Ask Pete: Can I Snake A Drain Myself?

A clogged drain is nothing more than a bother. You might even try to ignore it or find a quick fix with liquid drain cleaners (hint – these can wreck your plumbing system). But if you really want to fix a clog once and for all, using a snake is the best option. You may be wondering if you can snake a drain yourself. Let’s ask Pete to learn more!

What Pete Says

You may have heard someone talk about snaking their drain before. But rest assured, they’re not talking about reptiles. A drain snake is a thin, flexible tool with an uncoiled texture that plumbers use to clear difficult clogs. They’re effective at clearing out tough clogs.

Can I Snake A Drain Myself?

Snaking a clogged drain is not for the faint of heart. It requires dedication and patience. Even then, it doesn’t always work out. That’s why I only recommend you try snaking your drain if you have plumbing experience and your clog isn’t too big. A professional plumber should always take charge of larger, more complex clogs.

Is Snaking A Drain Difficult?

Snaking a drain may sound easy. After all, you only need to push the snake into the drainpipe until it hits the clog. From there, all you have to do is work on displacing the clog.

In reality, snaking a drain can be a lot harder. Not all drain pipes are straight, meaning you’ll have to navigate the snake through different twists and turns. As I mentioned, snaking a drain also requires patience, and many people get aggravated before finishing the job. What’s worse is that you can make your clog worse if you don’t know what you’re doing. 

Can Your Snake A Drain Without A Snake?

You can certainly unclog a drain without a snake. Here are some steps you can take when you don’t have a snake handy: 

  • Plunger: Did you know there are two types of plungers? One is for toilet clogs while the other is for clogged drains. Pull out your cup plunger to fix your clogged drain as the first step when you don’t have a snake. 
  • Wire Hanger: You can repurpose a wire hanger to unclog drains. This method is especially useful for clogged shower drains when you need to pull out things like hair and soap scum. 
  • Vinegar and Baking Soda: Put some vinegar or baking soda down the drain and let it sit for about half an hour. Then, follow it up by running hot water for a few minutes.
  • Professional Plumber: If you don’t have a snake, a professional plumber will. They’ll also be able to fix your problem quickly without causing extra damage. 

Can Snaking A Drain Make A Clog Worse?

In short – yes, snaking a drain yourself can make a clog worse. When someone without plumbing expertise tries to use a drain snake, they can make the clog worse or cause damage to their drain pipes. 

While many clogs are caused by objects stuck in your pipe, they can also occur due to mineral build-up. When you snake your drain, you can scrape off protections and allow the minerals to build up even more. You also risk damaging your pipes or fixtures if your plumbing is old or you use the snake incorrectly. 

Don’t Snake Your Drain – Get A Free Estimate Today

A plumber with expert knowledge of drain snakes will know the most efficient and effective way to get rid of your clogged drain. While it may be tempting to snake a drain yourself, it can end up doing more harm than good. 

Phend Plumbing is your local plumbing specialist in the Phoenix Valley area. With offices in Mesa-Phoenix and Gilbert, Arizona, our family-owned business has years of experience helping homeowners and businesses with all their plumbing needs. We offer up-front pricing and fast, professional work. Call us at 480-388-6093 or contact us online for a fast, free estimate on your clogged drain or drain cleaning.