How to use a drain snake – to unclog blockages, fast

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Unclogging a blocked drain is 1 of the astir tedious tasks you tin look arsenic a homeowner; though, you're apt to travel crossed the occupation eventually. However, if you cognize however to usage a drain snake, the process doesn't request to beryllium truthful challenging – particularly erstwhile equipped with the close cleaning tips for the job. 

Many location betterment experts often opt for a drain snake erstwhile unclogging blockages (so many, successful fact, that it's besides aptly known arsenic a plumber's snake successful the industry). And it's casual to spot the entreaty down the tool. 

Whether you're looking to unclog a toilet without a plunger (or, rather, an effectual alternate to a plunger) oregon you're looking for a descend solution, these tips tin help.

How does a drain snake work?

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(Image credit: ALUN CALLENDER)

'A drain snake is simply a long, flexible metallic coil that is inserted into a clogged drain to wide the blockage,' says plumbing adept astatine Green Leaf Air (opens successful caller tab), Walter Bennett. 

'The snake moves done the pipe, pushing oregon pulling immoderate is blocking the drain retired of the way.' While determination are respective types of drain snakes connected the market, Walter explains that the astir fashionable benignant is simply a manual snake [such arsenic this one connected Amazon (opens successful caller tab)]. 

How to usage a drain snake – nonrecreational tips for a speedy solution 

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(Image credit: Mary Wadsworth)

Here, the professionals stock their advice, truthful you tin larn however to usage a drain snake – the adept way.  

1. Identify the stoppage  

Before picking up your drain snake, Kevin Wade from Empire Sewer and Water NJ (opens successful caller tab) recommends checking whether the blockage is successful the idiosyncratic drain, stack, oregon sewer line.

'How tin you tell? Easy, if determination are aggregate drains blocked, [it's likely], they are successful the stack line. If determination are aggregate drains blocked successful the basement oregon crushed level, past it's astir apt the sewer line. If it's conscionable 1 drain blocked, it's [probably] successful the idiosyncratic drain,' helium says. 

2. Determine the size of the drain 

After identifying the stoppage, Kevin urges you to found the size of the drain that volition beryllium snaked. 'For residence tubs, sinks, and laundry, usually drains scope betwixt 1 1/4" -2" successful circumference,' helium says.  

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(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

3. Inset the snake into the drain  

Before opening this step, the plumber urges you to usage oculus extortion and gloves to guarantee you're harmless erstwhile operating the snaking machine. 

'Insert the drain snake cablegram into the unfastened drain country and powerfulness on, allowing the snake to run and relieve stoppage. You volition cognize stoppage is relieved erstwhile the h2o starts to travel done the drain,' Kevin says. You tin trial its occurrence by moving h2o for astir 5 minutes to guarantee a earthy drain of the water. If the blockage remains, Kevin recommends repeating the process. 

Is a drain snake casual to use? 

When pursuing nonrecreational room and bathroom ideas, you volition apt person occurrence successful unblocking astir stoppages astatine home. However, if the contented continues aft pursuing these steps, Kevin recommends contacting a nonrecreational drain work with entree to commercial-grade snaking. 

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(Image credit: Mandarin Stone)

Should I snake my ain drain? 

If your blockage is not excessively big, you tin execute nonrecreational results yourself. 'Using a drain snake is simply a large mode to wide your pipes of immoderate blockages. It is an casual process and tin beryllium done by anyone,' Walter says. 'Be definite to travel the information precautions, and you volition beryllium bully to go.'