Unfortunately, at the Thanksgiving house, either the pipe curved in such a way that the rubber hose snake wouldn't turn properly, or else it hit an impenetrable plug. As a result the hose could be pushed into the drain pipe only a couple of feet and the water from the water jet soon backed out into a tub waiting for it, The clog still remained.
The homeowner had tried using a drain cleaner before, and I tried with two more products, "guaranteed satisfaction," but neither worked a bit, even after waiting over night.
So, on my way back to the house, I stopped by Harbor Freight and picked up a rotating snake, described by HF as "25-foot drain cleaner with drill attachment." HF part number 66262. At the house, the water was still standing in the sink, showing that water was not even slowly seeping down the drain--the plug was solid.
I removed the P-trap and ran the snake into the pipe until it hit a blockage. I then connected my power drill and slowly rotated the snake. Right away, the snake made progress and moved into the pipe. I fed another six or eight inches of snake, rotated again, fed snake, rotated, and so on. When I had fed about 15 feet of snake into the drain pipe, I pulled it all back out. There was no big hairball or other massive item on the auger, just a plug of black goo.I reconnected the P-trap and turned on the hot water, slowly. It kept draining, no back up. So I turned on the hot water full flow and let it run for a long time.
Ten minutes of auguring beat a couple of hours of trying to water blast away the plug.
Next day, I pulled out all 25 feet of the snake, washed it thoroughly and sprayed WD-40 all along the length. I took apart the plastic hosing and wiped it clean and dry before reassembly.
- there are plastic pins to align when you put the halves back together..
- the snake is not attached to the housing, so it will come out all the way.
Conclusion: This plumbing snake worked excellently when connected to my drill, allowing me to rotate the housing and thereby the snake itself. The rotation gets the head of the snake past curves and turns and allows it to dig into whatever is blocking the drain. If you have a drill driver, you should certainly have one of these Plumbing Snakes. (You can use the unit manually by spinning the unit with the handle molded into it.)
- If you drop the drain snake from even three or four feed, the plastic housing will likely break.
- The snake bends rather easily.
- The snake rusts quickly, so have some WD-40 or other oil spray to clean up the snake after each use.
- Run the drill slowly. A fast drill causes damage.
- Feed about 6 to 8 inches of snake at a time. Too much snake outside its drum home, and especially too fast a run causes the snake to wrap all over itself and be ruined.