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How to Properly Use a Plumbing Snake to Clear Drains

When any drain clogs in our home arise, we tend to gravitate toward the plunger and little else. In cases where the plunger and its vacuum-created pressure are not able to clear clogs, many immediately move to harmful chemicals or simply call their plumber to fix the issue.

At My Buddy the Plumber, we’re happy to help with all drain cleaning needs and concerns. This includes informing you on a few other home remedies you may have at your disposal for minor to moderate clogs, one of which is the use of a plumbing snake. Many people have never used one of these before – let’s go over the steps to take when your drain clogs and you have a plumbing snake available.

Step 1: Attempt Plunger Use

The first step here, as we noted above, should indeed be to grab your plunger when you notice a drain clog and attempt to resolve it this way. If you’re unsure how to use a particular type of plunger, our plumbers can answer any questions you have. If this doesn’t do the trick, however, you move on to the snake.

Step 2: Locate and Prepare Snake

A plumbing snake is a metal or plastic device that’s generally about a quarter of an inch thick. It’s design with significant extensions, meant to reach down into your clogged drain and push the clog out. Snakes also contain drain augers that will latch onto and push stubborn blockages.

If your plunger doesn’t clear a clog, locate your snake and bring it to the drain in question. We also recommend keeping a bucket nearby to collect the clog once you pull it out, plus we’d advise wearing goggles and possibly protective gloves.

Step 3: Feed Snake

Once you’re ready to go, feed the snake slowly down the drain, using the crank device it comes with to keep it moving until it finds the clog. Once this happens, much of the clog will be latched onto the coil so you can pull it out, while the rest will simply break up and flow downward.

Step 4: Detach Debris

Remove the snake slowly from the drain, and once you’ve done so, pick off any debris that’s stuck to the coil. This is another area where wearing gloves is a must.

Step 5: Flush Drain

Finally, take a few minutes to ensure the snake has done its job correctly. If you’ve been using it on a toilet, flush the toilet a couple times and make sure everything flows well. If you’ve used it on a different drain, flush it with some room temperature water.

For more on how to properly use a plumbing snake to help get rid of a drain clog, or to learn about any of our plumbing or HVAC services, speak to the pros at My Buddy the Plumber today.

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