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Guide to how to use drain snake

Plumbing issues can be a major headache for homeowners. Clogged drains are a common problem that can disrupt your daily routine.

Instead of hiring a professional plumber, you can easily tackle this issue on your own by using a drain snake.

In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of how to use drain snake to unclog your pipes.

What is a drain snake?

A drain snake, also known as a plumbing snake or drain auger, is a long, flexible tool used to remove obstructions in drains and pipes that help you unclog your drain.

It consists of a coiled metal cable with a corkscrew end and a handle or crank for twisting and pushing the snake through the pipe.

9 benefits of using a plumbing snake

1-Effective Drain Cleaning: Using a drain snake can clear clogs and restore proper water flow, efficiently addressing drain issues.

2-Versatile Usage: Drain snakes work best for various types of plumbing fixtures such as shower drains, tub drains, bathroom sinks, and toilets.

3-Quick Solution: When your drain is draining slowly or completely clogged, snaking the drain can swiftly resolve the problem.

4-User-Friendly: Learning how to use a plumbing snake is relatively easy, and you can easily learn how to snake a drain to fix your plumbing problems.

5-Unclog Tough Clogs: Drain snakes work better than other methods when dealing with challenging clogs that water down the drain might not clear.

6-Access Hard-to-Reach Clogs: The auger head at the end of the snake can reach deep into the drain pipe, helping to clear clogs located far down the line.

7-Prevent Costly Repairs: Regular maintenance with a drain snake can prevent more severe issues that could require professional plumbing service.

8-Avoid Chemicals: Instead of using harsh chemicals, using a manual drain snake is an environmentally friendly way to clear clogged drains.

9-Cost-Effective: Investing in a drain snake is a cost-effective way to handle minor plumbing problems on your own, saving money on hiring a plumber for simple clogs.

Common situations where a drain snake is necessary

A drain snake is necessary in various common situations. It is most commonly used to unclog sinks, bathtub drains, and toilets.

If you notice slow drainage or water backup in your kitchen sink, bathroom sink, or shower drain, it may be time to know how to use a snake drain to remove the obstruction.

How to choose the right plumbing snake for your needs?

electric plumbing snake

Understanding different types of drain snakes

There are different types of drain snakes available, including manual drain snakes and electric drain snakes.

Manual drain snakes are more suitable for small clogs, while electric drain snakes are more powerful and can handle larger obstructions.

Determining the appropriate size of a drain snake

It is important to choose the right size of drain snake for your needs.

The size of the drain snake should match the size of the pipe you are working on.

Using a snake that is too small or too large can damage the pipe and make the problem worse.

Considering additional features and accessories

When selecting a drain snake, consider additional features and accessories that may be helpful.

Some drain snakes come with attachments such as auger heads or brush heads for added versatility.

It is also important to choose a drain snake with a comfortable handle for ease of use.

Preparing for the task: how to use drain snake

Gathering the necessary tools and materials

Before using a drain snake, gather the necessary tools and materials.

This includes the drain snake itself, a bucket, a pair of gloves, and a flashlight.

You may also need a plunger in case the clog cannot be fully removed with the snake.

Wearing appropriate safety gear

When working with a drain snake, it is important to wear appropriate safety gear.

Put on a pair of gloves to protect your hands from any debris or bacteria.

Additionally, consider wearing safety goggles to protect your eyes from splashes.

Taking precautions to protect your surroundings

Before starting the process, take precautions to protect your surroundings.

Place a bucket or a towel under the clogged drain to catch any water or debris that may come out during the unclogging process.

This will help prevent any mess or damage to your floors.

Which Types of Clogs Require Drain Snakes?

Drain snakes are an essential tool when dealing with various types of clogs.

They are used to clear clogged drains by feeding the snake into the drain line and turning the handle to reach the clog.

Drain snakes work by using a snake cable or auger head to break up and remove the debris causing the clog.

When using a drain snake, it is important to know how to use drain snake properly.

Depending on the type of clog and drain, different types of drain snakes will be needed.

For example, a plumber’s snake or closet auger may be used for clearing a toilet or tub drain, while a manual drain snake can be used for a shower drain or smaller pipes.

It is important to know how to maneuver the snake and reach the clog.

If you are unsure or uncomfortable using a drain snake, it is best to contact a professional plumbing service to clear the drain for you.

Regardless of the type of clog or drain, using a drain snake can effectively clear the drain and restore proper water flow.

Step-by-step instructions on how to use drain snake

  • Locating and accessing the clogged drain

The first step is to locate and access the clogged drain.

Remove the drain cover if there is one and visually inspect the drain to identify the location of the clog.

This will help you determine the best approach for inserting the drain snake.

  • Inserting the drain snake into the pipe

Insert the corkscrew end of the drain snake into the pipe.

Slowly push the snake into the pipe, applying gentle pressure.

Keep feeding the snake further into the pipe until you feel resistance from the clog.

  • Twisting and pushing the drain snake to break up the clog

Once you reach the clog, start twisting and pushing the drain snake to break up the obstruction.

Use the handle or crank to rotate the snake and apply pressure.

Be careful not to use excessive force to avoid damaging the pipe.

5 tips for choosing a plumbing snake

Here are 5 tips for choosing a plumbing snake

  1. Consider the Pipe Size: Choose a plumbing snake that matches the diameter of the pipes you’ll be working with. Using a plumbing snake that’s too large may damage smaller pipes, while one that’s too small might not effectively clear blockages in larger pipes.

  2. Length and Reach: Evaluate the length of the snake based on the depth and accessibility of your plumbing system. 

  3. Type of Snake: Decide between manual or powered snakes based on your needs.

  4. Material and Durability: Opt for a plumbing snake made from durable materials like steel, which can withstand the rigors of frequent use without breaking or bending. 

  5. Additional Features: Look for features such as interchangeable heads or attachments for versatility in tackling different types of blockages.

Cleaning up and preventive measures

Removing the clog and cleaning up the area

Once the clog is broken up, slowly retract the drain snake from the pipe.

As you pull out the snake, it may bring out chunks of debris or hair from the clog.

Dispose of the debris in a trash bag and clean the area with water and a mild detergent.

Taking preventive measures to avoid future clogs

To avoid future clogs, practice preventive measures. Use drain covers or strainers to catch hair and debris before they enter the pipes.

Regularly clean the drains by flushing them with hot water or a mixture of vinegar and baking soda.

These simple steps can help minimize the chances of clogs in the future.

Knowing when to seek professional help

If you have attempted to use a drain snake but the clog persists, it may be time to seek professional help.

A licensed plumber has the necessary expertise and equipment to tackle more complex plumbing issues.

how to use drain snake for a toilet?

To snake a toilet, first, make sure you have a plumbing snake or a plumber’s snake.

This tool is specifically designed to clear clogged drains.

Begin by feeding the snake into the drain with the handle on one end and the auger head on the other end.

Slowly turn the handle to reach the clog and break it apart.

The drain snakes work by physically forcing through the obstruction, clearing the drain.

When snaking the drain, be careful not to push too hard as it may damage the pipe.

If you are unsure about how to use a drain snake, consider hiring a professional plumbing service.

Once you have cleared the clog, remove the snake from the drain pipe and run water down the drain to ensure it is flowing freely again.

Remember that a snake can also be used on other types of drains such as shower drains or tub drains.

Learning how to use drain snake can save you from calling a plumber and keep your drain from draining slowly or getting completely blocked.

how to use a sewer snake?

To use a sewer snake effectively, start by donning protective gear such as gloves and safety goggles.

Next, insert the snake’s tip into the drain or sewer line and slowly feed it further while turning the handle clockwise.

Apply gentle pressure while using a drain snake as you navigate through the pipe, being cautious not to force it too aggressively to avoid damaging the pipes.

Once you encounter resistance, rotate the snake’s handle counterclockwise to dislodge or break apart the obstruction.

If you’re dealing with tough clogs, switch to a powered sewer snake for added force.

After clearing the blockage, retract the snake carefully, inspecting it for any debris. Lastly, flush the drain with water to ensure it’s completely clear.

Remember to clean and disinfect the snake after each use to maintain hygiene and prevent contamination.

About Al Rooter Plumbing Company

A trusted name in plumbing services

Al Rooter Plumbing Company is a trusted name in the plumbing industry.

With years of experience, they have established a reputation for providing reliable and efficient plumbing services.

Services offered by Al Rooter Plumbing Company

Al Rooter Plumbing Company offers a wide range of services, including:

  • drain cleaning
  • pipe repair and replacement
  • sewer line inspection
  • water heater installation.

Their team of skilled plumbers is equipped with the latest tools and technology to handle any plumbing issue.

Contacting Al Rooter Plumbing Company for assistance

If you require professional assistance with your plumbing needs, you can contact Al Rooter Plumbing Company at (832) 434-5936.

Their friendly and knowledgeable staff will be happy to assist you and provide a solution tailored to your specific requirements.