What to Do When Snaking a Drain Doesn’t Work 

There are some slow or clogged drains that can’t be cleared with a plunger or leading chemical cleaner. Cases like these will often involve snaking the drain, which involves sending a tool into the drain line to break up or remove the clog. Many homeowners wonder what the next step is, however; they wonder what you need to do when snaking a drain doesn’t work.

We’re going to look at the drain snake, and what it takes to use it to properly remove a drain clog. We’ll look at common reasons that the snake may not be working for your situation, as well as what to do when snaking the drain just won’t work.

What Is A Drain Snake?

A drain snake, plumbing snake, or drain auger, is a tool used to dislodge clogs from inside drain pipes. It is commonly shaped like a coiled rope or metal ribbon, that is fed into the drain to reach the clog. Once it has reached the clog, a metal coil or hook on the end will commonly dislodge or retrieve the material responsible for the clog.

Using A Drain Snake

Using the snake is a relatively easy task, and doesn’t require any special knowledge or skill. You simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions for extending the snake and then push it down into the drain. Eventually, it will reach a point of obstruction, and you can begin to either break up or remove the clog. Often, the biggest challenge is finding the right access point to insert the snake to both maximize its length and clear the clog.

Getting Stuck

It isn’t uncommon to become stuck on the pipes or some internal feature of the pipes, and when you do, it’s easy to get moving again. Make sure your snake is locked, and begin to rotate it. The snake will either find its way around the corner or will begin to remove the obstruction.

Common Reasons Why Snaking Isn’t Working

If you feel like your drain snake isn’t working as it should be, there are a few potential reasons for this. Check these common issues that can stop your snake from working:

  • Most snakes have a thumbscrew that needs to be very tightly screwed down, to keep the cable from rotating or slipping, check that it is tight.
  • If the clog is severe enough, you may only pull up pieces or residue, in which case you’ll need a plumber.
  • There may be debris on the end of the snake preventing it from grabbing on.

What To Do When Snaking A Drain Doesn’t Work

Snakes are pretty easy to operate, and there aren’t too many options for the DIY crowd if it doesn’t work. 

If you aren’t getting results, the first thing to do is to be sure you have the snake set up and positioned properly, and that you know how to use it. Double-check that you’ve tightened down the thumbscrew enough to hold the cable stationary. You may need to keep loosening, adjusting, and retightening the screw depending on your needs.

When snaking a drain doesn’t work, and nothing you’re doing is helping, it may be time to try reaching out to a professional for a more intensive treatment. You might be wondering how much snaking a drain costs, but it’s less than you’d think, and if you don’t need emergency service it can be relatively affordable.

For Help With All Your Plumbing Needs

If you’ve tried snaking that drain it’s simply getting you nowhere, it might be time to let a professional take a look to ensure there are no serious problems. Reach out today to speak with a trusted member of our local plumbing team.