the pipes until a clog is found. A camera inspection is the best method used to locate the exact source of the clog and remove it correctly. This method helps you to target the right pipe and avoid damaging the rest of the pipes.
Inserting your hand directly into the drain while wearing gloves and moving it around is a common technique. However, some cogs are stuck in the bend of the pipe that leads away from the sink or shower. The hand technique works only in finding superficial clogs near the entryway.
The hardest and least recommended method is to remove the pipe where the clog may be and look in the interior. You may be able to find the clog by shining a flashlight or sticking your hand in the pipe. Only a professional should perform this task because you’ll need to reattach the pipe correctly. If you remove the clog but the pipe is reattached incorrectly, you’ll create an accidental leak that is worse than the clog. Removing the pipes was common in the past when video cameras were not invented, but other techniques are simpler and more effective at locating clogs.
It is never safe to use a chemical-based drain cleaner to remove clogs. There are safer and more effective ways to get rid of this blockage using mechanical devices. Choose which method is easier and more convenient for you. Perform these techniques on your own or hire a professional to find the source of your clog.
Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.