drain services baltimore

How to Clean a Drain with a Snake

A drainage snake – also known as a drainage auger – is a tool used by plumbers to clear clogged drains. It consists of a handle, a flexible metal “snake” and a hole in the end to break the blockage. Breaking a nuisance with a drainage snake is something that most homeowners can do themselves, without having to hire a plumber. Drain snakes are available in every hardware store and are available in many shapes, lengths and materials.

Instructions

Shallow clogs

  • Insert the snake into the drain.
  • Push the snake deeper and deeper into the tube, turning the crank clockwise, adjusting to reposition the handle as you go. You can stop pressing when you get to the obstruction.
  • Turn the snake clockwise to allow the auger into the obstruction.
  • Pull the snake slightly backwards to break off parts of the blockage. Depending on the size of the obstruction, you have to do this several times to clean the drain.
  • Run hot water through the drain to remove the jam from the rest of the pipe.

Clogs of deep

  • Remove the trap under the drain with a socket wrench. Directly under the drain, you will notice a horizontal and vertical piece of pipe connecting pipe. This section is known as a trap and will have to be removed to snake the drain.
  • Insert the snake from above into the horizontal piece of pipe under the sink. Force the snake downward when you reach the “T” in the pipe.
  • Push the snake deeper and deeper into the tube, turning the crank clockwise, adjust to reposition the handle as you go. You can stop pressing when you get to the blockage.
  • Pull the snake slightly backwards to break off parts of the obstruction. Depending on the size of the blockage, you’ll have to do this several times to clean the drain. You’ll know the drain is clear when you no longer feel a blockage in the pipe.
  • Replace the trap and run hot water through the pipe to purge the remainder of the obstruction.

Tips & Warnings

  • If these strategies do not work, you may need to call a plumber who will have access to more powerful tools to help get rid of the blockage.
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