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Using a Plumber's Snake Drain

Using a Plumber’s Snake Drain

A manual drain snake can be your best option if the blockage you’re trying to clear is too difficult for a plunger but you’re not quite ready to give up. To unclog pipes, obstructions are removed with a drain auger or plumber’s snake. Snaking a pipe is a middle-ground option between plunging and enlisting the help of powerful, professional drain augers.


While more difficult to use than plungers, plumber snakes are a more effective DIY drain cleaner. Through tight curves and twists, they can be challenging to control. Learn how your snake operates and how to use it properly to prevent making expensive mistakes. The following information will teach you how to utilize a drain snake.

How to use a plumbing snake (and what exactly is an auger?)

Simply put, an auger is a tool made for boring into things. One kind of auger is a drill. A long, flexible metal wire known as a plumbing auger or plumbing snake has a handle and a small, uncoiling spring on one end. The snake’s auger head has a corkscrew-like appearance. The typical length of a residential plumbing auger is 20 to 50 feet. When not in use, the cable retracts inside a circular casing. The majority of household plumbing snakes are operated by hand and have a rotating handle or crank to release and move the cable. You may maneuver the coil through tight spaces by turning the handle.

In order to physically contact and subsequently remove the impediment causing the clog, a drain must be physically snaked. You start by placing the auger head into the drain before manually feeding the snake until it reaches the obstruction. The snake crawls deeper into the drainpipe as it uncoils, eventually breaking past the barrier with its head.

A more thorough explanation of how to operate a drain auger is provided below:

    1. Lay some old towels underneath the pipes you’re working on and put on some clothes you don’t mind getting muddy. This is how to use a drain snake. Your snaking operation could become messy depending on the kind of clog you have. If you decide to remove the p-trap, this is extremely crucial.


    1. (Optional but recommended) (Optional but recommended) Take the p-trap out, if possible. The curved piece of piping under the sink is called a p-trap. It joins the sink to your home’s larger system of drainpipes. Sewer gases cannot rise through the sink and into the house, which is why it is curved. P-traps are sometimes made of metal, however, they can also be built of PVC pipe.


With the aid of an adjustable wrench or your hands, you may manually release the p-trap. You should carefully inspect and wipe out the p-trap after removing it. You might not even need to snake if you’ve located your obstruction! By avoiding this challenging twist, removing the trap frequently makes snaking simpler.


    1. You might think about eliminating the trap arm. Between the p-trap and the wall pipe itself is a section of pipe known as a trap arm. It maintains the p-trap in position and may curve once more to reach the wall. To connect the trap arm to the wall, search for a plastic or metal nut. To remove the trap arm, find a fitting and loosen it. If you are unable to, it’s likely that the arm is glued in place; in that case, you shouldn’t try to remove it. Once the trap is removed, make sure you clean out the trap arm just as you would the p-trap.


The best access to the drainpipe is provided by removing the trap arm. To check for clogs, peek into the drainpipe. Try to remove the obstruction from your current location if you can see it. If you’re unable to, it’s time to employ your snake.


    1. Using the snake’s auger head as a guide, manually thread the pipe. If you didn’t remove the trap, insert the snake’s head into the drain, or if there is an access point on the wall, into the opening. Consider running cold water while you snake if you didn’t remove the trap.


You risk damaging the drain entry or pipe if you forcefully drive the auger into the drain. Make sure the head and cable aren’t too large for the drain you’re trying to snake and be patient.


    1. Start uncoiling the snake with the help of the snake. As much as you can, keep the snake’s handle next to the pipe’s opening. The more force is being directed into the pipe the less slack the auger has.

Feed the line steadily and slowly. If the cable encounters resistance at any point as it travels through the pipe, you may have come across an obstruction or just a bend in the pipe.


    1. Push on after rotating the handle to move the head back and forth to clear the obstruction. Instead of jamming the auger into the pipe walls, try to maneuver around the obstruction or around the corner. If you hear scraping sounds, stop snaking and adjust again. Continuous pushing and pulling while spinning the crank can be beneficial.


    1. Disassemble the sink’s components and remove the snake. Inspect and remove any blockage remnants from the auger head. At this stage, if the trap arm and p-trap were taken out, you should put them back in place.


    1. Verify the sink. The snake ought to have been able to clear the blockage and stop the clogging. Try repeating your snaking procedure if there is still a clog. But using a drain snake too frequently might ruin your pipes or drains, much as plunging. Consider calling in the experts if a thorough snaking didn’t resolve your issue.

Jersey City professional drain cleaning

A surprisingly simple and affordable home improvement job is snaking. You should be able to clear any bothersome clogs from your sink, bathtub, or toilet as long as you know how to operate your snake and have the patience to manage it.


For the occasions when you simply cannot, no matter what you do, remove that blockage. Don’t lose hope! Calling BJC Plumbers Jersey City should come after your snake. Outside of the gridlock in Jersey City, we have the equipment and expertise to locate and remove any obstruction.