A drain clog can be most stubborn at times. There are several options available in order to resolve this issue. Using a home drain snake is an effective alternative. If you are wondering how to use a drain snake it will be explained later in this article. If you have not heard of a drain snake it is a flexible auger which is slender and can pass through the drainpipe easily.
If you are thirsty to know how to find the best drain snake then we have discussed in detail in another post.
Before calling the plumber and running into a huge bill to put a hole in your pocket you can try several home remedies. There are few brands of chemicals available in the market which can be put in the drain to flush down the clog but it has harmful environmental effects. You can even try pouring boiling water as it may clear the clog sometimes. Most commonly people use a plunger. It has a short handle and a rubber cup at the other end. The plunger is pushed into the drain pipe and pushed and pulled until the clogged items break and free the flow of drain. Have a separate plunger for kitchen sink and toilet for obvious reasons.
It is called a drain snake because of its slender and flexible appearance which resembles a snake. A drain snake is flexible, long, metal cable with a handle with a manual or electric rotator at one end and a coiled cone-shaped auger at the other. It is also known as a drain auger or plumbing snake. The usual length of a home drain snake is around 40 to 50 feet.
There are different types of drain snakes available in the market for different purposes such as toilet drain snake or toilet auger, top snake, mini-rooter or medium drain machine, and large drain machine. You can either buy your own drain snake or rent it. Before you begin there are several additional items you will need to keep handly such as a bucket, rubber hand gloves, eye goggles for protection and few old towels for cleaning if necessary.
It is recommended to ask the dealer on a demo of a drain snake. Also, read the instructions guide to use the snake before you begin the operation.
How to Use a Drain Snake
Let’s go through the steps to use a drain snake at home. We have discussed in brief and how to use a manual drain snake and power tool driven drain snake too. Let’s follow them one by one.
- Remove the strainer, hair trap, filter, or tub cover which is obstructing the drain that is clogged.
- Slowly push the coiled or the auger end of the snake into the drainpipe. Keep rotating the handle of the snake as it begins its journey through the drain pipe. For electric drain snake it is a similar process but instead of manually cranking the handle it will be done through the electric drill operation. The first step is to plug the electric drain snake into the nearest socket.
- If it is a curved pipe bend below the sink then you need to keep rotating the handle until it passes smoothly through the curve. The snake has to be pushed into the drain until you feel a resistance and the cable backs up. This is the place where the clog is located.
- Once you feel you have reached the clog keep cranking the cable so it can catch the clog. Use force if required.
- Slowly pull the drain snake out and most likely it will pull out the clog along with it or at least break the clog to free the passage of water.
- Start the tap and let the water run through the shower drain for a few minutes to ensure that the clog is flushed down.
- If the problem persists repeat the process of drain snake again.
Using a drain snake is a very simple and easy to use the method to clear blocked drainpipes. The decision of buying or renting a drain snake depends on how often do you face the clogged drain problem. Check with your neighbors if they have one to borrow. The electric drill type of drain snake will cost much more than the manually operated one. A good quality simple manual drain snake may cost somewhere around 25 $ but it will save the hundred odd dollars you pay the plumber. As now you are also aware of how to use the drain snake you can do it all by yourself and save your money.