How To Snake A Drain

When it comes to dealing with clogged drains, nearly everyone has resorted to using a drain snake at some point. Even experienced plumbers have been known to pull out the snaking equipment when a drain gets obstructed and doesn’t want to clear itself.  This how-to guide will teach you how you can go from being an amateur at snaking drains to a pro by taking you step by step through the how to snake a drain process!

Select the right drain snake for the job

First thing’s first: You’ll need a drain snake. In order to properly “snake” a drain, there are two sizes of snakes that can be used-  the smaller 4-foot variety for toilets and sinks, and the larger 8-foot variety for bathtubs and showers. Please note that if your sink or other fixture has a garbage disposal, it’s best to avoid using larger equipment such as the 8 footers.

That being said, let’s get started!

How To Snake A Drain, Step-By-Step

Once your snake is gathered and ready, you’ll need to insert it into the drain in order to begin snaking it. To do this without causing too much of a mess, have a bucket or pan ready just below where you will be working- that way if anything falls out of place or gets knocked loose by the snake, it won’t ruin any other part of your room. Also, remember how large your snakes are- don’t aim for toilets with 4-foot snakes and showers with 8-foot ones!

In order to push the snake down the line so that it can start clearing out whatever objects are hindering your drain, you will need to turn the crank that usually comes with a snake.  The turning of this handle is how you will create the “snaking” motion- the idea being that the force of these coils hitting against clogged objects will dislodge them from their resting position and allow them to slide freely down your line.

Once you begin turning your crank, make sure not to let go until you’ve reached the end of your snake! If nearly everything is clear by now, congratulations! You can stop how-to guide here, as most people know how to remove a drain snake from their drains at this point.

However, if there’s still a small obstruction or two remaining in your line, keep going! The snake coils are how you will clear out that last bit of clog.

Things to be careful for when snaking a drain:

– Watch out for snakes with a cutting blade.  You don’t want to accidentally break any of your plumbing lines. This will make repairs expensive.

– If you run into something that is too hard, retract and try again in another direction

– Avoid chemicals such as drain cleaners when snaking a drain.  These will do more harm than good to your plumbing lines. Chemicals will only cause the clog to dissolve and flow down into your pipes where it can become lodged and harder to remove in the future.

Once your drain is completely free of any obstructions, congratulations!

You have successfully snaked a drain.

Now that you’ve learned how to snake a drain, go put it into practice by clearing out the rest of those pesky clogs! Just remember not to use larger snakes for smaller drains or vice versa- mistakes like these could be frustrating, but all it would take is one call to your local plumber for an expert to arrive and take care of the problem in no time. Good luck! Let me know how it goes in the comments below.

I think this should be enough information to get you started on how best to do the job, how long it should take, and how to go about doing it. I’ve provided some extra information on how snakes work, how to use them safely and mentioned the available sizes which you might find helpful.

If you still have a clog or you’re struggling to figure out how to snake a drain, feel free to reach out to me. I’ve been providing the #1 plumbing service in Colorado Springs for several years running and I’d love the opportunity to help you out. I’m here for you when you need a responsible pro to get the plumbing job done right the first time.

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