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Plumbing Snake

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  • Plumbing Snake

    I was using a plumbing snake to clean out my shower drain and the snake got to the point where I could not move it forward anymore. I tried to bring it back to me but it would not move back anymore (I am thinking it must have wrapped around itself and is coiled up some place along ther line). As I was pulling it, the cord broke. I can see the end of it as I look down in the drain. I live on a slab foundation and I am afraid that they may need to dig up the line to get it out. Is there any way to get the broken line out of the drain? Any suggestions would be helpful?

  • #2
    Rent a jack hammer and concrete saw.


    • #3
      Try getting a long billed vice grip. Sheet-metalworkers use them. If you can get a grip on it (lock it tight) and then pour a bottle or two of dish washing soap.
      Let it sit for a while and then give it a yank. You could let it sit overnight and then pull.

      If that doesn't work hire a drain guy with a retriever bit and let him try.

      I've seen them pop out after sitting overnight. The dish washing liquid does help.

      Good luck.


      • #4
        soap is a good trick, but the cable you bought is most likely a cheap piece of junk too. sure it takes a special acquired feel to snake lines, just as it does to go fishing and catch fish without loosing your hook. but without experience and cheap cable. ive seen it done countless times by homeowners and even so called pros.

        there is 1 good thing, i have a few good contacts in san diego that can probably help you out. they know what they're doing. let me know if you need a name or number.

        the other thing is you being an archaeologist, if you do dig, you might find some neat fossils.

        a 5/8'' sectional cable with a retriever head would be my choice. or the rick reverse auger would even be better. any idea how much cable is in the drain. or how much is left in the original canister?

        phoebe it is


        • #5
          Thank you for the responses Plumber Rick and fixitright. I will need to check to find out how much of the cable is in the pipe (I don't think it is to much). The end of the cable is about 6-8 inches down so I might try pulling it with the long billed vice grip first. If I need to use a cable with a retriever head then I would want to use someone that knows what they are doing. Plumber Rick, I would very much appreciate if you can give me information on contacts here in San Diego.


        • #6
          Arch, make sure you let us know how it turns out. Pics are cool too.