You are cleaning the drain pipe, and the drain snake gets stuck. The scenario is both hilarious and frustrating. Also, a stuck drain snake is a big obstacle you must remove to help the clogged water drain out quickly. Otherwise, the blockage can quickly stop the water flow to cause a massacre in the kitchen or bathroom.
So, what to do when a drain snake gets stuck? Can you indeed remove it? Also, what steps should you follow to remove a stuck drain snake?
You can reverse the snake’s direction and pull it back. Alternatively, block the U-bend and unscrew it to access and remove the drain snake. Plus, you may pour boiling water inside the drainage to unclog the auger and pull it to remove it from the pipe.
We will show you all three ways to troubleshoot a stuck drain snake. So, let’s find them out.
Is A Plumbing Snake Stuck In The Drain? : Top 4 Reasons Explained
We use the plumbing snake to catch smaller clogging materials inside the drain pipe to remove them. At times, sadly, the plumbing snake may get stuck inside the drain. It may happen for different reasons, from wrong sized drain auger to a malfunctioning auger.
Choosing the wrong size:
A small to medium drain snake works best for the bathtub, toilet, and kitchen drainage systems. If you have bought a larger one, it might get into the drainage through the larger mouth. However, it may not come back due to the smaller diameter inside the drainage.
As it happens, the auger will get stuck inside the draining pipe. When it happens, you need to find a way to move and take away the drill from the drainage carefully.
Damaged drain snake:
Sometimes the blockage you try to remove can be too large and hard. Thus, the drain snake can hit it too hard to get damaged. The head of the auger may become damaged or broken. Plus, it may bend too much and become immovable.
Thus, without the ability to move inside the drainage, the auger will keep stuck inside it.
Old and dysfunctional drain snake:
Are you using an old drain snake? Then, you must check it carefully before inserting it inside the drainage. Old drain augers may quickly start malfunctioning. Its head may be broken or fall off from the top. Also, the wire inside it may get rust and so could cause further inconveniences.
Also, older drain snakes might have residues and blockages on them that also causes them to remain inside the pipe.
Applying too much force:
While working with the drain auger, you must be careful about applying too much force. We understand that it’s tempting to push the drain auger as hard as possible inside the drainage. Most think forcing the wiring deep inside the drainage will remove more blockages.
However, it runs the risk of bending or kinking the auger. As the auger kinks, it will fail to come out of the drainage.
What To Do When A Drain Snake Gets Stuck:
A drain snake removes the clog and blockages from the bathtub, toilet, shower, and kitchen drain pipes. Rarely will it get stuck inside the pipe due to brute force or the head getting damaged. And it isn’t a pleasant scene.
At this moment, you might wonder What do you do if your snake gets stuck in the drain?
Here’re the top three solutions to unblock a stuck drain auger.
Method 1: Switching the drain snake back
When the drain auger gets stuck, you shouldn’t panic at all. Instead, calmly switch it to the reverse position. Also, try moving it in a roundish way inside the drainage. Try to pull it out of the pipe as you feel it is moving.
You don’t need to apply too much pressure while revering the drain snake. Also, try pulling the auger upward to see if it gets rid of the stuck position. Finally, give the drain auger a few gentle tugs with gentle pressure to see if it unclogs.
Don’t apply brute force to give the drain snake a firm yank. It might break the handle and cause you more problems.
Method 2: Use boiling water
Sometimes the drain snake may get attached to the residues and blockages inside the pipe. As it happens, you must unclog the auger from the blocking materials. The best way to apply boiling water inside the drain pipe is to soften the blockages.
- Bring two to three kettles of water to boiling point
- Pour the boiling water through the drain to help it reach the blockages
- Also, pour ½ bottle of drain cleaning gel through the pipe
- Now, after waiting for 10 minutes, you should switch on the drain snake
- Move it in the forward direction first. See if it moves or not.
- Now, you should move it in the reverse direction.
- As the boiling water and cleaning gel disperse the blockages, the auger should come out from the pipe successfully.
If the blockages continue persisting the drain snake, repeat the process to remove it.
Method 3: Try disconnecting the drain
If nothing works to remove the stuck drain snake, your last option is to detach the drain pipe at a point. Then, you may remove the stuck drill through it.
- Closely observe where the drain snake is obstructed inside the drain pipe
- As you find the offending drain, turn off all the water sources
- Wait for a couple of minutes to help the drainage drain out soon
- Locate the U-bend that extends directly from the blocking pipe
- Place a bowl underneath the pipe to hold water once you unscrew it
- Now, carefully check for the large nut that connects the tailpiece with the U-bend
- Use an adjustable basin wrench to unscrew the nuts from the lugs
- Also, use another wrench to hold the U-bend in its position to prevent it from falling
- As an opening, the drainage exposes the auger; try pulling it out carefully
- If it still refuses to come out, remove the blocking material and pull it back
- Finally, reattach the U-bend and drain pipe
This way, you can remove a drain snake that gets stuck inside the pipe while working. Mostly, it happens as the wiring and head of the drain snake kinks and bends due to hard materials. Also, moving the auger too abruptly inside the drainage will cause similar problems.
Hence, you should inspect the drainage and the clogs closely before working with the plumbing auger. You may use baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water to unclog the drain. Then, use the auger to remove the remaining softened blockages for a clean line. It will help the auger to eliminate the debris better without causing inconveniences.
I am James Martin, An professional plumber with more than 16 years of experience. The main purpose of my writing is to share my experiences of helping others. Be with me and explore bathroom plumbing, installation, cleanness ideas, and many more.