Whether you’re finding a clog in your kitchen sink or a clog in a shower drain, it can easily dampen your day. The last thing you want to do is spend hours trying to get your plumbing working again. However, with a few simple tools, reliable methods, and a little practice, you can become an expert at removing dirt that clogs pipes.
Learn how to snake your own drain simply by following our DIY tips and fix your clogged drain in no time!
When Would You Need to Snake Your Own Drain?
Knowing how to snail your own drain is important when dealing with a plumbing emergency. A drain snake, also known as a hand drill, is a tool used to unclog small drains like bathroom or kitchen sinks. For larger pipes, like your toilet, you may need a larger auger to get the job done.
Dirt like food, hair or soap scum can easily clog your small drains in the drain pipe or U-shaped siphon just under the sink. These clogs are usually minor and can be fixed with a simple DIY snake drain repair. If the clog seems tight and cannot be cleared through the snake drain, or if you find that the siphon and pipes were clear despite a clogged drain, then you may have a more serious plumbing problem that should be left to a professional plumber.
Five Tips On How To Snake Your Own Drain
Follow these guidelines for snaking your own drain, and you’ll become a pro at solving your own plumbing problems with a drain snake!
Tools For the Job
Of course, to snake your own drain, the most important tool you need is a drain snake. If the clog seems fairly insignificant, you may not want to spend money on such a tool. If this is your situation, then it may be good to grab a hanger from the closet. Just disassemble the hanger so it becomes a fairly straight long strip. However, it’s important to keep the original hook shape at the end – this is good for catching dirt deep in the drain. You may want to make the hook a bit narrower so it fits properly in the tube.
If you’re dealing with a much more intense constipation, chances are a hangup won’t. As already mentioned. You will need a drain snake. For general use, a 3/8″ and 20′ long model should work fine for you. If your local hardware store only seems to have a 1/4″ that will most likely work fine too. If you’re at the store, grab one a plastic bag
Bucket to put under your drain, along with a flashlight and rubber gloves.
Use The Drain Snake Properly
Many people think that the tool is so simple that they can use it however they want and that there is no right way to use a drainage snake. It’s just not true. Indeed, following a specific procedure produces the best results.
First, if you have a tub strainer or hair catcher covering your drain, move it out of the way. Then slowly push the snake cord down the drain, turning the handle clockwise while squeezing. If you have trouble pushing (maybe the drain is too clogged), try holding the handle with both hands. As you lower the “snake” mechanism, vary your grip until it’s about two or three inches from the mouth of the drain – this allows you to control your movement and get a better feel for the nature of the hoof.
As you get closer to the obstacle, you might hear a decent scrape, or it might sound like the cable hit a wall. At this point you are about to come to a bend in the pipe – just keep going past it.
When you feel significant resistance, you’ll know you’ve hit the special barrier that’s giving you trouble in your pipe. The clog should give a little compared to the resistance of the pipe itself, which should not give at all.
Then you should try to hook the hoof. As you continue to twist the cord clockwise, pull up slightly to see if you’ve caught any dirt. You should feel a little more weight on the snail if you do it right. Then keep pushing the material to break it up. After doing this for a while, you should eventually pierce the other end. If the clog just doesn’t allow you to pierce it, it could very well be a solid object you got hold of in the first place.
Pull the snake out of the drain very carefully so you don’t lose the clog that’s attached to the drain snake. After that, use a towel to clean the snake of the debris when it comes out of the drain. Empty this excess dirt into the bucket. Shoot as many hooves as you can until the snake is free!
Use Hot Water
If the drain is still clogged, it’s a good idea to run hot water through it. Fill a standard-sized tea kettle with water and set on the stove until it’s almost boiling. Slowly pour this hot water down the drain. It may take a moment to flush the debris out of the clog, but it should quickly slow down with this method.
If the clog is in your shower drain, you might be wondering why you can’t just run hot water through the shower head. The problem is that, aside from the fact that the water in the shower often doesn’t get that hot, showerheads often can’t shoot straight down the drain and close enough to be really effective. You still need to pour water from the kettle straight down the shower drain, just like any other drain.
Use A Homemade Concoction
If nearly boiling hot water still isn’t enough, you can always add 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar to the hot water, pour it down the drain and see what happens. Let it sit for fifteen minutes. This method is known to be extremely efficient. So if you’re ready to part with some of your cooking essentials, give them a try!
As a last resort to clear a drain, you can always go the chemical route. Caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) is a harmful chemical that can definitely cause a bunch of scale to end up down your drain pipe. Pour 3/4 gallon of cold water into a mop bucket, then add 3 cups of caustic soda. Give the mixture a good stir and it will soon start bubbling. Then pour it down the clogged drain and leave it there for 20-30 minutes, then rinse with clean warm water – repeat if needed.
When to Call A Professional Plumber For Your Drain Clogs
Have you followed all of these tips and still have a clogged drain? If none of these options seem to work for you, don’t be discouraged. It could be a hard blockage that a simple DIY can’t fix. At this point, it’s time to call in a professional plumber to get your clogged drain working properly again.
Leave your tough clogs to Wisler Plumbing & Air. Our experienced plumbers can solve any plumbing problem you have, including stubborn clogged drains. Call Wisler Plumbing & Air today!