Important Tips For Using Drain Snakes

Drain snakes are an efficient plumbing tool for clearing out lines in your home's plumbing system. Two types exist which the most common is a drain auger, and the other is a smaller tool used to unclog toilets called a closet auger. It gets its name because its appearance is similar to a snake. If you learn how to use it effectively, much money and time can be saved.

Before you attempt using a snake, it is a good idea to try using a plunger. If that works, you won't have to pull out the messy snake for the job. However, it is a better choice than pouring chemicals into the drain that will have a bad effect on the environment.

The snake can reach into the clog and pull it directly out with a bit of twisting handwork. Try to purchase a tool that has a cover so you don't scratch the toilet's surface.

It is evident why you don't want to use the same tool for the kitchen and the toilet. It just isn't healthy!

You can save a lot of money by purchasing a snake because a plumber can charge different rates for the company's service. Many companies charge a flat rate for the job. However, others can charge from $45 to $150 per hour. It can be an expensive ordeal if it is just a clump of hair. 


Begin by having all the tools you need for the project. Here is a short list.

  • Old Blankets or Towels
  • Drain Snake
  • Work Gloves
  • Trash Bag for Debris


Be sure to cover the surrounding area in the bathroom or kitchen. The gloves are a good idea since you have no idea what has caused the clog and what will come out of the drain. At any rate, it will be nasty. A heavy-duty pair of work gloves should be used because latex will tear with the metal snake.

While feeding the snake down the drain, use a twisting motion so you will retrieve all of what has caused the clog. You will know you have found the problem when the cable resists your effort.

Use caution when retrieving the debris so you don't lose any portion of the clog. In other words, go slowly.

Clean the snake with a disinfectant so it will be ready the next time you need to use it.

Be sure it is dry and store it away until you need it again.          

If you follow these guidelines, you will always have the drain snake ready to use. It is a small investment for your home compared to the charges you can save in the long term.

For further assistance, contact local professionals, such as those from AA Plumbing.