You know that you need to snake your drain every so often to keep it clean, but you're not sure how to do it. A plumbing snake can be a tricky tool to use if you're not familiar with it. It's easy to damage your pipes if you're not careful.
We're here to help. In this article, we'll walk you through the steps of using a plumbing snake effectively. We'll also show you how to choose the right plumbing snake for your needs.
What Is a Plumbing Snake and What Does It Do?
A plumbing snake also called a drain snake or a toilet auger is a long, flexible rod that is used to clear clogs from drains and pipes. The snake is inserted into the drain and then fed through the pipe until it reaches the clog. Once the snake has reached the clog, it can be used to break up the blockage or to physically remove it from the pipe.
Plumbing snakes are available in a variety of sizes, depending on the size of the drain or pipe that they will be used in. For most household purposes, a small, handheld plumbing snake is all that is needed. However, professional plumbers often use more giant snakes designed to clear thicker blockages from commercial sewer lines.
Steps on How to Use a Plumbing Snake Safely and Effectively
A plumbing snake is a very useful tool for clearing clogged drains, but it's important to use it safely and effectively. To use your plumbing snake safely, follow these steps:
Step 1: Disconnecting the Drain Trap
To disconnect the trap, start by shutting off the water supply to the sink. Then, remove the trap arm by unscrewing it from the drainpipe. After that, you should be able to lift the trap out of the drain. If there is standing water in the trap, you can simply dump it out before proceeding. Once the trap is removed, use a plunger to try and clear any remaining debris from the drainpipe. If that doesn't work, then you can proceed to use a plumbing snake.
Step 2: Inserting the Plumbing Snake
Start by feeding the plumbing snake into the drainpipe until you feel resistance. Then, start turning the handle in a clockwise direction. As you turn the handle, the snake will start to coil up inside the pipe. Continue turning the handle until you've coiled up as much of the snake as possible.
Step 3: Pulling Out the Debris
Start slowly pulling out the plumbing snake after you have coiled up as much of it as you can. As you do so, any debris that was blocking the pipe should come out with it. Once you have all of the debris out, you can proceed to flush out the drainpipe with some hot water.
Remember to be careful when using a plumbing snake, as it's possible to cause damage to your pipes. If you have any doubts, it's always best to consult with a professional before proceeding. With that said, following the steps above should help you clear any blocked drains quickly and efficiently.