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Forget The Snake – Break Out the Blow Bag for Sticky Drain Clogs!

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Do you have a clogged drain that you cannot free up with a plunger or drain snake? If so, there is one more tool that could be the solution to your clogged drain.

Drain clogs that are caused by greasy or gooey substances are not the easiest issue to resolve, especially if you are using a drain snake. Drain snakes use different attachments, commonly a sharp blade, to free the clogs in drains, but when the clogs are made of sticky substances, they are not very effective.

What is a blow bag?

A blow bag is a hose attachment that looks a lot like a rubber hotdog. They come in a variety of sizes to be used in different diameters of piping. The blog bag is inserted into the drain pipe, filled with water, causing it to expand and push the clog free with force and water.

How do you use a blow bag?

First, you should know that you should never send a blow bag down a toilet or sink drain directly. Instead, the toilet will need to be removed to access the drain pipe below, or remove the p-trap under your kitchen sink to access the drain pipe.

Once you have direct access to the drain pipe, attach the blow bag to a hose. If you don't have a spigot in your house that can connect to a hose, you will have to get someone to help you turn the water on and off at your outdoor spigot.

Send the blow bag into the drain pipe slowly and gently. Once you have reached the clog, turn the water to the hose on. This will cause the blow bag to inflate and begin pushing the clog free.

Tip: If the bag becomes stuck, don't turn it counter-clockwise. This could cause the attachment to detach from the hose and complicate matters even more. Instead, turn the hose clockwise until the bag is freed up.

As you work to unclog the drain, check the other drains and vents in the general area to be sure that the force is not causing the drain water to leak out of them. If so, you may need to relocate the bag to an area closer to the clog and begin again.

Once you have good placement close to the clog, let the water run for 30 minutes or so to completely break up the clog.

This is a very effective way to break up stubborn, sticky clogs in your drains. If you are unsure of your ability to do it yourself, or your efforts fail, contact your local plumbing expert, such as A Absolute Plumbing & Heating, for assistance.