Unclogging a stuffed-up drain isn't always as easy as grabbing the plunger, giving it a few good pumps and freeing the water. Sometimes it requires something more, like a blow bag. When drains are clogged with greasy, gooey substances, a snake or plunger just won't do the trick. Here, you'll learn a little about blow bags and how to use them to free the gooey clogs in your home drains.
What are blow bags?
Blow bags are attachments that fit on the end of a garden hose. They look a lot like hot dogs and come in various sizes to fit into different size drains. The blow bag is attached to the hose, sent into the drain, and filled with water. It then pushes the clog free as it expands.
How is a blow bag used?
First, you need to understand that the blow bag should never be used to clear a clogged toilet. If you were to use this gadget in a toilet, you could easily crack the porcelain and find yourself in an even messier situation. If you need to free the drain leading from the toilet, you will have to drain the toilet and remove it from the drain pipe. Then, you can use it to free the clog in the piping, but not the toilet.
To use the blow bag, you'll need access to the drain. This may require you to remove the catch screen or drain insert. Once the drain is exposed, connect the blow bag to the hose and carefully send it down into the drain. Turn the water on and let the blow bag expand. Soon, the bag will push the clog free and the drain will release the trapped water.
Tip: If the blow bag gets stuck in the drain, do not turn it counter-clockwise. Doing so could cause the plumbing fittings to come loose. Always turn it clockwise.
Be sure to monitor the other drains in the home to be sure the force from the blow bag pushing on the clog doesn't push water up through the other drains and make a mess. It can take up to 30 minutes for the pressure to release clogs that have been in the drain for a while or that consist of very gooey substances.
Talk with your local plumber for assistance. Sometimes it takes a professional to clear the clogs in the drains.