How To Use A Plumbing Snake?

How To Use A Plumbing Snake

What You Will Need

  • Plumbing snake
  • Pipe wrench
  • Pliers
  • Rubber gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Sponge
  • Empty bucket

As a professional handyman, one of the most common calls I get is unclogging a drain. Unclogging most drains and plumbing systems in your own home can be done without spending additional dollars to have a handyman like me do the work for you. Sometimes a plunger works for little clogs. But when a plunger isn’t doing the trick, you’re going to have to use a plumbing snake, also called an auger.

Plumbing snakes come in different sizes for different applications. Every plumbing system in your home is unique and you need to make sure you are using the proper snake for the correct plumbing system. Your local hardware store and large home improvement stores will have plumbing snakes to buy, and places like Home Depot will have snakes or augers that you can rent. Be sure to let them know which system you are unclogging and you can rent or sell the right snake for the job.

How To Use A Plumbing Snake

To use a snake in a bathtub drain, first, remove the overflow plate that sits above the bathtub drain. Insert the wire into the overflow line. If you are going to unclog a shower drain, you will need to remove the strainer on the floor of the shower and then run the cable to the drain. If it is a drain in the kitchen or bathroom sink, you may have to go under the sink and remove the trap. You can then run the plumbing snake through the drain pipes.

Plumbing Snake

Once the snake reaches the obstruction, you will need to turn the handle of the snake to the right so that the tip of the snake becomes obstructed. Then twist, push, and pull the cable to break the obstruction. With most drain pipes, you will encounter bends and twists in the pipes and will need to use moderate force to get through the turns.

Types Of Snakes To Use In Specific Drains

Inauguration Of The Toilet

A toilet auger is the only type of snake that is safe for unclogging your toilet. This auger will not damage your toilet bowl and the cord is designed not to close back on itself when it hits the clog.

Bathtubs And Showers

When winding a tub or shower, a thin wire should be used to make the bends in the trap and also to prevent damage to the drain line under the tub. A snake with a wire gauge of 1/4 “to 5/16” is ideal.

Kitchen And Bathroom Sinks

The best is snake sink drains under the sink. You will need to remove the trap located in and under the sink. Place an empty bucket under the pipes to catch the water trapped inside. Insert the snake into the drain line and use the same type of snake mentioned above for tubs and showers to unclog the drain – sometimes only the trap itself is clogged. However, I suggest snaking the drain to make sure there is no other stoppage.

Main Line Drains

Here’s a big one. Mainlines are generally 3 and rdquo; or larger and will require a large drain snake to clear the detention. This will require a much larger and more powerful snake. So far, we have been discussing manual or endless snakes that you can rent or buy. To unclog or clean your mainline, you will need an electric snake. It’s best to rent these machines from your local hardware store, as they can be very expensive to buy. You will need to find the cleanout plug located in your basement or outside your home where the mainline leaves the house. Make sure you get a quick lesson from the store where you rent on the proper use of the specific machine you are using.

Once you’ve cleared the clog and reconnected any plumbing fixtures, such as traps, strainers, or pipes that you had to remove, be sure to run the water and make sure there are no leaks and the drain is clear of debris.

Final Thoughts

Unclogging a drain or pipe can be a messy but necessary job. It can also be expensive to pay a professional to do it for you. You can do the job yourself, however, by following the simple instructions above. But be sure to use the right snake for the job, always wear protective gear, and follow the instructions that accompany the brand of snake you rent or buy.

How To Install Double Kitchen Sink Plumbing?

Double kitchen sinks offer extra space and aesthetics for your kitchen. Whether you are installing one for the first time in a new home or are remodeling an older home to replace the existing sink with something new, double kitchen sinks can be installed by any homeowner with the right tools, resources, and time available. Using two sink sections instead of one, the actual installation process and how the sink works is exactly the same as for a single sink.

How To Install Double Kitchen Sink Plumbing

Install Double Kitchen Sink Plumbing – Step By Step

Step 1: Familiarize yourself with the parts in the kit. The knuckle “T” section is what each piece of the “J” (also known as an exhaust pipe) attaches to, once they have been attached to the bottom of their respective drains at the bottom of the sink. (drain baskets) and is centered between the two drain holes. 

The sink siphon is a U-shaped piece and connects to the wall drain pipe (a straight pipe that sticks out of the wall at the back of your closet) as well as the “T” section, to remove sewage water.

Step 2: Dry assemble your installation before tightening the slip nuts of the circular that are attached to each piece on the threads and joining the plastic pieces. First, connect the straight section of PVC pipe into the wall drain pipe and join the sink trap (long piece, U-shaped), which in turn connects to the joint of the “T”. The trap and knuckle should be directly under the sink, centered front to back and side to side under the two drain baskets.

Step 3: Cut the excess pipe with a hacksaw. Loosely connect the threads of each piece with a nut to hold them in place while making adjustments. After you have dry-installed the drainpipe, sink siphon, and knuckle, check to see if you need to cut off any excess pieces of the exhaust pipe. Cut to fit by hacksawing the long ends of the tail, then dry them to fit the sink baskets as well as the “T” joint.

Step 4: Tighten all skid nuts to hold installation together. Use a pair of Channellock pliers to tighten the nuts in place. Turn them into a movement to the right. Avoid twisting them too much or you may break the pipes. Apply enough strain to guarantee a cozy fit. Run the water through the pipes and check for leaks before using the sink.

Tips & Warnings

All your tools and supplies can be purchased or rented from a local home improvement store. Double kitchen sink kits are sold in a variety of sizes depending on the type of sink to install – so talk to a professional at the store to make sure you buy the right size kit for your particular type of sink. 

Although not required for plastic installations (the threads and slip nuts work together to keep water in the pipes) plumber’s tape (Teflon) can be used for additional protection if you choose. Pre-assembled sink kits generally require only minimal adjustments, so measure twice and cut sparingly to avoid overcutting.