Most of the time it is advisable to avoid snakes but that is not the case if you have a clogged drain and the snake you are referring to is also known as a power drain auger. If that is the case then its one of those rare times a snake can be your best friend. An electric snake is a great tool for unclogging drains but it is also a tool that can do some damage and be dangerous if you have not read the instructions carefully or dont use it right. Here is a quick overview on how to snake a drain.
Before Getting Started
It must first be noted that when you get a clogged drain the snake should not be the first thing you reach for. You should first try such things as pouring a little hot water down the drain or using a plunger. If those fail then try using a baking soda and vinegar solution to get the clog out; this will need to sit at least 4 6 hours to work. If that fails too then rent or borrow the electric drain snake to do the job.
How to Snake a Drain
Here are the steps for using the power drain auger:
1. DONT EVER try to do this job without appropriate eye protection!! You also want to wear protective rubber gloves and cover as much of your skin as possible; this is especially true if you are cleaning a toilet, shower or bathtub drain. These things are advised to protect you from both injuries and potential health hazards.
2. Remove any grates or other protective screening that would prevent the snake from entering into the drain.
3. With the power to the snake OFF, try feeding the snake manually into the drain line for several feet. You can expect to hit a little resistance when you get to the trap or elbow but be sure not to mistake this for the clog. After you have fed several feet of snake into the line make sure the metal line is tight and not bunched up.
4. Next turn the machine on. If you get a whipping effect of the feed line when starting the machine then turn it off and pull a little bit of the line back toward you to tighten it up. Loose and whipping snake lines can injure you or damage sinks, drains and tubs so you have to be careful.
5. Once the line is turning smoothly start feeding in more line until it hits the clog and cant go any further.
6. Once at the clog dont try and force the line through the clog. Let the machine tip do its thing.
7. Once the clog is gone run some water into the drain to make sure its clear before pulling out the snake.
8. Clean the snake line with water as you are retracting it out of the pipe.
There you have it. You have a freed up drain line and you are now an expert at how to snake a drain.