What Is A Sewer Machine Used For?

Have you ever heard of a sewer machine? Do you know what it is used for? A sewer machine is also commonly called a sewer snake or auger. The main use of one is to clear a main line stoppage. A long, flexible cable will go down into the drain and is able to clear debris and unclog whatever material may be in the way. The cable is skinny and flexible which is why it is a benefit for stubborn clogs that are not removable by plungers.

Sewer line snakes can mostly solve any issue when it comes to clogs in a sewer line, but sometimes the sewer machine just isn’t powerful enough to unclog the line completely. This is where hydro jetting would come into play as it can resolve any stubborn clogs that are in the sewer line. 

This is a sewer line completely clogged with tree roots and would require hydro jetting for this to be removed. 
This is a sewer line completely clogged with tree roots and would require hydro jetting for this to be removed. 

How Much Does a Snake Machine Cost?

A snake machine can cost anywhere from $1,600 – $4,000 on average. A snake machine will usually reach 50 to 75 feet for most residential blockages. If this service is done by a professional, it can be more expensive. Overall, it will be done correctly, so spending the money will be worth your while. It also depends on the severity of the clog itself which is determined by running a camera inspection

A camera inspection requires a professional to come out and run a cable with a camera on the end of it through the drain to see if they are able to locate the clog. Once the clog is located, they can determine how many feet down the clog is and then snake the line according to the location of the clog in the drain.

This is what a typical sewer machine looks like.
This is what a typical sewer machine looks like.

Can I Snake My Own Sewer Line?

While snaking your own sewer line is possible, it shouldn’t always be done. Before you decide to snake your own line, it might be best to understand what goes into a drain cleaning service. If you feel that it would be better for a professional to handle the issue, leave it to 1-Tom-Plumber to take care of it safely and effectively. Plumbers will commonly use a sewer line snake to remove blockages that chemical cleaners cannot dissolve. These are commonly used in residential homes to help clear out a drain before anything else is done. 

Drains you can use a snake on:

  • Kitchen sinks
  • Bathroom sinks
  • Toilets 
  • Bathtubs
  • Showers
  • Floor Drains

A sewer line snake can be beneficial to several places in your home. It really comes down to two things; the severity of the clog and if a sewer snake will be able to do the job efficiently. The one important drain that is not on this list is your sewer line. It is likely that a sewer line clog extends far beyond where other drain access points are located. The basic plumbing snakes for drains won’t extend far enough to reach the clog that is in your sewer line. 

You can see what a sewer line snake looks like down a bathroom sink drain in this photo. 
You can see what a sewer line snake looks like down a bathroom sink drain in this photo. 

How Long Does It Take to Snake a Drain?

Snaking a drain can require some patience. The amount of time it takes to clear a clogged drain depends on the size of the clog. Bigger clogs are going to take longer to break up and remove.

With bigger blockages, it is a good idea to repeat the snaking process a few times. This ensures that you remove the clog entirely. You will need to look into renting out a sewer machine at a facility if you plan on taking this task on yourself.

Final Thoughts

A sewer snake can be beneficial to clogs and blockages that are causing your common household drains to not work properly. You can use a sewer machine snake yourself. Overall, it is best to call a professional plumber to handle that for you. Regardless of what route you decide to take, an issue like this is going to cost some money to fix. 

This shows what a chronically clogged drain looks like. 
This shows what a chronically clogged drain looks like. 

Call 1-Tom-Plumber

Don’t hesitate to contact us here or call us at 1-Tom-Plumber (1-866-758-6237) if you need help inspecting, repairing or excavating your sewer line. 1-Tom-Plumber’s certified team of plumbers and drain technicians respond immediately to any emergency plumbing, drain cleaning, or water damage problem. We also handle the excavation of underground water lines and sewer main lines. Our immediate-response team is available every day and night of the year, even on holidays.

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