January 15, 2020 by

At Roto-Rooter High Desert, we proudly provide the best in plumbing services to people in the Hesperia, Victorville, and Apple Valley area.  If your toilet or other drain is clogged, we’ll be happy to come clear the clog for you.

However, that’s really not always necessary.  Just about anyone can snake a clogged drain, and drain snakes are cheap to purchase from hardware and home-improvement stores.  A small investment, and a little effort, can save you a lot in plumbing bills!

Easy Tips for Snaking a Clogged Drain

1 – Improvising a drain snake

Don’t feel like spending the money for a snake?  Sometimes you can get away with using a wire coat hanger.  Basically, you want to keep the hook on the end, but straighten out the rest.  This won’t be as effective as the real thing, but it’ll be good enough for moderately sized clogs which are near the drain.

Real drain snakes are typically 20+ feet long, so a coat hanger won’t be able to handle clogs that are too far down the pipe.

2 – Feel your way down the pipe

The main trick to using a drain snake is learning to feel what the snake is touching.  As you push the snake into the drain or pipe, you might feel some resistance when it hits a bend.  Just keep pushing.  Eventually, when you reach the clog, you’ll feel the obstruction – but it’ll be just a bit squishy.  This is how you know you’ve found the clog.

3 – Turn the snake to hook the clog

It’s not enough just to poke at the clog – you want to use the hook on your snake (or coat hanger) to start digging into the clog.  This is best done with a counterclockwise motion.  Be firm, and maintain constant pressure as you turn the hook.  Hopefully, you should feel when it starts digging into the clog material.

If in doubt, pull out the snake and inspect the tip to see if there’s any debris attached.  If so, keep digging in.

4 – Pull the clog out slowly

Ideally, you want to hook the clog all the way through, so it’s impaled on the drain snake.  Then it can be pulled out.  Go slow!  If you lose the clog, it might pass on through anyway – but if not, it’ll just clog up again.


Of course, if snaking your drain isn’t for you, Roto-Rooter High Desert is happy to help.  Contact us to schedule an appointment!