How to Use Plumbing Snake for Drain Cleaning

If plunging or flushing hot water down the drain doesn’t clear a clog, a plumbing snake may be your best bet. A plumbing snake, also known as a drain snake, is a coiled metal wire usually about ¼-inch thick, attached to a handle on one end. It has a special tip designed for breaking through clogs. This device is slender and flexible to maneuver through sharp twists and turns of pipes without causing damage. While a plumbing snake comes in handy for clearing stubborn clogs, this device can be difficult to use. If used improperly, a plumbing snake can damage your pipes.

In this article, you’ll learn how to use a plumbing snake for drain cleaning in Pittsburgh or anywhere you live.

Step 1: Insert the head of the cable into the drain opening and turn the manual crank to feed the cable further into the drain. If your plumbing snake is motorized, turn on the motor to push the snake cable down the drain line.

Step 2:  Keep pushing the plumbing snake into the drain line until you feel resistance. Don’t use excessive force, otherwise, you’ll end up damaging the pipe. Ensure there’s as little slack as possible on the cable so that the head of the snake does not bend back on itself when it reaches the obstruction. Minimizing slack also allows you to direct more force into the drain line.

Step 3: Apply more pressure on the snake’s handle to get it to maneuver through the tight curve in the trap under the sink. If you feel resistance, you may have reached the clog.

Step 4: Rotate the handle clockwise and move the tip of the snake back and forth. This action may cause the clog to stick on the end of the cable or chop it up. If you don’t feel the tip of the snake breaking through the clog, rotate back the snake. You will likely pull the clog out with it. 

Step 5: After pulling out the clog or chopping it up, flush the drain with hot water to wash away any debris in the drain line. If the drain is still clogged, repeat the snaking process once more.

If the clog won’t clear after repeating the snaking process, call a professional plumber in Pittsburgh to help you out.

Signs You Need to Call a Drain Cleaning in Pittsburgh

  • Slow draining sinks, bathtub, or shower
  • Bad odor coming from your drains
  • Bubbling sounds when you drain water
  • Wastewater backup
  • It’s been a while since you had your drains cleaned 

If you’ve noticed any of these warning signs, call a dependable plumber in Pittsburgh as soon as possible to help you with drain cleaning.

For Drain Cleaning in Pittsburgh, Call Neighborhood Plumbing

While you can take preventive measures to avoid drain clogs, you may not be able to stop every drain clog. That means you’ll need drain cleaning services at some point. If you’re looking for an experienced plumber in Pittsburgh to help you with drain cleaning, look no further than Neighborhood Plumbing. Our knowledgeable and experienced plumbers are equipped with high-performing drain cleaning tools to get the job done.