Sewer still clogged after snake. Are you frustrated with a persistently clogged sewer line even after using a drain snake? There’s no need to worry; this common issue can be caused by several factors. Understanding these underlying causes will empower you to address the problem effectively and ensure a smooth-flowing sewer line.
- 1 Snaking: An Effective Yet Limited Solution
- 1.1 1. Snaking Didn’t Reach the Clog
- 1.2 2. Multiple Clogs Are Present
- 1.3 3. The Clog Is Too Solid to Clear
- 1.4 4. The Clog Quickly Reformed
- 1.5 5. There Is a Bigger Underlying Problem
- 1.6 6. The Clog Was Located Downstream
- 1.7 7. Improper Snaking Technique Was Used
- 1.8 8. The Snake Hit a Mechanical Obstruction
- 1.9 9. When To Seek Professional Assistance
- 2 Preventing Future Clogs After Snaking
- 2.1 FAQs About Clogged Sewers After Snaking
- 2.2 What should I do if my kitchen drain keeps clogging after snaking?
- 2.3 Why does my toilet keep clogging after I snake the main line?
- 2.4 Can I use my handheld shower snake on my main sewer line?
- 2.5 My drain clogs again 1-2 weeks after snaking – why does this keep happening?
- 2.6 I snaked 15 feet – could the clog be beyond that point?
Snaking: An Effective Yet Limited Solution
When facing a clogged sewer line, snaking is often the go-to solution. However, there are situations where snaking might not fully resolve the issue. Let’s explore some of the reasons why your sewer line might remain clogged even after snaking.
1. Snaking Didn’t Reach the Clog
One common reason for ineffective snaking is that the clog is located beyond the reach of the drain snake. These snakes have a limited length, particularly the smaller do-it-yourself models. If the clog is situated deep within the sewer line, snaking might not be able to clear it completely.
To address this, consider using longer snake cables or high-powered commercial snake augers. In some cases, hydrojetting might be necessary to thoroughly clear clogs from longer lateral lines.
2. Multiple Clogs Are Present
It’s possible that your sewer line is suffering from multiple blockages. While snaking might clear one obstruction, others further down the line can still impede proper drainage. If this is the case, you’ll need to continue snaking until all clogs are completely cleared. Don’t forget to snake from both directions to ensure comprehensive clog removal.
3. The Clog Is Too Solid to Clear
Certain clogs, such as densely packed tree roots, solidified grease, or tightly compacted debris, can prove resistant to standard drain snakes. Snakes are most effective against softer or semi-solid obstructions, and they might only slightly shift more stubborn clogs without fully dislodging them.
For such cases, consider upgrading to a more powerful commercial snake or opt for hydrojetting to break through these tougher clogs effectively.
4. The Clog Quickly Reformed
Lighter clogs, like hair, sediment, or toilet paper, can temporarily dislodge during snaking but swiftly re-form and block the line again. If you notice that drainage improves immediately after snaking but regresses shortly thereafter, it indicates that the clog wasn’t fully cleared and has redeveloped. In such instances, multiple snaking attempts are required to completely eliminate these persistent clogs.
5. There Is a Bigger Underlying Problem
At times, recurring clogs could be a symptom of a more significant underlying issue that requires comprehensive repair. Some of these problems include:
- Damaged or misaligned pipes: Cracks, dips, or offsets in the sewer pipes can trap debris and lead to recurring clogs.
- Tree root invasion: Invasive tree roots can infiltrate and obstruct the sewer line, necessitating their removal and pipe repair.
- Collapsed line: Sections of collapsed sewer pipes will need to be replaced.
- Undersized pipe: Older undersized pipes are prone to clogs and might require upsizing.
In these situations, snaking provides only a temporary fix. A more thorough repair is essential to address the root cause of the clogs.
6. The Clog Was Located Downstream
Snaking the main sewer line exiting your home might not address downstream clogs occurring within your property line, extending out to the city sewer connection. Buried lateral lines that run towards the street can also become clogged and require separate attention. Always confirm the location of the clog before initiating snaking efforts.
7. Improper Snaking Technique Was Used
Executing an incorrect snaking technique can result in incomplete clog removal. Actions such as rapidly pulling the snake out, failing to address all blockages, or snaking in the wrong direction can diminish the effectiveness of the process.
It’s crucial to use the appropriate snaking method. An experienced plumber will be able to employ a more comprehensive approach to ensure the drain is fully cleared.
8. The Snake Hit a Mechanical Obstruction
There are instances where drainage issues persist after snaking due to the snake encountering and becoming entangled on a mechanical obstruction, such as a 90-degree bend or a damaged joint within the pipe. This obstruction prevents the snake from reaching and clearing the clog effectively.
For these situations, a drain camera inspection can identify the presence of mechanical obstacles. By adjusting the snaking approach or disassembling pipe joints, it might be possible to overcome the blockage and facilitate full clearing.
9. When To Seek Professional Assistance
If your attempts at DIY snaking fail to improve drainage, it’s advisable to seek help from a professional plumber. These experts possess high-powered equipment, invaluable experience, and cutting-edge camera technology that enables them to thoroughly diagnose the reason behind your persistently blocked sewer line. They can then implement the appropriate solution to restore proper flow.
Preventing Future Clogs After Snaking
To minimize the risk of recurring clogs following a snaking operation, adopting good drainage practices is essential. Here are some helpful tips:
- Mind Your Drains: Avoid disposing of fats, oils, and grease down drains as they can congeal and contribute to clogs.
- Strainers Are Your Friends: Utilize sink strainers to catch hair and debris before they find their way into your drains.
- Flush Responsibly: Only flush toilet paper; avoid flushing wipes or feminine products, which can contribute to clogs.
- Limit Garburator Use: Be cautious with garburators/disposals, as overuse can strain your sewer line.
- Regular Maintenance: Clean your pipes annually using a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to help prevent clogs.
By following these guidelines, you can significantly reduce the chances of encountering stubborn clogs in the future.
FAQs About Clogged Sewers After Snaking
What should I do if my kitchen drain keeps clogging after snaking?
If you’re repeatedly experiencing kitchen drain clogs, it’s likely due to stubborn grease, fat, or food buildup. Consider using an enzyme cleaner or caustic drain opener followed by a thorough snaking to address the issue effectively.
Why does my toilet keep clogging after I snake the main line?
When your toilet continues to clog despite snaking the main line, the toilet itself might have a secondary clog within its drain pipe or at the junction where it connects to the main line. Start by plunging the toilet, and then proceed with snaking from the toilet down to the main line to ensure a comprehensive clearing.
Can I use my handheld shower snake on my main sewer line?
Using a handheld shower drain snake on your main sewer line is not recommended. These tools lack the power and length required to effectively clear a main sewer line clog. Instead, consider renting or hiring a power auger-type drain snake to tackle this task.
My drain clogs again 1-2 weeks after snaking – why does this keep happening?
Frequent reoccurring clogs typically indicate the presence of damaged, misaligned, or undersized pipes that are prone to trapping debris. To assess the condition of your pipes, consider scheduling a camera inspection to determine the extent of the issue.
I snaked 15 feet – could the clog be beyond that point?
Yes, it’s entirely possible for sewer lines to extend 35 feet or more from your home. If you’ve snaked a distance of 15 feet and the clog persists, it’s likely that the obstruction is located beyond the reach of your current snake. To effectively clear clogs situated further down the line, a longer snake or commercial hydrojetting equipment might be necessary.
Addressing a persistently clogged sewer line after snaking requires a comprehensive understanding of the potential underlying causes. Whether the issue lies in the depth of the clog, the nature of the obstruction, or the presence of a more significant problem, there are solutions available to ensure your sewer line operates smoothly.
- The Spruce: “How to Snake a Drain: Tips and Techniques” – Learn more about the proper techniques and tips for effectively snaking a drain. Source: https://www.thespruce.com/snaking-a-drain-tips-2718925
- HomeAdvisor: “How Much Does Drain Cleaning Cost?” – Gain insights into the potential costs associated with professional drain cleaning services. Source: https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/plumbing/clean-out-a-sewer/
- Family Handyman: “How to Unclog a Drain” – Explore a comprehensive guide to unclogging various types of drains, including sewer lines. Source: https://www.familyhandyman.com/project/how-to-unclog-a-drain/
- Angi: “The Difference Between Snaking and Hydro Jetting” – Understand the distinctions between snaking and hydro jetting as methods for clearing clogs. Source: https://www.angi.com/articles/difference-between-snaking-and-hydro-jetting.htm
- This Old House: “What to Do If Tree Roots Are Invading Your Plumbing” – Learn about the challenges posed by tree root intrusion and how to address the issue. Source: https://www.thisoldhouse.com/plumbing/21171249/what-to-do-if-tree-roots-are-invading-your-plumbing
- PlumbingSupply.com: “Common Causes of Clogged Drains and How to Prevent Them” – Discover common causes of clogs and practical tips for preventing future issues. Source: https://www.plumbingsupply.com/clog-prevention.html
I’m Stephen Mathew, a seasoned plumber with a passion for fixing leaks and ensuring smooth water systems. With years of experience under my belt, I’ve tackled countless plumbing puzzles.