how to use a drain snake

Master a Drain Snake with Our 5 Simple Steps

Have you been trying to clear a blockage in your plumbing and nothing seems to be working? Not quite ready to call in a professional plumber and want to give it one more try? Let us introduce you to your friendly drain snake.

Unlike that poisonous snake in the grass, a plumbing snake bought from any decent hardware store can be one of the handiest bits of equipment when you're trying to clear a pesky blockage. It's a simple, cheap and ingenious plumbing innovation that can help both your local plumbers and homeowners out of a blocked up pickle, so let's learn how to use it.

Drain snake or electric eel?

Did you just look up 'drain snake' on Google and discovered a strange-looking contraption on wheels? Actually, it's not the drain snake we're talking about today - this is what those in the business refer to as a plumbers eel, a plumbing eel, or an electric eel.

We definitely don't recommend you try using one of these babies on your household blockage! Rather, you need the little brother - a hand-held drain snake Bunnings or another good hardware store is sure to stock in the plumbing section.

Similar to the electric eel, a hand-held plumbing snake uses a system of long cables or coils that slither their way into your bunged-up drain to - hopefully - have it back in full working order before you know it.

Tried boiling water? Plunger didn't do the trick? Let's see if cranking up the handle of a drain snake will clear your blocked drain.

Before you start!

Before we get elbow deep in your drain, stop and ask yourself this: are you really up to some serious DIY? Are you prepared to potentially make a mistake and have to embarrassingly call the pros in to clean up your mess? Can you afford to damage your plumbing and foot the bill?

If you answered yes, let's go for it!

1. Insert

Remember, a drain snake works by uncoiling the flexible cables into your drain. With a bit of luck, it will locate the blockage and with your elbow grease, you'll both break through the blockage and Bob's Your Uncle!

So, first, feed the end of the drain snake into the top of the drain or pipe. If it's not going in easily, don't force it too hard because you could cause some damage even before you've got started!

2. Uncoil

With the handle, start unravelling those flexible coiled cables so that the snake slithers down into the drain. Ensure you do your handle-cranking at a nice, steady pace, and keep your senses sharp for when you hit that blockage.

3. Break it up

If you've found some resistance in the pipe, this is probably the blockage. The time has now come to wind a little further into the pipe - and then reverse the direction so that you attack that blockage a second time. Then, repeat over and over until you think the blockage might be history.

Warning!: If you hear too much grinding and scraping, use a lot of caution - you don't want to use the drain snake's power to damage the pipe, do you?

4. Test

You're almost done! Start winding the crank in the opposite direction, so that the coils wind all the way back to the top of the drain. Once it gets right to the top, be careful that the business end doesn't damage the drain opening. Voila! Test whether the blockage is gone, and celebrate!

5. Give In Deep Plumbing a call

But if your water STILL isn't going down, we're afraid it's time to call in the Gold Coast blocked drain experts. We have all the skills, professional equipment and years of experience that make fast work of even the most stubborn and hard to locate and reach blockages.

With no call-out fee and offering free quotes, we can be at your place before you know it with same-day service, guaranteed workmanship and a great, upfront price. We can tackle blockages of any type, location and severity, so give us a call today.