How Do You Use an Electric Drain Snake?

Electric drain snakes can be rented to take care of tough drain clogs. The size of the electric drain snake needed varies, with distance of the clog being the determining factor. Follow the instructions that come with the machine after correctly positioning it next to the drain to safely feed out the snake and return it, clearing any obstructions along the way./

  1. Position the machine and the cable

    Place the machine within 2 feet of the drain. Insert the cable into the opening, pushing as far as the cable will go. Continue to pull the cable out of the machine until an arc about 12 inches long curves over the drain. Tighten thumbscrews holding the cable in place.

  2. Turn on the machine and guide the cable

    Turn the machine on and operate it with the foot switch, guiding the cable with your hands. Apply firm, even pressure, but don't force the cable. If the cable hits an obstruction that it cannot go through, reverse the cable to try again.

  3. Adjust cable length

    Once the loose cable is fed through the drain, stop the machine. Loosen the thumb screws holding the cable in place, and create another 12-inch loose arc of cable. Tighten the thumbscrews, and continue to operate the machine as before.

  4. Return cable to cage and turn off the machine

    When the electric drain snake reaches the end of the line, push the button to reverse the cable. Turn off the machine, and clean the cable.