How To Snake A Drain

One way or another, you have a clog. That’s why you’re here. Hearing a gurgling sound come from a toilet, sink, or shower drain is never a good sign. If you hear sounds, smell something, or water is backing up, you probably have a clog. In this post, we’re going to show you how to snake a drain the right way. Let’s jump right in.


Don’t Use Draino

We’ve said it before, but we’ll repeat it: DO NOT use Draino. This reactive product works by heating up and dissolving materials that cause clogs. While this may sound useful and effective, it often does more harm than good. The sodium hydroxide in drain cleaning products can damage pipes, porcelain, and joints. This leads to issues such as leaks, breaks, and flooding. That all sounds way worse than a clog, doesn’t it? 


How To Snake A Drain

For starters, you need a snake. A plumber’s snake is an excellent tool for any DIYer to have. The 1/4″ coil on the end of the snake breaks up clogs that the plunger can’t touch. Get a drain snake that offers manual or drill-powered operation, like this

Before you start, make sure you have a bucket nearby. You may need something to hold debris that comes up, if any. 

  1. Insert the head of the snake into the drain or toilet. Once it’s in the drain, crank the handle to lower the snake down. When you encounter a bend in the plumbing, you may need to wiggle the snake to get around it. 
  2. Once the snake reaches the clog, you can continue pushing it through the pipe or pull the clog out. Also, you can hook the snake up to the drill if it’s a big clog to try and break through it. 
  3. If the snake’s head has hooked the clog, carefully crank the handle to pull it out. 
  4. Remove the debris from the snake and test the water flow. If there still seems to be something blocking the pipes, you may need to snake them again.


How To Prevent Future Clogs

Finally, you unclogged the drains. You know how to use a snake and have peace of mind. Unfortunately, though, clogs will happen again. It’s the nature of the beast when it comes to pipes. Here are a couple of tips about preventing future clogs from the pros at Autry Plumbing:

  • When you’re using a garbage disposal, use cold water while grinding. If you use hot water, it melts fat and allows it to cool and get stuck in the pipes. When you use cold water, it allows the fats to stay solid and run through the drain lines without blockage. Once you’re done using the disposal, let the water run for a couple of minutes to rinse out the drain lines. 
  • In sinks or bathtubs, use something like a TubShroom. These drain protectors catch hair and other debris to prevent clogs. 


Need Help? 

So, you’ve tried plunging and snaking. Can’t seem to get that pesky drain unclogged? At Autry Plumbing, we’re here to help. Give us a call today, and schedule an inspection.