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Plumber Tools: The Snake Camera

Plumber Tools: The Snake Camera

A plumbing camera commonly referred to as a “Snake Drain” is one of the most important and useful appliances used in plumbing repair when there is a clogged sink, toilet or bathtub drain. It is called a snake because its movement resembles that of a real snake as it unwinds down into the drain in a turning mechanism.

A snake drain is used if there is hard to reach debris that cannot be cleared immediately. The process starts when the plumber inserts the snake into the clogged drain and manually guides and pushes it into the pipe until the blockage is cleared out. As the metal coil moves down the pipe, it clears out some of the debris and increases water flow. Drain snakes can push holes into debris and allow for a little bit of water flow, but in cases where there are major clogs, the snake drain cannot do much because it does not have the power to clear them out. The same goes with calcification in older pipes or when roots have grown into pipes.

Previously, plumbers needed to revert to more dramatic methods of dismantling the entire fixture in order to understand what was happening on the insides of the pipework. Having the exact or very close approximate location of the problem saves money because the snake drain aids the plumber in avoiding extra digging or removal of plumbing appliances.

Many homeowners opt to rent or purchase their own snake drains and adopt a DIY approach for their plumbing problems. If however, the snake drain gets stuck, a professional plumber will have to reverse any mistakes and this may end up costing the client more than the original call.