As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This tries to get stuck in exactly the same place but, with enough spinning around, it eventually makes it through. As described above, the drain snake is a flexible coil that gets inserted in an open-ended pipe, the flex allows for movement around corners and bends while the body is long enough to penetrate a vast distance through the pipe. Making your own drain snake will help you save the hassle of dealing with a plumber, and save you quite a bit of money as well. They can be harsh elbows like a. bend (such as your P trap) or a smaller elbow (less than 90 degrees). Repeat this by unlocking the wire, pushing it in a few more inches and then relocking and turning it. Unplug the drain and pour a large pot of boiling water down the drain. If it has hit a clog, now is the time to crank it. We ended up cutting out the old steel piping under the tub and sink and replacing it with PVC replacements to make it less likely to drain again in the future. Just as plumbing pipes come in various lengths and diameters, drain augers come in various sizes to match them. Crushing clogs the right way means having to get your auger down your pipes until it reaches the clog. How to Make Your Own Drain Snake Written by Bradley Turner on Jun 29, 2010. Your snake is designed with a thinner cable than a toilet auger just so that it can get through the smaller diameter of your drain pipes, elbows and traps. When you encounter resistance, pull back on the auger while continuing to crank the handle clockwise. After you feel the clog break up and disappear down the drain, pull the snake out of the drain. One of these 2 cables will free up the clog. Make sure when you wind your drain snake into the pipe that you are rotating it the whole time. The first thing you need to do is figure out how long the cable should be. They are designed to wend their way through the internal trap of the toilet as far as the waste opening and maybe a little farther. When there are a lot of bends in a drain pipe, using a snake is the way to go to unclog the drain. The P trap is built that way so that is hold water in it. Push the end into the drain opening and turn the handle on the drum containing the coiled up snake. How to Make a Plumbing Snake Turn Corners, A corner in a pipe is called an elbow. They are specially designed to work in the larger drain size and come with a protective plastic tube to keep your bowl from getting all scratched up. The 3/8" goes through but with a fair amount of difficulty. These drain snakes are used for cleaning the rough stoppage in the lines. We recently wrote a reminder about why chemical drain cleaners are an absolute no-no when it comes to actually cleaning drains. A drain snake, also called a plumbing snake or drain auger, is a device used to unclog drains.It has a long, flexible metal cable with a corkscrew auger attached to the end. The typical diameter is 1/4 inch and they are usually longer than toilet augers. P traps are a building code requirement. Keep sending in the snake till you find a resistance for the movement of the snake. You may not be using the right kind of snake (yep, there's more than one) ... To finish the job, turn on your hot water faucet and let it run for about 3 minutes. How to get a drain snake around a corner is easier than you think when you have tough, deep clogs to tackle. Just be super careful to not scratch your toilet bowl and then go and buy a toilet auger for the next time it clogs up. However, many times you can dislodge the clog before it gets to this point so before you pull out the coveted plumbing tool, start with a few of the following tips. This winding motion with your drain auger helps it to make its way through corners in your pipes. Move it so that it bends around the P-trap, and go as far as possible. Clear the path of the drain. The answer may be that you are either using the wrong kind of drain snake, or you are trying to force it through a P-trap, or you are forcing the snake cable through the pipe too quickly or the clog is just too darn big. The only thing you should be using on your toilet is a. . When you can't push the snake any farther, that usually means that it has hit the obstruction and it's time to crank slowly to work the head through the gunk. The Different Types of Drain Snakes. If the snake continues to make progress (extend deeper into the drain) stick with it. It has a snake cable length from 50 to 100 inches. The smaller snake made the turn with no problems at all. You might have to turn a little harder this time. A drain snake, often called a drum auger, is the perfect tool for clearing branch drain clogs in most situations. Well, the shape of the tub’s pipe is quite different than in a shower drain. We have installed a pressure fitting, but want to get rid of the clog. forms: { Once you feel it reach the clog, move even slower. We also participate in various affiliate programs like HomeDepot, Clickbank etc, etc, and we receive a commission from qualifying purchases when you click links. Most clogs happen at the P trap or other bends in the pipes. Snaking a Drain. How to Snake a Tub Drain Do not snake through the drain! Compared to paying high dollar for a plumber to fix a moderate drain problem, you’ll save a bundle. It is the rotation of the cable that will loosen the clog. However, if plunging the drain yields no results, snaking it is the next step. Next, you want to make sure you have all the tools for the task such as a bucket, snake or unclogging tool, pipe pliers, and possibly a wet/dry vacuum. Hold the drum about 6 inches above the drain and turn the handle clockwise while pushing down gently. In an empty sink, put the baking soda down the drain followed by the vinegar. The auger begins its journey down the drain. 3. To ensure our content is always up-to-date with current information, best practices, and professional advice, articles are routinely reviewed by industry experts with years of hands-on experience. on Aug 12, 2020. Before you start using your drain snake you should know what kind of pipes you’ll be working with. Usually, you won't have to go more than 10 inches in depth to clear the clog. If you feel your snake getting jammed on an elbow, apply steady downward pressure as you wind the cord around. Do not need to take apart the trap, just go in the sink drain and the small diameter snake makes the turns until you get to the plug. How to Unclog a Toilet with Poop Still in it. You may even find that the cable bends completely back and comes augering out the same drain pipe you just inserted it into. Make sure the spray this with WD-40 after you are done so that it doesn't rust when you put it away. Plug the drain and wait at least an hour. A drain snake is a perfect tool for clearing drain clogs, but a broken or faulty snake can be extremely frustrating. This way it won't find its way into your drains and P trap.eval(ez_write_tag([[468,60],'augerauthority_com-box-4','ezslot_0',184,'0','0'])); Thankfully, most clogs are either before or at the start of the P trap. stoppage You do not snake "through" the trap, you remove the trap and snake into the pipe's opening. Keep pushing more of the snake into the drain until you feel resistance. The top plumbing problem homeowners face is clogged drains. Advertisement. Drain snake cords are made of thinner metal, to work through smaller diameter drains. This makes the head wobble back and forth, but because you're cranking counterclockwise, it can't collect any debris. So the 1/4" goes through no problem. When a snake doesn't work, plunging probably won't either, so the best strategy is to disconnect the P-trap and clean it. Snake the drain again at least once, using the same techniques, to make sure the clog is cleared out. If your drain snake won't make a turn, it could be for a number of reasons. If your pipes are made of PVC you need to be careful. Shorter, 1/4-inch types will work for most clogs, too. What’s next? How to get a drain snake around a corner requires a bit of luck but mostly skill and patience. This rotates the cable down inside the drain to break up the clog or work through the bend. Method 4: Create a snake hanger. (Or even simply removing a clog This is a job you can easily do yourself. PVC is plastic and while you can use your snake or auger on PVC pipes, taken extra caution not to be too rough when moving or spinning your snake cable around in your pipes. Since your P trap is just another elbow or corner in your drain, you would use the same procedure to get your snake past the P trap that you use to get it through any other corner. The last thing you want to do when using a snake to unclog a drain is to do further damage to your home. You should feel your snake get through after a few cranks of your cable. If not, then grab your drain snake. Contact a professional for best guidance. Alternatively, you can make your own mini-snake or use a wire coat hanger with a small bend at the end to snake your drain. Take 1 cup of baking soda and half a cup of salt. Push gently and slowly, and if the auger is the right one for the job, it should slide smoothly through the pipe. I bought a retrieval tool with a 3/8 inch cable. Pull it out. in PVC pipes. You might have to turn a little harder this time. 5 Reasons to Avoid a Plumbing Snake. If your snake is too big for the job, try a smaller one. Contractor's Assistant: Do you plan on doing the work yourself? You can read about other homemade solutions that may work to unclog your sink here in our article on Homemade Drain Cleaners That Work You can purchase a manual auger at your local hardware store for about $30. Do yourself a favor and place a drain catcher in your sink to catch any weird stuff. 333 N. Alabama Street, Indianapolis, Indiana (317) 854 0002. augerauthority.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, .ca, .uk, and all associate sites. Its versatility and the ability to use it manually or with a power drill make it the complete package. Drano of course! Once the path is clear insert the drain snake into the drain opening and start turning the handle clockwise. the right way means having to get your auger down your pipes until it reaches the clog. (function() { Crank the auger handle clockwise. Learn the common reasons why your drain snake doesn’t work well, and how to fix it. Tubs that don't drain and kitchen sinks plugged with grease are easy with this. In the end it didn't help our clogged drain issue. If there's an obstruction, the snake will still get stuck. Next morning, pour 2 cups of hot boiling water over the drain. The whole difference between snaking the bathtub and the shower drain is that in case of a bathtub you should never snake through the drain. Make sure you remove any hair or similar clogs from your drain that are within easy reach. Do yourself a favor and place a drain catcher in your sink to catch any weird stuff. Besides, it includes a self-feeding, multiple drain heads, wheels, and a handle for more accessible transportation. So, why won't your drain snake go down the bathtub drain? Rubber gloves ... Insert the end of a drain auger directly into the drain. Maybe, but a local plumber tried to snake a friend's sink drain and got his snake stuck just like this one. A simple hand-operated tool, a drain snake is inexpensive and will save you considerable money over the cost of having a professional plumber visit to clear clogs. If you pull it out and there's nothing on the head, it could be because the clog is composed of a material the head can't penetrate. The proper way to use a snake is to insert the head into the drain and push very slowly without cranking. They are specially designed to work in the larger drain size and come with a protective plastic tube to keep your bowl from getting all scratched up. Let’s say you have a giant glob of hair stuck in your drain, or your child decided to put a small object in the sink. The largest is a sewer auger, which can be 1/2 inch in diameter or more and up to 50 feet or more in length. It is a manual one -- didn't even come in a drum. Either powered by hand or electrically, a drain snake is rotated in a downward spiral into a drain until it reaches a clog, then the corkscrew auger ideally displaces the clog as if “chewing” away at it. Snake the drain again at least once, using the same techniques, to make sure the clog is cleared out. You are probably wondering why the bathtub is so special and where we should put the snake then. Even if you break through the clog on the first pass, you may have made just a small hole through it, especially if it's food or soap. Don't worry, since doing this video I've cleaned my bathroom and it sparkles. If a plunger won't clear a blockage, a "snake"—a long flexible steel cable wound on a handle—is the next level of escalation. Pro tip: Since unclogging stubborn drains hopefully won't be a regular activity in your home, consider renting a high-quality drain snake over buying a cheap one. If it has hit a … If the bend in the pipe is really at fault, the wobbling of the head should help the snake clear the corner. Having a good flashlight to see what you are doing is also helpful! 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