How to Use a Snake to Unclog a Drain


Often, the best way to deal with clogs is to prevent them from happening at all. If you are past being able to prevent a clogged drain, however, there are a number of options and tools at your disposal. While cleaning and plunging can often do the trick, sometimes, you will need to do more to clear your drain. In this post, we will discuss how you can use a drain auger, or plumber’s snake, to get rid of tough clogs.

First of all, what is a drain auger or snake? This is a quarter-inch thick coil that has a handle. You would send the snake down the drain through the clog, sending parts of it down or pulling the obstruction out. This auger can be a powerful unclogging tool, as it can reach clogs that are far down the pipe. Where can you find this snake tool? One option is to rent it, either one that you will turn by hand, or an electrical auger. Even though using this tool can be straightforward, you should still talk to the dealer about how to use the tool. Generally speaking though, this is what you should do:

  1. Insert the snake’s end into the drain, then crank the handle to send the snake along.
  2. As you crank, you might need to also push the snake down, giving it the force necessary to navigate that bend in the pipe (the trap) under your sink. After that point, the only thing that should slow the snake down is the clog.
  3. When the snake finds the clog, keep turning. This can break the clog up, or it can attach the snake to the clog so that you can pull both out at once.
  4. Turn the water on all the way for several minutes. Check that the clog is really out of the way.

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