Wally Blanton Plumbing & Sewer

How to Use a Plumbing Snake: Ultimate Guide

Articles |

How to Use a Plumbing Snake: Ultimate Guide

Learn how to use a plumbing snake effectively with our comprehensive guide on snaking drains and pipes, including helpful tips and techniques.
How to Use a Plumbing Snake: Ultimate Guide

If you've ever dealt with a clogged drain, you know how frustrating it can be. Knowing how to use a plumbing snake can save you time and money. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about snaking drains and pipes, offering plumbing snake tips and answering common questions like ""how does a drain snake work?"" and ""can snaking a drain damage pipes?""

What is a Plumbing Snake?

A plumbing snake, also known as a drain snake or auger, is a tool designed to unclog drains. It consists of a long, flexible metal coil with a handle or motorized drum at one end. The coil is inserted into the drain, and either manually or automatically turned to break up clogs or push them through the pipe.

Types of Plumbing Snakes

  • Manual Drain Snake: Operated by hand, suitable for minor clogs.
  • Drum Auger: Features a rotating drum, ideal for tougher clogs.
  • Electric Snake: Powered by a motor, perfect for heavy-duty clogs.
  • Toilet Auger: Specifically designed for toilets to avoid damaging the porcelain.

How to Use a Manual Drain Snake

  1. Prepare Your Area: Lay down towels or plastic sheets to catch any water or debris.
  2. Insert the Snake: Push the end of the snake into the drain until you feel resistance.
  3. Rotate the Handle: Turn the handle clockwise to break up the clog. You may need to push gently while rotating.
  4. Retrieve the Snake: Pull the snake out carefully, and clean off any debris.
  5. Flush the Drain: Run hot water down the drain to clear any remaining debris.

How to Use an Electric Snake

  1. Safety First: Always wear gloves and safety glasses.
  2. Insert the Snake: Feed the end into the drain until it reaches the clog.
  3. Power On: Turn on the motor and let it rotate the snake.
  4. Move the Snake: Gently push and guide the snake through the pipe.
  5. Power Off: Turn off the motor before pulling the snake out.
  6. Flush the Drain: Use hot water to ensure the clog is completely clear.

Plumbing Snake Tips

  • Always wear protective gear such as gloves and safety glasses.
  • Work slowly to avoid damaging your pipes.
  • If the snake doesn't work, try re-inserting it and adjusting the angle.
  • Consider using a different type of snake for tougher clogs.
  • Always clean and dry your plumbing snake after use to prevent rust.

Common Questions

How to Get a Drain Snake Around a Bend?

To get a snake around a bend, gently twist and push the snake while applying pressure. If it gets stuck, pull back slightly and try again from a different angle.

Can Snaking a Drain Damage Pipes?

While it's possible, it’s unlikely if you use the snake correctly. Always go slowly and avoid forcing the snake, especially through tough bends or turns.

How Often Should You Snake Your Drain?

It's generally recommended to snake your drains once a year as a preventative measure, or whenever you notice slow drainage or recurring clogs.

Final Thoughts

Learning how to use a plumbing snake can be incredibly beneficial for tackling clogs yourself. However, if you encounter persistent issues, it’s best to contact professionals like Wally Blanton Plumbing & Sewer for expert help in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Have an Emergency?

Call Now: (262) 228-9821

Table of Contents

Related Posts