How To Snake A Drain (The Right Way)

How To Snake A Drain (The Right Way)

It’s not at all uncommon for homeowners to experience a clogged drain from time to time, especially if you’re household consists of people with long hair and pets that frequently bathe. So how do you get rid of a clogged drain? The best DIY option is to snake a drain.

What does it mean to snake a drain?

A snake (AKA a drain auger) is a coiled spiral snake-like tool that’s about ¼” thick with a handle on one end and usually a corkscrew-like attachment on the other. You snake a drain by inserting the drain auger through the drain of your sink. Using gentle force, you move the snake down the drain, in order to catch whatever is clogging up the drain. The corkscrew bit on the end is usually designed in a way that it will be able to latch onto the hair/gunk mass causing the blockage so you can easily pull it out of the drain (rather than pushing it further down).

Step-By-Step Guide On How To Snake a Drain

  • If your snake is contained within a drum, push the end of the snake into your drain opening and turn the handle of the drum to release the auger down the drain
  • Keep pushing the snake down into the clogged drain until you feel resistance. You may have to use a bit of gentle pressure when cranking the handle to get the auger to bend around the curve of the trap under the sink. After the snake makes it past this curve, you shouldn’t have much trouble with the snake. It should be able to slide easily through until it hits the clog.
  • Rotate the snake against the blockage, until you feel it dislodge from the pipe. This action also helps to grab or chop up the blockage. If the clog is a solid mass, the auger head will entangle with the object. If you don’t feel the auger breaking apart the mass, try pulling the auger out of the drain to see if you can pull the mass out with it. If nothing comes out, repeat the first 2 steps.
  • After dislodging and/or removing the blockage, run water down the drain for a few minutes to ensure the drain is unclogged and flush the remnants of the blockage down the drain.

If you find that after you snake a drain in your home, there’s still a blockage it may be time to call for help. Our experienced plumbers can ensure the clog is safely and effectively removed.

Tips To Prevent the Need To Snake A Drain

Use a strainer

A strainer can help prevent garbage, hair, and foreign objects from entering your drain so you’re less likely to end up with a blockage.

Make sure your garbage disposal is working properly

When using your garbage disposal, you should be running cold water down at full force. The force of the water flushes debris down the the drainpipe so you don’t end up with a buildup of food and garbage.

Don’t Dump random materials down your drain

Your drain and garbage disposal can only handle certain materials. The typical culprit of drain clogs are liquids that seem to go down easily but can harden in the drainpipes and create clogs. To prevent these types of clogs, think about what you’re putting down your sink.

Snaking a drain isn’t a difficult thing to do and it can be incredibly effective when it comes to clearing clogs. If you’re struggling to get your drain clear or find yourself frequently having to clean your drainpipes, consider contacting a professional plumber to come out and check your plumbing to ensure everything is working correctly.