"Danger -- Do Not Snake"

My kid and I have been wondering about this. At one of the Toronto subway stations, there are several drain grates. Over each one is a prominent sign: “Danger – Do Not Snake Drain”.

What terrible fate could await some witless plumber who tried snaking one of these drains? Why don’t we see those signs anywhere else?

I wonder if the drain has been co-opted as a conduit for electrical cables?

They’re there to keep the snakes on the train?

CMC fnord!

Bah; I thought this was going to be an Engrish thread, and was all ready with my story about the guy who used to impound reptiles and whose house proudly bore the slogan ‘Babu: Snaks Catcher’.

But no. Oh well. Keep moving, people. Nothing to see here.

Snakes on a Drain!

Anyway, I don’t have the answer, but my guess would be that they are worried about the snake damaging something. The type of snake that would be used in a sewer is actually pretty powerful, with a gas engine spinning the blades of the snake through a flex tube. If they used plastic sewer pipes, maybe a big snake like that could chew through it if you didn’t know what you were doing? Or at least gouge it up and mess up the flow of liquid through it?

I believe that Toronto Hydro Telecom ran fibre through the drains in parts of T.O. as well, but that probably wouldn’t be in little branch drains. On the other hand, who knows?

I vote for “electrical conduits in the drain”. Where was this?

Another possibility - pockets of methane gas. If the snake runs up against dry steel and starts grinding away, it would throw sparks.

My WAG is also electric lines, which a snake could break the insulation of, and electrocute the plumber.

Eglinton station.

I’m kinda surprised that there’s no definitive answer yet. I know that there is at least one real plumber and a bunch of plumbing buffs on the Board, and I thought this would be cleared up in no time.

They’re quite busy at the moment. Please write a check for $250, and I’ll see if I can get one out by next week.

Heh, good one.

Giving this my free bump, in the hope that someone will come along and say “I’ve been a licensed plumber for 20 years, and that sign means…”

(Not that I don’t appreciate the thought that people have put into the possibilities)