How to Use a Drain Snake

How to Use a Drain Snake to Unclog Your Pipes

How to Use a Drain Snake

How to Use a Drain Snake

Today we’ll talk about How to Use a Drain Snake. If you have ever experienced a slow or clogged drain in your sink, shower, or tub, you know how frustrating it can be. You may have tried using a plunger, a chemical drain cleaner, or even some home remedies like baking soda and vinegar, but nothing seems to work. What can you do to clear the blockage and restore the water flow?

One effective solution is to use a drain snake, also known as a drain auger or a plumbing snake. This is a simple tool that consists of a long, flexible metal cable with a corkscrew-like tip that can reach deep into the drain and break up or pull out the clog. In this blog post, we will show you how to use a drain snake for different types of drains and what to consider before you start.

What You Will Need

To use a drain snake, you will need the following items:

– A drain snake that is suitable for the size and shape of your drain. You can buy one at your local hardware store or online, or you can rent one from a tool rental shop. There are different types of drain snakes, such as hand-operated, battery-powered, or electric ones. The most common one is the hand-operated drum auger, which has a coiled cable inside a drum that you can crank by hand. For smaller drains, such as bathroom sinks, you can use a handheld snake with a 1/4-inch cable. For larger drains, such as kitchen sinks or bathtubs, you may need a snake with a 3/8-inch or 1/2-inch cable.
– A bucket to catch any water or debris that may come out of the drain.
– A pair of gloves to protect your hands from dirt and germs.
– A pair of pliers to loosen any nuts or screws that may hold the drain trap in place.
– A screwdriver to remove any covers or plates that may block the access to the drain.
– Safety glasses to protect your eyes from any splashes or flying particles.

How to Snake a Sink Drain

To snake a sink drain, follow these steps:

1. Clear the area under the sink and place the bucket below the drain trap. The drain trap is the curved pipe that connects the sink drain to the wall pipe. It usually has two nuts that hold it in place.
2. Use the pliers to loosen the nuts and remove the trap. Be careful not to lose any washers or gaskets that may be attached to the trap. You may need to wiggle the trap gently to detach it from the pipes.
3. Inspect the trap for any clogs and clean it if necessary. You can use a wire coat hanger or a small brush to remove any hair or debris that may be stuck inside.
4. Insert the tip of the snake into the wall pipe where the trap was connected. Make sure that the cable is straight and not tangled.
5. Turn the handle of the snake clockwise to feed the cable into the pipe. You may need to apply some pressure to push it through any bends or turns in the pipe.
6. When you feel some resistance, stop turning and pull back slightly. This means that you have reached the clog. Try to hook it with the corkscrew tip of the snake by twisting it back and forth.
7. Once you have hooked the clog, pull it out slowly and carefully. You may need to repeat this process several times until you clear all the clogs in the pipe.
8. When you are done, flush some water down the drain to make sure that it is draining properly. If not, you may need to snake it again until it is clear.
9. Reattach the trap and tighten the nuts with the pliers. Make sure that there are no leaks or drips from the connections.
10. Dispose of any debris or water that came out of the drain in an appropriate way.

How to Snake a Shower or Tub Drain

To snake a shower or tub drain, follow these steps:

1. Remove any covers or plates that may block the access to the drain. You may need to use a screwdriver to unscrew them or pry them off with a flathead screwdriver.
2. If your shower or tub has an overflow valve, which is usually located near the faucet, you will need to snake it through there instead of through
the drain itself. The overflow valve is connected to a vertical pipe that leads to
the main drain pipe below.
3. Insert the tip of
the snake into
the overflow valve
the drain opening
and turn
the handle clockwise
to feed
the cable into
the pipe.
4. Follow
the same steps as for snaking
a sink drain,
from step 5
to step 10.

How to Snake Other Types of Drains

You can also use a drain snake to unclog other types of drains, such as floor drains, laundry drains, or outdoor drains. However, you may need a different type of snake, such as a sectional snake or a power snake, that can handle longer and wider pipes. You may also need to access the drain through a cleanout plug, which is a cap that covers an opening in the pipe. You can usually find the cleanout plug near the main drain line or outside your house.

To snake other types of drains, follow these general steps:

1. Locate the cleanout plug and remove it with a wrench or a pliers. Be prepared for some water or sewage to come out of the pipe.
2. Insert the tip of the snake into the pipe and turn the handle or the switch to feed the cable into the pipe.
3. Follow the same steps as for snaking a sink drain, from step 5 to step 10.
4. Replace the cleanout plug and tighten it with a wrench or a pliers.

Tips and Warnings

Before you use a drain snake, here are some tips and warnings to keep in mind:

– Always wear safety glasses and gloves when snaking a drain.
– If the drain contains any chemical drain cleaners, flush it with water before snaking it to avoid any harmful reactions or fumes.
– Do not force the snake into the pipe or twist it too hard, as this may damage the pipe or the snake itself.
– Do not use an electric snake in a wet area or near any electrical outlets or wires, as this may cause an electric shock or a fire.
– Do not use a regular snake in a toilet, as this may scratch or crack the porcelain. Use a toilet auger instead.
– Do not use a drain snake on pipes that are made of plastic, copper, or galvanized steel, as this may cause them to crack or corrode. Use a plastic hair snake instead.
– If you are not sure how to use a drain snake or if you encounter any problems, call a professional plumber for help.


A drain snake is a handy tool that can help you unclog your pipes without using any chemicals or calling a plumber. However, you need to know how to use it properly and safely for different types of drains. By following this guide, you can learn how to use a drain snake to unclog your sink, shower, tub, or other drains in your home.

If you are looking for a professional plumbing service that can help you with any drain issues, you can contact Get Unblocked. Located in Sydney, Get Unblocked utilizes all the latest tools and technology, including hydro jetting, to clear any clogs in your pipes. You can visit their website at or call them at 1300311511 for more information.