Cable cleaning or snaking is the oldest and most common drain cleaning method utilized for cleaning drain stoppages. It is commonly called “Rooter “service. Many companies utilize the “Rooter” in their name.
Cable cleaning involves a spiral wound cable, either the large open wound, sectional style cable, or the more common tightly wound smaller cable, which comes in longer, continuous lengths.
Cable cleaning is used to clear stoppages in 1 ½” to 6” drain lines, generally speaking.
Cable cleaning has its pros and cons. Pros being it tends to cost less for this service, and all drain cleaning companies use this equipment. Cons are that it’s lesser effective than other methods such as Hydro-Jet cleaning, is harder on the drain pipes and p-traps, and is limited on length of cable, usually less than 100 feet.
Drain cable cleaners typically have a serrated or saw-tooth head on the end of the cable on larger, main drain line machines, and usually have a smooth-edged blade or spiral wound end on its cable end on smaller, secondary drain line machines.
Drain cleaning cable size is proportionate to the size of the pipe being cleaned. A well-equipped drain cleaner carries 4 to 5 different size cables in his drain cleaning arsenal in order to service the drains he comes across.