How To Use A Plumbing Snake To Unclog A Drain: Free article on Home Maintenance handy DIY tips and advice

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How To Use A Plumbing Snake To Unclog A Drain
Topic: Home Maintenance Author: Jim

This article describes how to use a plumbing snake to unclog a drain. A plumbing snake is a device used to reach blockages in drains. The device normally consists of a cable with a handle at one end and an auger at the other. The handle is used to rotate the auger and removed the blockage.

 

What you will need for this job: - a plumbing snake - a bucket (in which to place debris removed from the clogged drain) - a pair of gloves - some towels

 

Start by laying the towels around your work area making sure to cover any surfaces and bathroom fixtures you don't want to get wet and dirty. The towels are to protect your fittings from any water and debris which may be retrieved while unclogging the drain.

 

Next have the bucket at the ready. The bucket will be used to place and debris which is retrieved from the blocked drain ready for disposal later. It always pays to be prepared on these jobs, so make sure it's within easy reach.

 

Place the gloves on your hands. This is important for hygiene reasons. drains and sewers are breading grounds for bacteria and other little nasties, so the protection of a pair of sturdy waterproof gloves is highly recommended.

 

Now comes the fun part. Place the head of the plumbing snake in the mouth of the drain and start feeding the cable in. Turn the cable slowely to help guide the plumbing snake to the blockage. Once you feel some resistance, this should mean you have reached the blockage.

 

It's important to note at this point that we want to retrieve the material which is clogging the drain if at all possible. Failing this we will break up the blockage, but this isn't the preferred course of action as the material which caused the blockage may reform further down the line and become even harder to remove.

 

Rotate the head of the auger gently and try to feel the head of the auger biting into the blockage. When you feel it grip, slowly withdraw the cable feeling the weight of the blockage coming with it. You may need to keep rotating the head of the auger to keep a grip on it. Once you've dragged the blockage up the the mouth of the drain, pull out the material and place in the bucket.

 

Now run hot water down the drain to flush away any remaining debris. All that remains now is to clean up and empty your bucket. I recommend all households keep a plumbing snake handy just in case.


 

Jim runs a plumbing information website called Plumbing Snakes Etc. For more information about choosing a plumbing snake please visit Jim's website.