A clogged drain can be a frustrating occurrence, but that doesn’t mean it has to be time-consuming and costly as well. With a little bit of know-how you can unclog a drain yourself, in no time flat.
A snake, or drain auger, is a simple tool that you can insert into the drain to remove a clog. You can purchase a snake at most home improvement stores. This tool is usually about ¼-inch thick, is often coiled, and comes with a handle on one end.
How to Use a Snake
- First, remove anything that is visually obstructing the drain, such as drain grates or screens.
- Push the snake down the drain and rotate the handle clockwise as you do so.
- Once you hit resistance, continue to slowly push and rotate the snake. This rotation helps the snake separate the clog and/or obtain some purchase on it so that it can be pulled up and out of the drain.
- As the clog breaks up, continue to push the snake into the drain until the obstruction is cleared.
- You can also attempt to pull the clog up out of the drain once the snake has a firm grip. If you don’t feel as if the snake can be pushed further down, try pulling the snake back out to attempt to pull the clog up with it. This is the best way to ensure the clog does not simply get lodged further down the line.
- Once you feel as though the clog has been cleared, run water down the drain for a few minutes to ensure there is no longer any obstruction.
How to Prevent Drain Clogs in the Future
Many common causes of clogs are items that should never have entered the drain in the first place. Try to avoid flushing food scraps down the drain. Keep grease and oil out of drains, and pour boiling water down every drain in the house from time to time to melt away any grease that may have built up. A little bit of baking soda or vinegar is also a great way to routinely cleanse drains from time to time. To keep garbage disposals clean and fresh, try tossing half a lemon down and turning on the disposal. You can help prevent future clogs by purchasing screen traps or drain grates to catch items before they become lodged further down the line.
Good luck! As always, contact a professional if you’re unsure about the job at hand.