It’s hard for most people to imagine today, but there was actually a time when any sewer drain clogs or breakages had to be dealt with by completely digging up the affected pipe in order to repair or replace it. A drain problem that is quickly and easily fixed today, thanks to unclogging chemicals and modern plumbing equipment, posed a huge problem only a hundred years ago. And while waste water transportation systems such as clay pipes and aqueducts have been around for thousands of years, it’s only in recent history that we have developed methods for maintaining our buried drains without doing any digging.
The drain snake, also known as a drain rodding system or drain rooter, was developed about a century ago in the United States by a man who used a washing machine motor and roller skates to build his first model. It sounds strange, but it’s true! This early model of the drain snake rooter went on to sell thousands of units during the great depression, and the machine that plumbers use today to clean tree roots and other obstructions from your drains is still very similar to the original design.
The drain snake allows plumbers to clear obstructions from your drains by rotating a strong auger attached to the end of a flexible steel cable. This auger literally slices through tree roots, clogs and other obstructions, allowing waste water to flow through unobstructed. Different sized drain snakes exist for different sized pipes, from small hand operated units for home bathtub clogs to much larger electric industrial units. Sewer drain snakes can usually solve most clog problems, unless it involves breakages or coagulated grease buildup.
For grease and oil buildup on pipes, the more effective option is to use a moder high pressure water drain jetting system. High pressure water jetting isn’t simply putting a hose into a sewer drain and spraying out the blockages. Instead, it is actually a very sophisticated piece of specialized machinery that uses modern technology to blast, high pressure water through a drain in order to eliminate clogs. High pressure drain jetting works well on oil and grease buildup because it literally melts the layers and blasts them out before it has a chance to solidify again.
In ages past, a job that would have taken days or weeks to fix using picks and shovels can now be completed in mere minutes thanks to modern drain snakes and sewer drain jetting systems. While high pressure drain jetting is usually more expensive due to the high cost of purchasing the specialized machinery itself, you can almost certainly find a company in your area that can offer you an affordable price to snake or jet your drains.
By: Paul R Turner