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The Essential Guide to Using a Plumbing Snake: Tips from NYC's Premier Plumbers

A person wearing gloves is using a plumbing snake on a bathroom sink. The Quix Plumbing Service logo is displayed in the upper left corner, indicating professional plumbing services.
Efficiency in action: A Quix Plumbing pro tackles a clogged sink with precision and expertise.

Clogged drains are a common yet frustrating issue faced by many households and businesses. While there are various methods to tackle this problem, using a plumbing snake, also known as a drain auger, stands out as an efficient and straightforward solution. Quix Plumbing Service, a leader in providing top-notch plumbing solutions in NYC since 2018, shares expert insights on using a plumbing snake effectively.

What is a Plumbing Snake?

A plumbing snake is a flexible auger used to dislodge clogs in plumbing that cannot be loosened with a plunger. It consists of a coiled spiral snake, which is inserted into the drain, and a handle, which is turned to navigate the snake through the pipes. This tool can reach deep into the plumbing system to break apart or retrieve obstructions.

When to Use a Plumbing Snake

  • Slow Draining Sink or Bathtub: A clear indication that a clog is forming.

  • Recurring Clogs: When traditional methods like plunging don’t offer a lasting solution.

  • After Removing Surface Debris: If clearing hair and other visible debris doesn’t resolve the issue.

Quix's skilled technician in action, delivering seamless solutions for stubborn bathtub clogs.

How to Use a Plumbing Snake: Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Prepare the Area: Clear any standing water and place a bucket underneath the pipe to catch debris.

  2. Insert the Snake: Feed the head of the snake into the drain or cleanout until you feel resistance.

  3. Turn the Handle: Rotate the handle clockwise. This motion breaks apart the clog or hooks onto it for retrieval.

  4. Retrieve the Snake: Once you've navigated through the clog, slowly pull the snake out. Prepare for cleanup as the snake might bring debris with it.

  5. Flush the Drain: Run hot water to clear any remaining debris and ensure the clog is completely removed.

Tips for Successful Unclogging

  • Gentle Guidance: Avoid forcing the snake, as it can damage pipes or get stuck.

  • Know Your Pipes: Be aware of the pipe layout to prevent unnecessary damage.

  • Safety First: Wear gloves and goggles to protect against splashes and debris.


Q: Can a plumbing snake damage pipes? A: Yes, if used improperly. Always turn the snake gently and avoid forcing it into the pipes.

Q: How long does it take to unclog a drain with a snake? A: It depends on the severity of the clog and the length of the pipes. Most clogs can be cleared in under 30 minutes.

Q: Is it better to rent or buy a plumbing snake? A: For infrequent use, renting may be more cost-effective. However, purchasing a snake is advisable for those with older homes or frequent clogs.


While a plumbing snake is a powerful tool for clearing clogs, knowing how to use it correctly is crucial. By following these guidelines from Quix Plumbing Service, you can tackle most clogs with confidence. For persistent or complex issues, don't hesitate to contact professional plumbers. Quix Plumbing Service, with its commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction, is always here to help.

About Quix Plumbing Service Founded in 2018, Quix Plumbing Service has grown into one of the most reliable plumbing services in NYC, offering a wide range of high-quality plumbing solutions. Serving residential and commercial customers in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, we ensure peace of mind with our meticulous quality control and mess-free guarantee. Visit us at or follow us on social media for more tips and updates.

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