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How to Use a Plumbing Snake: A Step-by-Step Guide

December 22, 2021

A clogged drain can be a real nuisance. There’s nothing like having something that you count on all the time stop working. Fortunately, it’s often a relatively easy problem to fix. This step-by-step guide will show you how to use a plumbing snake to get your drain clean and flowing again.

How to Prevent Drains from Getting Clogged

Of course, the most important thing you can do to unclog your drains is to keep them as clear as possible every day. Things you can do include:

  • Use your garbage and don’t throw larger waste materials into your drain, even if you have a garbage disposal
  • Use a drain screen to keep gunk out of your drain
  • Take good care of your garbage disposal and use a good flow of cold water whenever running it
  • Try to keep as much hair from going down the bathroom drain as you can

When to Snake Your Drain

When your drain allows little or no water through and running hot water won’t budge the blockage, it’s time for a plumbing snake. You can rent a manual or powered plumbing snake from a rental or hardware store. Just be sure to ask how to use that plumbing snake model and get the instructions to take home with you.

How To Use A Plumbing Snake Steps

1. Remove Drain Plug

Be careful when doing this so you don’t damage the plug’s connection. Now is a good time to give the drain plug a scrub if it needs it.

2. Feed Plumbing Snake Into the Drain:

Turn the auger handle to move the snake down the drain. Take it easy at first, but you might need to work down the drain harder to get around curves in the drain.

3. Continue Feeding Snake Through the Clog:

Once you get past the curves, the snake should slide relatively easily until you hit the clog. Keep turning the auger until you feel it push through the clog.

4. Remove the Plumbing Snake:

The clog, or at least part of it, might come out with the auger.

5. Make Sure the Clog Is Fully Removed:

Run water down the drain for a few minutes to wash it out and to make sure the blockage has been cleared.

How to Use a Plumbing Snake on a Toilet

Unclogging a blocked toilet is not the most appealing job. When a plunger doesn’t do the trick, you can use a plumbing snake to get it done.

Snaking a toilet is just like unclogging a sink drain. The main difference is that you should use a plumbing snake designed for a toilet. They are made to prevent scratching the porcelain of a toilet bowl.

What to Do if You Can’t Snake a Drain

Some drain clogs are stubborn and hard to remove. If you encounter a clogged drain that you can’t snake yourself, contact Superior Water & Air! Our friendly plumbing experts will get the job done as fast as possible.

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