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How to Snake a Drain: Tips from a Master Plumber

How to Snake a DrainIf you’ve got a plugged drain, then one of the first things you’re likely looking for is how to snake a drain. While this can be a somewhat complicated process for someone who has never known how to snake a drain, once you get the hang of it you’ll find that it’s easier than you thought. Let’s take a look at the simple steps and then cover a few essential tips.

Step 1:

First, put the end of the snake into the opening of the drain. Then turn the handle on the drum that houses the coiled-up drain snake. This gets the auger working so it can work itself down the drain.

Step 2:

Next you’ll rotate the snake against the blockage. Keep doing this until you feel that it’s been freed into the pipe. This action helps the tip of the snake attach right to the clog and then either spin it away or chop it up. In the event that the clog is a solid object, then the auger head will entangle it. If you can’t feel the auger break through, and twisting isn’t getting easier, then pull the auger out. You’re likely to find that the clog comes out with it.

Step 3:

The final step is to run water through your drain for several minutes to ensure the drain is no longer clogged. In some cases the water will flush the clog down the drain, in others it will come up attached to the snake. Either way, run water on full blast to wash out any residual blockage.

Tips to Take Care of Your Drains

If you take these simple steps then you won’t have to know how to snake a drain – you can live a clog-free life! Some suggested options include:

  • Install a sink strainer. Clogged kitchen sinks often get that way when trash or other objects get into the drain. A sink strainer helps prevent this problem and keeps smaller items from getting into the pipe.
  • Maintain your garbage disposal. If you use a garbage disposal, make sure you run cold water at the highest setting while it’s chopping up the garbage. Then leave the water running for another 60 seconds after you shut off the disposal. This flushes trash out of the smaller diameter sink pipe and into the larger main pipe, where clogging is less likely.
  • Don’t dump foreign materials down your drain. Of course, the best option is to not put things down your drain if you think they could clog it. Many do-it-yourself enthusiasts don’t think twice up putting down compounds for plaster or wallboard. It may seem fine, but if you put enough down, they can easily get stuck in your pipes, harden, and get clogged. Never put building materials down your drains.

Regular Maintenance Can Go a Long Way

While there are some repairs you can do simply enough, the truth is that if you suspect you have issues with your drains, then your best bet is to have it looked at by the professionals. A minor clog today could turn into a huge problem down the line if it’s left to fester. Contact us today to learn more about improving your plumbing situation to avoid clogs in the future.


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