A drain auger is also known as a plumbing snake or drain snake. It is an auger specially designed for removing clogs and obstructions from a drain.

It has a flexible cable with a corkscrew end that is coiled within a drum canister. The collar where the cable comes out has a thumbscrew that locks the cable when it reaches the clog and turns the corkscrew end into the clog to snag it and pull it out of the drain.

Drain augers are much more effective than plungers but are also riskier to use. If you use it improperly, you might end up tearing up your pipes or even create leaks. To avoid doing that, it is important to know how your auger works and how to properly use it. Here’s everything you need to know about using your drain auger.

How To Snake A Drain

Remove the p-bend or p-trap. The P-trap is a curved component of the drain that connects to the larger sewer pipe system and can be found below the sink.

This p-trap can be either removed manually or using an adjustable pipe wrench. After removing the p-trap inspect it carefully and clean it thoroughly.

Remove the trap arm. You might want to remove the trap arm. However, this is optional. This is the part of the pipe between the p-trap and the pipe that enters the wall. This is usually connected with metal or PVC nut. If it is not glued onto the wall, do not try to remove it.

This is the best place to insert the auger. And mostly, you can discover an obstruction in this section that allows you to avoid snaking the drain altogether.

Insert the head of your snake through your drain pipe. If you didn’t remove the trap, consider running some cold water through the drain while snaking to help flush out whatever blocking the drain. Remember not to insert the auger into the drain too hard, or you could damage it.

Uncoil the snake using the handle. Begin uncoiling the snake by rotating the handle. Make sure that the handle goes close as possible to the entrance of the pipe. If the auger has more slack, the less force you supply.

Keep rotating the handle at a consistent pace. Avoid rotating it quickly or too slowly. If you feel some resistance while snaking, you may have reached the obstruction.

Upon reaching the clog, rotate the head back and forth and up and down. Break the clog thoroughly. However, don’t try to jam the snake auger onto the pipe walls. In case you hear any scraping noise, stop snaking and re-adjust it, as you don’t want to cause any damage inside your sewer line.

If you feel that the auger head is stuck in the clog, consider pulling out the snake from the pipe slowly. The snake might pull out the clog with it from the drainpipe. Continue snaking until you no longer feel any resistance and the snake already uncoils to its full length.

Pull the snake out. Check the head of the auger for remains and clean it off. Then re-install all the sink drain components you had removed.

Check the sink. By now, the snake should have successfully removed the cause of the clog in your sink. Run water in the sink to check whether the sink is draining smoothly. If it isn’t, you might want to try snaking again. If the second round of snaking fails, then you should consider calling a professional and reliable plumber.

Using a snake is surprisingly easy and a lot of homeowners can do it on their own. As long as you understand how to use your snake auger, you can solve your problems with your clog drain. However, there are some situations that you encounter that might require some professional help. If the clog is beyond your reach, don’t hesitate to call Caccia Plumbing. We’ve got the tools and know-how to find and break any stubborn clogs.