If you have a clog in your drain that refuses to budge, even with a plunger, it might be time to bring in the snake – drain snake that is. Drain snakes are great at clearing out all kinds of tough clogs, including the ones that a plunger can't touch. In order for your drain snake to be completely effective, you need to know how to use it properly. Here are the basic instructions for using a drain snake.
Insert the Snake
The first thing you'll need to do is insert the hook end of your snake into the drain. To do that, you'll need to release pressure on the coil. Find the small lever on the snake housing and turn it. This will release the coil and allow it to move freely. Pull on the hook end of the snake to remove about a foot of coil from the housing, and insert it into the drain.
Push it Through
Now that you have the snake inserted into the drain, you want to push it through until you feel resistance. Once you feel resistance – meaning the coil no longer moves through the drain smoothly – you'll know that you've reached the clog. Stop pushing on the snake once you meet with resistance.
Rotate the Snake
It's time to cut through the clog. Turn the lever on the housing to lock the coil. This will prevent the coil from advancing while you're clearing the clog. Once the lever is locked, begin cranking the handle on the housing. The handle causes the end of the snake to twist, which will allow the hooked edge to cut through the clog. Once the handle is easy to turn, you'll know that you've cut through the clog. Unlock the lever and remove the coil from the drain. Be sure to go slowly. The clogged material may be attached to the end of the hook.
Flush the Drain
Once you've removed the snake and any debris that might have come up with it, you'll want to flush the drain. Flushing the drain will wash the remaining clog through the pipes and out to the sewer. Turn your water on and allow it to run for several minutes.
If you have a clogged drain, you'll want to get rid of it as soon as possible. Use the instructions provided above to snake your drain and clear the clog. If the snake fails to remove the clog, you'll need to contact a plumber like those at Midwestern Plumbing Service. Stubborn clogs may require professional care.