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How to Snake a Drain Using a Plumber’s Snake

Jun 11, 2022

How to Snake a Drain Using a Plumber’s Snake

A clogged sink or toilet is among the most common plumbing issues. Ignored, this common and simple issue can become a big problem, causing slow drainage, water or sewage backups, and even damaged plumbing. Fortunately, there are many solutions, including chemical drain cleaners, plungers, and drain snakes. Your friends here at Sunshine Plumbers even offer hydro-jetting drain cleaning, but this article will primarily focus on the plumbing auger and how to use it. We will also quickly review some of the other solutions and our thoughts on them. If you would like to schedule a professional drain cleaning or arrange an urgent dispatch, then feel free to call Sunshine Plumbers any time.

Why Clogged Drains Are Cause for Concern

Drains are generally about an inch to two inches in diameter. This is enough to dispose of basic waste and wastewater, but that’s about it. For instance, pouring used fats, oils, and greases into drains can be problematic as these can harden and get stuck in the drain line, essentially restricting flow. Then, other debris such as hairs, food scraps, and other debris can get stuck in that area, building up larger blockages.

The consequences include slow drainage, foul odors, and even water or sewage backups. Worse, the area around the blockage can accumulate still water, which can speed up rusting and corrosion. Eventually, you might be dealing with cracked and even burst pipes.

Using a Drain Snake, or Plumber’s Snake

There are many drain snakes on the market with some including cranks and other features, but the drain snake is essentially a slender and flexible auger about ½ inch in diameter. If you can’t find one at your local hardware store, then you can put together a makeshift one by unraveling a cloth hanger. You should be sure to cover the end of the cloth hanger with cloth to prevent scratching or damaging your drains though.

Unclogging with a drain snake is simple. Insert the drain snake into the drain, twisting and pushing until you feel it penetrate through the blockage. This should clear some space in the drain to allow waste and wastewater to flow through. This is only a temporary solution though. It does not fully clear out the blockage.

Other Solutions

Some of the other solutions for clogged drains include chemical drain cleaners, plungers, and professional drain cleaning.

We do not recommend chemical drain cleaners because the harsh chemicals can do more harm to the drains than good. They can also pollute the environment. These harsh chemicals are especially dangerous if you have a septic system installed.

Plunging is similar to a drain snake in that it involves elbow grease and only breaks through the clog, but it does not thoroughly clear out the blockage. You can expect to deal with the same clog sooner or later.

A professional drain cleaning is a great solution if you want safe, thorough, and long-lasting results. At Sunshine Plumbers, our plumbers employ hydro-jetting technology as well as video technology to pinpoint the blockage and fully clear it out. Call now to consult with a representative and schedule your appointment today.