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How to Use a Plastic Drain Snake

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Water backups and slow-moving drains don’t always indicate a major plumbing issue. Sinks, showers, and tubs can simply become clogged with hair and waste. If you are experiencing slow-moving drains as a result of a small clog then you may be able to clear the drain using a simple plastic drain snake found at your local hardware store.


How To Use a Plastic Drain Snake

  • Move any personal items from around the drain to avoid sludge or wastewater from splashing on them.
  • If present, remove the drain filter or sink stopper.
  • Being careful to avoid touching the sharp plastic barbs straighten the drain snake.
  • Insert the drain snake into the drain of your sink, tub, or shower.
  • Gently twist the drain snake to catch clogged hair and debris.
  • Slowly pull the drain snake and clogged waste out of the drain.
  • Repeat if necessary.
  • Avoid forcing the tool to prevent it from breaking off in the drain.
  • The drain snake can be cleaned off and reused.
Like other tools, you will want to keep drain snakes out of the reach of children and pets.


If taking the above steps doesn’t clear your drain then you will want to call your local plumber to inspect the drain lines. It may be that you need to schedule a drain cleaning or have a portion of the drainpipe repaired. TE Certified Plumbers offer camera inspections so you can see exactly what is causing the back up taking the guesswork out of repairs and saving you time and money. If a larger repair is needed, TE has a dedicated team of experienced plumbers to clean, repair, and replace drain and sewer pipes.
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