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How To Use a Plumber's Snake For Unclogging a Drain

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Nothing is more frustrating than having a blockage in your drainpipes. There are many ways to remove foreign material in your drainage systems such as food, grease build up, and toilet paper. These include using a plunger, plumbers snake and jet blaster.

A plunger is ideal as the first step of clearing a blockage in your pipes. Plunging small items is quick and easy and can be used by a standard sized plunger.

The only downside of this method is that food or foreign material may rely on more pressure to loosen up. Stubborn clogs may require a tool that penetrates and cuts through.

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A high pressure jet blaster uses water that that shoots powerful water through your clogged drain pipe. The pressure of the water will breakdown the obstruction and push it through your pipeline.

A better is normally only used for major obstructions in your outside drainage.

There are many different kinds of tools that can be used at home. In most cases, a good plunge is enough to loosen any small object but sometimes you need a tool that has a bit more power.

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A drain auger or a 'plumbers snake' is an ideal instrument specifically used to deal with an obstruction in your drain pipes in a domestic capacity.

How does a plumbers snake work?

The design of a plumbers snake is made in a way so it fits perfectly in your kitchen, bathroom or laundry sink. It has a long metallic cable that is flexible. On one end is an auger, which is essentially a driller.

This rotates to cut through stubborn material. On the end is a handle for gripping.

It works by inserting the driller first into your drain and connecting with the clog in the pipe. You can manually insert the snake into your drain and rotate the handle so that it goes deep in your drain pipe.

Once the auger hits the obstruction, it will begin to breakdown the food, grease, or toilet paper that is stuck in the line.

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Can I snake my own drain?

You are able to use a plumbers snake to unclog your kitchen, bathroom or laundry drain. All you need is a drain snake that you can purchase or hire from any trusted home improvement store. By following these simple steps, you can learn to effectively clear your drainage system at home.

Step 1

Prepare your working area by laying some towels or old rage around the pipework. This is to catch any water or waste that could come out of your drain.

It is best to wear old clothing that you won't mind getting dirty. Cleaning out your drain is messy work. Gloves are a great way to protect your hands from soil and bacteria.

Step 2

The p-bend or p-trap is a curved part of your drain. It is located under the sink. It connects the sink drain to the main drain pipe. Its job is to prevent sewer smell from escaping out of the sink.

It is not necessary to remove this trap but you will want to clean it out beforehand as some material can be stuck.

Cleaning out the p-bend or p-trap may be sufficient in clearing the obstruction in your pipes and will make it easier for the snake to work.

Step 3

It is optional to remove the drain trap arm which is located between the main drain pipe and the p-trap. This section could have a clog. If you do find obstructive material, you can try to use a coat hanger wire to remove any food, toilet paper or foreign material.

Do not remove the trap arm if it is glued onto the wall. You can remove it if you find it is connected by a plastic or metallic nut.

Step 4

Start by threading the head of your plumbing snake through the drain pipe. You can run cold water whilst snaking if the trap is still connected.

Slowly continue to feed the auger through the drain. At a consistent speed, rotate the handle until you feel resistance. You may have reached the obstruction.

Step 5

Once you have reached the blockage, continue to rotate the auger drill. This will break it up any material. Exercising caution when feeding the auger snake is important. Be careful to avoid scraping your pipe walls.

You will know if you have cleared the blockage if you feel no more resistance or when the snake uncoils.

If the plumbers' snake becomes stuck, pull out the snake as there is a possibility that the snake will pull the blockage with it.

Step 6

The next step is to remove the plumbers' snake. Clean all parts that you have taken apart and reassemble all the components. Clean the auger and further inspect your sink and drain to search for remaining clogs.

If you have further issues with your drainage system, call a reputable company to successfully clear your blocked drain. An experienced plumbing team will have the right tools and knowledge to take care of minor and severe blockages.

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