Emergency Services

How to Use a Drain Snake

How to use a drain snake

 When having to deal with a stubborn or clogged drain, a drain snake is the most useful DIY tool, since a professional job like this can become costly. It’s important to know what you are doing when using a plumbing auger, to prevent any damage or tearing in your pipes that can cause leaks. Sometimes small plumbing projects can often turn into complete plumbing disasters, especially clogged drains. Although it is useful to have the tools to tackle those smaller tasks, it is crucial to know when to call in a professional. If you feel the job requires a professional, Shamrock Plumbing can assist in any plumbing issues you may have. Feeling confident enough to conquer a clogged kitchen or bathroom sink on your own? Then read more to learn the best way to unclog drains with a drain snake. 

How does a drain snake work?

 A drain snake can be the perfect solution for a simple drain clog. There are a few different types of drain snakes that can be used around your home. For your projects, invest in a hand spinner. These are most useful for taking care of sink and bathtub drains. Never use this type on a clogged toilet, it will ruin the bowl or get tangled in the drain beneath.

Drain Snakes are made of a metal wire that has been coiled with a little space at the end. There are a few different ways these are used to clear drains:

  • There is an auger at the end of the wire that works like a corkscrew. This latches onto hair, or whatever else is stuck in the drain, and pulls it out.
  • Because the snake is flexible, it can move around inside the pipe, scraping off the different destructive elements that have accumulated on the side of the drain.
  • The end of the snake works to break up things that are blocking the drain.

To prevent future problems with clogging, you can invest in your own drain snake to get the job done!

How to use a drain snake

How do you Use a Drain Snake?

Using a drain snake does not have to be difficult and is the most cost effective tool out there in assisting you when unclogging a drain yourself. Keep in mind, Snaking a drain can get really messy, depending on how clogged it may be. It’s important to dress appropriately and set up your workstation. Be sure to lay down towels to keep your work area clean. Following these steps can prevent any further damage to your pipes and provide a smoother process: 

  • Feed the snake into the drain: Slowly push the end of the snake into the entrance of the drain. Pushing too hard and fast can easily damage your pipes. Turn the handle on the drum to send the cable into the drain until you feel resistance. 
  • Apply more pressure: Resistance determines whether you were successful in reaching the clog or you came across a bend in the pipes. You may need to add more pressure to bend around any curves.  
  • Rotate the drain snake: Uncoil the snake using its handle and keep it close to the entrance of the drain. It is important to consistently rotate the handle against what is causing the blockage until you are able to easily feed through the pipe. Any pressure you feel at this point while moving the cable, means you have reached the obstruction. Try to break through the obstruction as much as possible, without jamming the snake into the pipe walls. If any scraping occurs, readjust the snake. Continue to use the snake until you no longer feel any resistance.
  • Test it out: Check the drain snake head for any kind of obstruction. Test out your drain by running your water or flushing your toilet. If there seems to still be a clogging issue, clean off the snake and repeat the snaking process. Snaking too much can cause issues and if the problem has not been resolved, it might be time to call a professional.

If you have tried using a drain snake without success, contact Shamrock Plumbing to take care of the problem. We can unclog your drain quickly, helping your life get back to normal. Don’t spend an excessive amount of time dealing with clogged pipes! Call us today!  

How to use a drain snake infographic

Signs your Drain is clogged and you may need a Drain Snake

A clogged drain can be a huge burden. Sometimes the solution is a simple fix, for other instances, it may be impossible to take on without the help of a professional plumber. Some ways to know your drain is clogged is if there is standing water that is not draining properly. This is typically caused by soap build-up or clumped hair. It is important to resolve undrained water to prevent the growth of mold. 

Other ways to determine your clog is drained is if there is a strong odor or gurgling sound coming from the pipes. Both factors suggest a clog is preventing water from flowing through your drain. It is important to resolve the issue quickly before further buildup can cause more serious issues to your pipes. Use the best judgment you have to determine whether or not you can fix your clogged drain.

If you start out trying to unclog your drain on your own, there are a few tools available to you. Although these aren’t as effective as tools used by professional plumbers, they are a good place to start for moderately clogged drains. However, a drain auger is the most indispensable plumbing tool to have. Invest in a drain snake for a wide variety of plumbing DIY projects to help you save money on future projects.

Drain Snake

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