Snaking a tub drain

Hi,
I was able to snake out our tub drain and fix a clog on my own the other day using a snake I purchased at Home Depot. The snake I used was the kind that you can attach to an electric drill which is what I did. I removed the stopper cover and went in that way because I had seen a plumber do it that way.
I didn't remove the water that was stuck in the tub and I was pretty concerned about the risk of electric shock. I guess using an electric drill that is plugged into the wall outlet is not very safe when used in this manner.
Is the only safe way to do this to syphon out the tub water first? I guess a battery operated drill may have worked. Does the snake a plumber uses differ from the kind I described?
I'd appreciate any feedback on this since I'm sure I will be doing this again at some point in the future.
Thanks in advance, Steve
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GFCI outlet, cordless drill.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (njsteve) wrote on 25 Aug 2004:

Actually, you're supposed to go in through the overflow cover unless it has complex linkage to the stopper. And if that were my tub, I'd pull that linkage out and use a rubber stopper.
But the point is that even if the tub is empty, there will still be water in the trap. You can't avoid getting the snake in the water.
As the other response suggested, plug the drill into the GFCI outlet (or GFCI-protected outlet) that is required to be in your bathroom. Or use a hand-cranked snake. Or call a professional.
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That's what I meant.

Our outlet if GFCI so I guess I was safe. I didn't realize that those outlets would protect you completely. So if I had slipped into the tub with the drill I wouldn't get any shock? I guess that circuit cuts out immediately if it is operating properly, right?
Steve
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Steve:
N > I was able to snake out our tub drain and fix a clog on my own the N > other day using a snake I purchased at Home Depot. The snake I used N > was the kind that you can attach to an electric drill which is what I N > did. I removed the stopper cover and went in that way because I had N > seen a plumber do it that way. N > N > I didn't remove the water that was stuck in the tub and I was pretty N > concerned about the risk of electric shock. I guess using an electric N > drill that is plugged into the wall outlet is not very safe when used N > in this manner.
As someone else replied, a GFCI outlet (should have one in your bathroom anyway). Removing all the water isn't a good idea: need to have the trap full to prevent sewer gas from escaping. Plus if the sewer pipe is metal that's going to act as a ground path better than the water.
There are "portable GFCI's", some available as part of extension cords for outside use, some as stand-alone units (plugs in front of the outlet). Could make your own: GFCI in an outlet box, use an appropriate appliance cord and plug into the outlet.
Most electric drills sold currently are "double-insulated" so you are protected. Plus remember the current you are concerned about will travel to ground the easiest way; usually that's to water-ground and not through you -- unless you're standing barefoot in a puddle.
- barry.martinATthesafebbs.zeppole.com
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