Clogged drains can be a frustrating problem as it disrupts the normal functioning of your household. So, when you see the drain getting clogged, it can make you tensed and anxious. Luckily, unclogging the drainpipe isn’t as challenging as most people think.
While there are various methods to unclog a drain, snaking is often an effective solution. It involves the use of a plumbing tool called a drain snake or auger to remove blockages from the pipe. This article will provide step-by-step instructions on how to snake a drain.
It is ideal to remove major and stubborn blockages and debris from deep inside the drainpipes to keep the water-flow in optimal condition. Plus, you will know when to use this method and vital precautions to consider for snaking the drainpipe successfully.
When to Snake a Drain?
At times you may address clogs that are caused by solid debris or organic matter. Hence, these solid debris and clogs cannot be easily dissolved or dislodged with methods like plunging. Also, for them you can’t use chemical cleaners. As it happens, snaking the drainpipe is your best solution.
Common scenarios where snaking may be required include:
- Persistent clogs: If you’ve tried plunging or using drain cleaners without success, snaking might be necessary.
- Slow-draining sinks or tubs: If water takes a long time to drain or if it accumulates in the sink or tub, there might be a partial clog that requires snaking.
- Foul odors: Unpleasant smells emanating from drains could indicate trapped debris that needs to be removed with a snake.
All these are signs of serious clogs inside the draining system of your home and needs immediate attention. So, you should consider snaking the draining system ASAP to unclog it.
Precautions to Take While Unclogging the Drain:
When you decide to use a drain auger or plumbing snake to unclog the drainpipe, you must be careful. Or else, it can damage the pipes and cost you to replace it. Also, proper ventilation is crucial to avoid suffocation.
- Safety first: Wear gloves and protective eyewear to prevent any harm from coming into contact with debris or splashing liquids.
- Ventilation: Ensure that the area is well-ventilated to avoid inhaling any unpleasant fumes.
- Chemicals: Do not use chemical drain cleaners before or after snaking, as they can react with the snake and cause harmful fumes.
- Hot water: Avoid pouring boiling water down the drain before or after snaking, as it can damage plastic pipes.
- Professional help: If you have a septic system, are unsure about the process, or encounter any complications, it’s best to contact a professional plumber.
How to Snake A Drain: Step-by-Step Instructions
When water gets stuck inside the drainpipe and refuses to go away, it can be both annoying and worrying. And if the problem of clogged drain persists, it can quickly turn your home into a hell with foul odor and unhygienic situations.
Step 1: Gather the necessary tools and prepare the area
Before snaking a drainpipe, you must gather everything you need for it. In includes:
- Drain snake/auger: Choose a suitable drain snake or auger based on the size of the drain you’re unclogging.
- Bucket: Keep a bucket nearby to collect any debris or water that might come out during the process.
- Gloves and protective eyewear: Ensure you have proper safety gear.
After gathering the materials for snaking the drain, you must prepare the area. So, you should remove any items from around the drain. Also, clear the workspace to have easy access.
Step 2: Insert the drain snake
Once you have prepared the draining area, you should at first, extend the auger cable. You must turn the handle clockwise of the auger until it stops. Afterward, you need to insert the snake into the drain opening slowly.
You must continue feeding it deeper while applying gentle pressure. Also, ensure you don’t hit the drain too hardly with the auger or it can get damaged and leaky.
Step 3: Rotate, maneuver and retrieve the snake
Once you enter the snake, it will encounter resistance as it reaches the clogs. Then, you have to twist the handle clockwise to rotate the auger head. At the same time, continue pushing and rotating the snake.
You must also maintain steady pressure until you feel the blockage giving way.If the snake becomes difficult to push or rotate, it likely means you’ve reached the clog. Now, you can slowly withdraw the snake while maintaining tension on the cable. It helps to break up or retrieve the debris causing the clog.
Step 4: Clean up and test
After retrieving the auger, you should dispose of any debris collected in the bucket. Also, carefully, flush the drain with hot water to ensure it flows freely.
Snaking a drain is a practical method for unclogging drains when other techniques prove ineffective. You can safely and efficiently remove blockages from your drains with the snaking method. It is suitable for both major and minor blocks.
However, if you’re uncomfortable or uncertain about the process, you may seek professional assistance. It will be useful to prevent any potential damage or accidents.