Tips For First Time Drain Snake Users

If using drain cleaner and plunging has failed to clear your hair-clogged bathroom drain, then you should try using a drain snake. Even if you have never used a drain snake before, these tips will help you auger out the drain yourself and may save you the cost of a plumbing service call:

Tip: Buy the Right Drain Snake for the Job

When you go to the hardware store to purchase a drain snake, it is vital you purchase the right one for the drain you need it to clear. For example, if your shower or sink drain is clogged, then you need one type of drain snake. If the toilet drain is clogged, then you need a drain snake designed especially for use in toilets that won't damage its porcelain surface.

It is important to note that drain snakes are also called drain augers, so you may see either name written on the packaging, but the device itself will be the same.

Tip: Push the Drain Snake Gently Into the Drain

To start clearing a clogged drain, you need to gently push the end of the drain snake into the drain's opening. When you feel resistance, stop pushing it in and instead use the cranking handle. If you force the drain snake into the wall of the pipe and the pipe is rusty, then it could damage your plumbing.

Tip: Use the Drain Snake's Crank to Feed It into the Drain

Turn the drain snake's crank and it will slowly rotate and extend itself into the clogged drain. If the snake hits a curve in the plumbing or the clog itself, then it may be harder to turn. 

If you feel resistance while cranking, then pull the drain snake back a bit by cranking in the other direction. Afterward, crank the other way again and allow the snake to move around the curve or through the clog. You will know when to stop feeding the snake into the drain when you either run out of more to feed in or when the snake once again becomes really easy to crank into the drain because there is no more resistance. 

Tip: Remove the Drain Snake by Cranking it Out, Not Yanking it Out

Finally, once the drain snake has loosened up the clog and it's time to remove it, then you must do so by cranking it out. While you may be tempted to simply pull it out of the drain, this could cause damage to your plumbing.

If you are unable to clear the clog yourself, then contact a plumbing company like Best Choice Plumbing, Inc.