Stubborn Clogs: How to Use a Plumbing Snake or Snake Drain

Plumber using drain snake to unclog bathtub. MidCity Plumbers

Most Canadian homes are confronted with one thing: stubborn clogs. We all know stubborn clogs can lead to many issues, some more severe than you would have expected. While there are many ways to deal with stubborn clogs, it’s important to understand which solution corresponds to a certain type of issue. It is where a plumbing snake or snake drain comes in

It’s essential to call a plumber when the issue at hand seems bigger than you think. But, you can snag most clogged debris just by using a plumbing snake. This article has rounded up all the things you need to know about plumbing snake or snake drain to get rid of stubborn clogs. 

Which tool do you typically use to clear a clogged pipe?

When cleaning a clogged pipe, a snake drain is a classic tool that plumbers and homeowners use. A snake drain is a metal cable that removes clogs in drains or pipes. You typically use this tool because it’s easy and accessible in the market. Plus, many generations of residential plumbing are familiar with this tool. 

Plumber using drain snake to unclog kitchen sink. MidCity Plumbers

What is a plumbing snake?

A plumbing snake is a flexible drain auger that you use to dislodge any debris that clogs the drains or pipes. Its appearance looks similar to a hose but has a different intended purpose. As you use a plumbing snake to get rid of clogs, it uncoils down the drain of your sink or tub. It eventually reaches the obstruction or debris that is blocking your drain and causing issues. You use plumbing snakes when you are dealing with bigger debris for a plunger to solve. Plumbing snakes are more effective than plungers, but they are more challenging to use. Each plumbing snake type has its intended use. A toilet plumbing snake is used for toilets mainly. If you are unsure, consult with a reliable plumber to help you out. 

How does a plumbing snake work

A plumbing snake works by turning the device counterclockwise until the corkscrew-like coil can dislodge whatever debris clogs your drains or pipes. Using the crank to turn the auger – from side to side or in smaller circular motions- make up a technique that works to dislodge whatever is blocking the system. Finally, once the clog is loose, it can be moved easily and may be pulled up with the auger or pushed down the drain if necessary. Either way, once the debris is gone and you can see the progress, the pipes need to be flushed out with water. After that, your job is done.

How do you use a plumbing snake? 

Here is a brief list of how to use a plumbing snake efficiently: 

  1. First, wear safety glasses and gloves. When you pull out the drain snake, there might be splashbacks that can harm you. Plus, a plumbing snake is a bit slippery when handled without safety gloves. 
  2. Remove the P-trap to start. When dealing with sink drains, make sure to remove the P-trap just under the sink cabinet. This trap holds standing water that is necessary to seal the drain against sewer gasses. 
  3. Next, try to access the drain. Accessing the drain varies depending on the type. Make sure that you have a manual for it.
  4. Extend the cable of the drain snake 
  5. Rotate the drain snake gently. Make sure that you tighten the thumbscrew
  6. Slowly retract the cable and pull it back toward you 
  7. Clear the debris by twisting the debris in a counterclockwise direction. It helps you remove it easily. 
  8. Once done, you can reassemble the drainage pipe and test run the water flow.
  9. Finish off by washing the drain snake. After washing the cable, let it dry to avoid rust accumulation on the cable. 

Plumber repairing drain with plumbing snake that twists through pipes to unclog residential sink. MidCity Plumbers

How to prevent drain clogs

Prevention is indeed better than cure. If you don’t want to compromise your comfort for the daily consumption of water, make sure to observe the best practices to avoid clogs in the future. You can prevent clogs by keeping food or coffee grounds away from the kitchen drains as much as possible. Also, frequently clean your bathroom and throw away hair and soap scum as they may result in debris. Ensure that you don’t get clogs by watching what you flush or drain. 

When do you call a professional in plumbing? Call a plumber with reliable plumbing and drainage services when your plumbing snake cannot cut through obstructions or stubborn debris. They have the knowledge and the necessary tools to assess and repair any issues with your drainage systems. It is helpful, especially if a simple plumbing snake can’t solve the problem at hand. 

Are you looking for plumbing experts in Burnaby? Do you have problems with buildup or a typical clogged drain? Our team at MidCity Plumbers can help! Our plumbing experts offer a wide variety of plumbing services to all customers in Burnaby and the surrounding areas. Without a doubt, when stubborn clogs occur and are tough to handle by yourself, we will do the job for you. We cover all your plumbing needs, from leaks, clogs to water heaters. Our team will deliver every service with excellence, never leaving an issue unsolved. If you also need emergency services for your sink drain blockage, give us a call on 📞 (778)-772-8676 today. We have the right solutions for you.

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