How to Use a Plumbing Snake

A plumbing snake, also known as a drain snake or drain auger, is a handy tool that can help you clear clogged drains without the need for chemicals or calling a plumber. In this guide, Rooterman TX provides step-by-step instructions on how to use a plumbing snake effectively to tackle common drain blockages.

How to Use a Plumbing Snake

Step-by-Step Guide to Using a Plumbing Snake

1. Gather Your Tools

Before you begin, ensure you have the following tools and equipment:

  • Plumbing snake: Choose an appropriate length for the task.
  • Work gloves: Protect your hands from dirt and debris.
  • Safety goggles: Shield your eyes from splashes.
  • Bucket: To catch any water or debris that may come out of the drain.

2. Prepare the Drain

  • Remove any standing water from the sink or bathtub.
  • Remove the drain stopper or strainer if applicable to access the drain opening.

3. Insert the Plumbing Snake

  • Put on your work gloves and safety goggles.
  • Extend the cable of the plumbing snake and insert it into the drain until you feel resistance.
  • Turn the handle of the snake clockwise to help it advance through the drainpipe. 
  • Continue feeding the snake until you reach the clog.

4. Break Up the Clog

  • Once you reach the clog, begin turning the snake handle in the opposite direction (counterclockwise) to engage the auger.
  • Apply steady pressure as you turn the snake. This will help the auger break up and grab onto the clog.

5. Retrieve the Snake

  • Slowly retract the snake from the drain, continuing to turn the handle.
  • Be prepared for resistance as the snake brings the clog back up.

6. Dispose of the Debris

  • As you remove the snake, place any debris or blockage into the bucket.
  • Ensure the drain is clear by running water through it. If the water flows freely, the clog is likely cleared.

7. Clean and Store the Snake

  • Rinse off the plumbing snake thoroughly to remove any residue.
  • Store the snake in a cool, dry place, away from children and pets.

8.  Important Safety Precautions

  • Always wear gloves and safety goggles when using a plumbing snake.
  • Avoid excessive force, as it can damage pipes.
  • If you encounter stubborn clogs or cannot clear the drain, consider calling a professional plumber for assistance.

9. When to Call a Professional

While using a plumbing snake can resolve many minor clogs, some situations may require the expertise of a plumber. You should consider professional help if:

  • The clog persists despite your efforts.
  • You encounter multiple clogs throughout your plumbing system.
  • You are unsure about using a plumbing snake or have concerns about causing damage.

Call Rooterman TX for Professional Assistance

Using a plumbing snake can be an effective DIY solution for clearing many drain clogs. However, if you encounter challenges or need assistance with stubborn blockages, Rooterman TX is here to help. Contact us at 281.351.4422 for professional plumbing services and solutions.

Request Job Estimate Text