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Image showcasing use of a drain snake, the effective tool for DIY plumbing.

Pipe Unclogging Made Easy: How to Use a Drain Snake

For countless homeowners, a clogged drain is a common and frustrating issue. If you’re tired of battling persistent blockages with a plunger or liquid drain cleaner, a drain snake might just be the tool you need. In this comprehensive guide, we will demystify the process of how to use a drain snake to resolve those stubborn plumbing problems.

wHat Is a Drain Snake

A drain snake, also known as a plumber’s snake, is a flexible auger designed to dislodge clogs in your plumbing system.

Drain snakes come in a variety of sizes, from handheld models for smaller blockages to larger, motorized versions for more severe clogs. Mastering how to use a drain snake can save you both time and money.

When to Use a Drain Snake

A drain snake is your go-to tool when dealing with stubborn clogs that resist plungers and over-the-counter drain cleaning solutions.

It proves especially useful when the blockage is deep within the pipe, out of a plunger’s reach.

If your drain is slow or the clog persists despite your best efforts, it’s time to bring out the drain snake.

WHERE TO USE a Drain Snake

A drain snake is a versatile tool in your plumbing arsenal. Here’s where you can use a drain snake:

Bathroom Sinks and Bathtubs:

Hair, soap scum, and other debris often form stubborn clogs in bathroom sinks and bathtubs. A drain snake is an effective tool to remove these blockages.

Kitchen Sinks:

Food particles, grease, and other materials can lead to clogged kitchen sinks. A drain snake can dislodge these obstructions, restoring the free flow of water.


While a plunger is usually the first tool you reach for with toilet clogs, a drain snake can be helpful for more stubborn blockages.

Main Sewer Line:

For severe blockages in the main sewer line, you’ll need a larger, motorized drain snake or drain auger.

How to Use a Drain Snake

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s delve into how to use a drain snake:

Step 1: Insert the Head of the Snake

Start by gently inserting the head of the snake into the drain. Keep pushing it down until you feel resistance, which should be the clog.

Step 2: Turn the Handle

Once you’ve located the clog, turn the handle of the snake. This causes the head to rotate, which can break up the clog or latch onto it for removal.

Step 3: Pull Out the Snake

After breaking up the clog or hooking onto it, slowly pull out the snake. If you’ve hooked onto the clog, it should come out with the snake.

Step 4: Check the Drain

After removing the snake, run water down the drain to see if it’s clearing properly. If not, you might need to repeat the process.

Step 5: Clean and Store the Snake

After using your drain snake, clean it thoroughly to remove any residue and store it properly for future use.

Safety Precautions When Using a Drain Snake

While drain snakes are handy tools, they must be used with care to ensure safety. 

Personal Protection:

Always wear gloves to protect your hands from any sharp objects or corrosive substances that might be in the drain. Consider using goggles to shield your eyes from any potential splashes or debris. 

Gentle Handling:

Never force the snake down the drain; doing so can damage your pipes. Instead, apply gentle and consistent pressure to ease the snake through the pipe and reach the clog.

Cleaning and Storage:

After using your drain snake, clean it thoroughly to remove any residue and prevent bacterial growth. When storing, keep it in a dry place to prevent rusting.

Be Mindful of Your Surroundings:

While using a drain snake, be aware of your surroundings. Make sure the area is free of any tripping hazards or objects that could interfere with the operation. 

By following these safety precautions, you can ensure that you are effectively and safely addressing your plumbing issues.

When to Call in the Professionals

As useful as a drain snake can be, there are instances when the clog is too severe, or the situation too complex to handle on your own. This is when a professional plumber’s expertise becomes invaluable.

Remember, it’s always better to seek help than to risk further damage to your plumbing system.


Mastering how to use a drain snake can be a game-changer in managing stubborn clogs in your home. But always remember, while DIY solutions can be effective for minor issues, for more substantial problems, don’t hesitate to call in the professionals.

Quality Plumbing Services with True Service Plumbing

For plumbing issues big or small, True Service Plumbing is here to help. With a team of licensed professionals, we offer a comprehensive range of services, including diagnosing and fixing drain issues, regular maintenance, and installing new plumbing fixtures. 

Got a stubborn clog you can’t handle? Or perhaps you’re not comfortable handling a drain snake? We’re here for you. 

Our team has the tools and expertise to handle any plumbing issue in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area, for both residential and commercial properties. 

Experience the peace of mind that comes with professional plumbing services. Don’t let a clogged drain disrupt your day. Contact True Service Plumbing today, and let us take care of your plumbing needs. 

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