How to Use Plumbing Snakes to Unclog Drains


Plumbing snakes bring extra drain clog fighting power that plungers are sometimes incapable of supplying. Plungers may be your go-to plumbing tool to handle clogs in your home’s sinks or toilets, but in some situations, a blocked drain doesn’t respond to plunging. That’s where a plumbing snake comes in handy to solve hard-to-handle clogs.

What is a Plumbing Snake?

Plumbing snakes are not some rare breed of viper employed for drain control. No, they are actually flexible steel wire cabling used to navigate through a plumbing system to unclog and clean drains. In situations where a plunger cannot free materials from pipes, the plumbing auger or snake can go exactly where needed to remove the blockage. The steel coils of the auger connect to a crank handle that is used to rotate the wire as it moves inside piping. When using a plumbing auger, sometimes the clog will push on through when flushed with water. Other times, the snake will break the blockage and bring it back up through the pipe so you can dispose of whatever was causing the clog.

Considerations for Using an Auger for Clogged Pipes

When using an auger, it is imperative that you take special care when feeding it through the plumbing system. While the snake is relatively easy to use, incorrect usage can lead to pipe damage.

You’ll also definitely want to wear clothes appropriate to the task. Sometimes the stuff that comes up from the pipe can be very messy! Once the clog is removed, also flush the pipe with steaming hot water to ensure proper water flow and cleaning of any other debris left in the pipe.

Do-it-Yourself Clog Repair

For many drain and pipe clogs, the method is fairly straightforward and something that you can do on your own. However, in some cases even with plumbing snakes, you may still need the assistance of a professional plumber who is experienced with removing deep clogs in your plumbing system. Remember that small plumbing issues may turn into big ones if you hold off on fixing clogs when they first start. Don’t delay necessary clog removal as it can lead to further damaging of your plumbing system.

Give Pride Plumbing of Rochester a call at 585-272-7272 if you have clogged pipes that don’t respond to your efforts to repair on your own or click here to schedule an appointment online.