How to Use a Snake to Unclog a Drain

Homeowners know that when it comes to the upkeep of their homes, it is important to always keep the plumbing system working. However, it is also a fact that at some point in time, there will be a clogging problem to take care of. And though it can be a tedious task at times, unclogging the drain is doable and can be done even without calling the plumber with the use of a tool known as a plumber’s snake or auger.

Snakes are effective in clearing clogging problems that cannot be fixed with the use of chemicals and plungers. However, investing in one is not enough. It is utterly important to know the steps you need to take to remove the blockage from your drains whether it be in the kitchen, bathtub, sink, washing machine and toilet.

Step 1:

Snakes can get slippery from grease and gunk that is inside the pipe. This is why it is important to wear rubber gloves with good grips to easily handle the tool and not fill your hands with grease and dirt.

Step 2:

See to it that you shut off the water supply to whatever part of the house you are working on. If it is the toilet, the valve can be found behind the toilet bowl. If you are working on the kitchen sink, turn off the valve under the sink so water will not come out from the faucet.

Step 3:

Hold the snake and pull out the cable or metal wire that you have to insert into the drain pipe. If you are having a toilet clogging issue, the snake with a coil attached to the end of the snake is the type you need to use. You will notice that it is covered with plastic to ensure that the porcelain of the toilet will not be scratched or damaged by the coil. Gently and slowly insert the end into the opening in the toilet bowl.

Step 4:

Once it is inside, rotate the handle in one direction to push the cable farther down the drain pipe, twisting it at the same time so it can loosen and break apart the gunk buildup inside the pipe. Continue to push the cable down until you reach the object that has been blocking the drain.

Step 5:

Push it a little more and then pull it up to loosen the gunk as if you are trying to remove the coil of the snake or the wire, depending on the type of snake you are using. If it is a bit difficult to get through try cranking the cable and pour some water into the toilet or sink.

Step 6:

Once again, push and pull the cable or coil to help loosen the obstruction. If the problem is gunk, you might want to pull the snake up so you can remove the debris. Wipe the end with the old cloth to avoid messy flooring. Return the cable or coil once again to dislodge the remaining materials inside the drain pipe.

Step 7:

To ensure removing whatever is obstructing completely, push the snake farther down and past the obstruction and pull it back. Remove the snake wire or coil from the opening of the toilet or sink. If it is the sink you are working on, replace the P-trap.

Step 8:

Turn the water back on and let running water flow on the sink. If you are working on a slow draining toilet, try to flush it and see if it is working well.

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