How Do Rooters Clear Clogged Drains?

Clogged drains can be an absolute hassle for homeowners. Not only do backed-up sinks and shower drains cause headaches, they can also be highly unsanitary and resurface germs that should have been sent down the drain. If nothing else has successfully cleared your drain, rooters to clear your pipes is your best option.


Also called a plumbing snake, it’s useful to think of a rooter as the opposite of a plunger. Usually ¼ inch thick, a rooter is a coiled, snake-like tool that is pushed down a drain with a crank system to clear a clogged drain. When a snake is forced down a drain, it can easily reach the blockage and break it up so that it goes through the pipes. Or, rooters can grab the blockage and lift it out of the drain, depending on the material that’s stuck.


Inexperienced homeowners may miss the real cause of the blockage when using rooters without the help of a plumber. When a clogged pipe is caused by corrosion, using a plumbing snake may makes the problem much worse and actually contribute to the blockage. To ensure that you don’t accidentally cause more damage to your home’s internal plumbing system, it’s best practices to hire a plumber to take care of the clog.

In addition, using the wrong sized rooter or snake drain can cause damage to your pipes, rooters and even yourself. The potential of damaging your pipes significantly rises when you live in an older home with pipes made from discontinued materials. Galvanized pipes usually see the most damage after a snake is improperly pushed through a clogged drain. This causes scratches, but more importantly, it can cause expensive cracks or full breakage on older pipes.

It’s important to remember that rooters are incredibly durable tools with a lot of power behind them. They can recoil with little warning if the internal wire is withdrawn too quickly from the drain, potentially causing serious bodily harm to an inexperienced operator.


The risks associated with trying to DIY rooter service easily outweigh hiring a qualified plumber to unclog your drain for you. Professional plumbers have been trained how to handle these rooters to properly clean drains without damaging the plumbing system. Give the pros at Apollo Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning a call and speak to one of our technicians about repairing a clogged drain, or any of our  plumbing services.

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4.8 Stars | 1,000+ Google Reviews
4.8 Stars | 1,000+ Google Reviews

    Apollo jetted the basement drain line in our old 1927 Portland house. The line has been backing up thru the floor drain for a while. The technician cleared out the line with the hydro-jet, and it’s running great now. On-time and professional!


    - Tim T., Google Review


    Apollo Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning was on time, professional, and very knowledgeable. He took the time to inspect our rain drain to our dry well and do everything he could to alleviate the issue. I would highly recommend Apollo, they were informative and straight forward. Honesty is obviously a value they uphold for their customers.


    - Forrest W., Google Review


    I can’t begin to tell you how pleased we were with the service we received today from Anthony. He was incredibly personable and friendly. He went above and beyond and made the service call painless. Anthony took care of our clogged train in no time. Apollo and Anthony are the best! We highly recommend them.


    - Jennifer T., Google Review

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