How Do You Use a Drain Cleaning Snake?


Quick Answer

Use a plumber's snake on a drain by pushing the snake into the drain until it passes the obstruction and then slowly pulling the snake back out. If the snake hits a snag, push the snake back in a bit, and then pull out until the snake is able to completely clear the obstruction. Finally, remove the snake.

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Full Answer

Use a plumber's snake to break apart an obstructive mass in a drain or to pull out a build-up of gunk that isn't removable with traditional chemical drain cleaners or plungers. When preparing to use a snake, wear rubber gloves with reliable grips, and turn off the water to the tank by rotating the water valve clockwise until it tightens. If you're using the snake on a toilet, the valve to turn off the tank is located next to or behind the toilet bowl.

Begin lowering the snake into the drain or pipe. After the first few inches, turn the crank of the snake slowly to inch the snake further and further through the drain opening. If it becomes particularly difficult to progress, use a bucket to pour water into the drain for lubrication. When the snake hits the obstruction, cautiously push and wiggle the wire to loosen the obstruction without harming your pipes.

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