drain snake

How To Use A Drain Snake

A drain snake can come in handy when you have a minor clog at home. If you are looking for a DIY project, you can often fix clogs in your shower, bath or sink with a simple drain snake. It's always best to call your plumber if things get out of hand, or if the clog is more complex than it appears. However, it's a good idea to know how to use a drain snake for a quick fix to a simple clog.

What Is A Drain Snake?

A drain snake, often also known as a plumbing snake, is a long, flexible, often metal device with a small drill or auger at the very end. This tool is about 1/4 inch thick with a handle at one end. It is pushed (usually manually) into the clogged drain. It is best to push it as far as possible into the clogged area. The drain snake helps to access the clog so that it can be pulled out and removed. Drain snakes are great tools as they are long enough to unclog deep clogs, that aren't usually removed by plunging alone.

Different Types Of Drain Snakes

Drain snakes come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, depending on the type and severity of the clogs they are used to fix. The type of drain snake you use will depend on the use case. Drain snakes all appear to look relatively the same. They are all long and narrow in order to fit down a drain.

However, depending on the size and depth of the drain, circumference of the pipe, as well as the severity of the clog, there will be different types and sizes to pick from. If the clog is very severe or it is a sewage-related clog, you may choose to use an automated drain snake, rather than a hand-held model. Visit your local hardware store for a variety of different drain snakes to choose from. Learn more about the different shapes and sizes of drain snakes.

Drain Snake Step-By-Step

If unclogging your sink or drain is unsuccessful with a plunger, it is a good idea to try the drain snake, here's how to use it:

  1. Push the end of the snake into the drain opening and turn the handle.
  2. Push the snake directly into the drain. Do this until you feel some resistance.
  3. Rotate the snake. This will allow it to loosen and dislodge the clog.
  4. Remove the snake and run the tap water. Watch to see if the water drains, or if it continues to collect.
  5. If the water drains, you have successfully fixed the clog. If the water continues to pool, try the procedure again. Often this will take several tries to properly remove the clog.
  6. Call your plumber.

If the drain is still clogged after you have tried plunging and using a drain snake, its best to call your plumber.

Visit Hillcrest Plumbing & Heating

The team at Hillcrest Plumbing & Heating has the experience and technical skills you need when something goes wrong with your plumbing system. With 24/7 emergency service, our certified staff will be there when you need them most. If you think your drain may be seriously plugged and a drain snake does not help to improve the problem, call Hillcrest Plumbing & Heating today. We service Vancouver and the Lower-Mainland for all plumbing and heating needs.