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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Plumbing Basics: How to Snake a Drain

2/17/2020 (Permalink)

A drain auger can unclog a wide variety of household fixtures

Plumbing Basics: How to Snake a Drain

Science has not found a way to make self-cleaning drains yet. Until then, a plumber’s snake is your best bet for unblocking clogged pipes. In fact, many homeowners in South Weymouth, MA think of it as a DIY-friendly solution to a professional level problem.
A drain auger can unclog a wide variety of household fixtures including:

  • Sinks
  • Bathtubs
  • Showers
  • Sewer lines

Step 1: Gear Up for the Job

As always, safety comes first in any DIY project. Wear a pair of rubber gloves and goggles, especially if you have used a chemical drain cleaner before. This gear protects your skin from toxins and harmful bacteria that might be in the pipe.

Step 2: Insert the Snake

Next, gain access to the stopped drain by removing its lid with an adjustable wrench. That will allow you to insert the snake until it meets resistance. This blockage could be a bend or the clog itself, and the only way to tear them apart is by doing a little experiment. Tighten the setscrew and turn the snake clockwise while pushing gently. That should get the snake past the bend easily, but a clog will be slightly harder to overcome.
Loosen the setscrew and continue pushing forward until you reach the clogged part. Repeat the above procedure to dig into the debris until you get past it. Also, crank the tool in all directions to clear any remaining particles.

Step 3: Retrieving the Snake

After that little adventure, it’s time to start pulling the tool out, which usually slides out without any problems. If it gets stuck, tighten the setscrew again and turn anticlockwise, while pulling gently. That should help it get around the corner and avoid a pipe break. It is also good practice to clean the tool with a rug as it comes out of the drain. Finally, run water to make sure the clog is behind you.
Now you know how to clear a clogged drain like a pro. You will never have to fork $100 for a few minutes of “work.”

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