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How to Use Rental Equipment to Clean Drains
You may want to rent drain and sewer cleaning equipment, such as a snake or auger, for drain clogs too big for or unresponsive to plunging. Following these instructions will help you use this equipment to clean clogs in drains. It also includes tips for keeping drains clear. Your local, ARA-affiliated rental professional can give you further instructions for using the specific drain and sewer cleaning equipment you rent. You sometimes also can view how-to video instructions at a rental store for information on how to use the equipment safely and effectively.
Safety tips:
  • Read all manufacturer warnings and instructions for drain and sewer cleaning rental equipment before use.
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as leather gloves and safety goggles, when using drain and sewer cleaning rental equipment.
  • Only connect electric drain and sewer cleaning rental equipment to a grounded outlet.
  • Do not operate electric drain and sewer cleaning rental equipment in standing water to prevent electrical shock.
  • Do not use drain and sewer cleaning rental equipment in a drain containing drain chemicals. These chemicals can injure the operator exposed to them and can damage the drain and sewer cleaning equipment. Be sure to thoroughly dilute any drain chemicals in the drain with water or let them drain overnight before using drain and sewer cleaning rental equipment.
Instructions for using a rental closet or toilet auger:
  • Rent a closet or toilet auger from your local, ARA-affiliated rental store.
  • Push the rental toilet or closet auger auger’s tip — pointed up — into the toilet until you reach the clog. Then, using the handle, rotate the auger to dislodge the clog.
  • Remove and clean the auger.
  • Make sure toilet flushes properly. If not, repeat procedures until you clear the clog.
Instructions for using a rental snake or auger:
  • Rent the appropriate drain and sewer cleaning equipment from your local, ARA-affiliated rental store. See Rental Equipment for Cleaning Drains and Sewers for available rental options.
  • Push the rental snake or auger into the drain about one foot at a time, until you reach the obstruction. Then, slowly rotate it clockwise to clear any obstruction causing the clog.
  • After cleaning the drain, run or pour some water down it to ensure the drain works properly, to wash away any loosened buildup and to clean the cable before removing it.
Tips to prevent future clogs:
  • Never pour materials that harden, such as paint or glue, down the drain.
  • Run hot water in your kitchen sink for several minutes every few days to loosen and flush grease.
Contact your local, ARA-affiliated, rental store for information on available rental products and services to meet your drain and sewer cleaning equipment needs. To locate the rental store nearest you, use the Rental Store Quick Locator above.

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