6 Step Guide: How to Use a Plumbing Snake

Drain Cleaning

After a long day in the sun, there is nothing better than taking a nice long shower. But, there is also nothing worse than your tub starting to fill up with water after just a minute or two of the water running. When your tub suddenly becomes a pool, that probably means that your drain is clogged. Hair, soap scum, and dirt are the three main causes of a clogged shower drain. When this happens, water stops draining and your left bathing in dirty shower water.

A plumbing snake is like a snake to unclog shower drain. It is a tool that allows easy cleaning of your shower drain. This tool reaches down into your bath tub’s drain and pulls out any gunk that is causing a blockage. Unlike plungers, shower snakes have the ability to really pull up the thick stuff if done correctly. Are you experiencing a clogged shower drain? To restore the flow of water in your drain, use this 6 step guide to become familiar with how to use a plumbing snake. 

Snaking a Drain: 6 Easy Steps

A plumbing snake for shower drain is a long-coiled and flexible piece of metal that goes into your shower’s drain, fishes out the gunk, and successfully pulls out any hair or scum. For snaking a shower drain, you will be required to insert and rotate this tool in your shower’s drain to disassemble the clog.

Step 1: Grab a Towel & Garbage Bag

Prior to using the plumbing snake, start by prepping your space and understand how to snake a shower drain. Snaking a shower drain can sometimes be messy and smelly depending on how long the build-up has been sitting in your drain. Prep your space by laying a towel out on the ground next to your tub, putting on disposable (or reusable) gloves, and getting a trash bag or trash can ready to throw out the gunk from your drain.

Drain Snake

Step 2: Insert the Plumbing Snake in the Drain

After prepping your space, insert the head of the plumbing snake into your shower drain. To prevent pipe damage, do not apply too much pressure while you are using the plumbing snake. If you're struggling insert the plumbing snake, we recommend wiggling it into the pipe.  Some showers have p-traps or arm traps. Either of these traps can be removed and should be cleaned prior to using your plumbing snake to unclog your shower drain. Sometimes gunk is also trapped in pipes, which may mean that the floor drain itself isn’t the culprit of the clogging.

Step 3: Apply a Small Amount of Pressure & Rotate the Plumbing Snake

Once you insert the entire plumbing snake into your shower drain—ensuring that the handle of the snake is as close to the surface of the tub as possible—begin to rotate the plumbing snake to gather the hair and gunk in the drain. Be careful to not apply too much or too little force when snaking the drain.

Related Article: What Are the Signs of a Broken Gas Furnace Heat Exchanger? 

Clogged Drain

Step 4: Move the Drain Snake Up & Down to Remove Materials

After rotating the plumbing snake in your drain, begin to gently move the plumbing snake head up and down to begin to release and pull up the gunk. Keep rotating and gently moving the snake up and down until you feel no resistance and are able to easily pull up the plumbing snake.

Step 5: Dispose of Hair, Grease, & Materials in a Garbage Can

Once you’re able to successfully pull the entire snake head out of your shower drain, clean off the snake head and dispose of the gunk into a trash bag. Beware: The shower gunk might look, feel, and smell unpleasant.

Step 6: Turn On the Shower to Confirm if the Clog is Gone

Repeat steps 3-5 and continue to snake your drain as necessary. Once you have found that no more gunk is coming out of your shower, run the water to see if the water is successfully draining. If so, then the work is complete!


Drain Cleaning Services

Life is busy and sometimes so much so that the thought of using a plumbing snake can be overwhelming. Stephens Plumbing offers several drain cleaning services to keep your shower running and pipes functioning.

Drain Cleaning

Shower drains are not the only drains that can be clogged. Bathroom sinks, kitchen drains, and even laundry room drains can become full of gunk. Instead of turning to chemical-filled liquid products that claim they will clean your drains, call a professional plumber to snake your drain. The team of licensed plumbers at Stephens Plumbing will come to your home and get your drains cleared out to keep the water draining properly. Schedule your drain cleaning appointment by calling us at (630) 968-0783. Stephens Plumbing provides dependable plumbing solutions in areas of Illinois such as Downers Grove, Plainfield, Elmhurst, Wheaton, Aurora, and Bolingbrook

Related Article: Ways To Prevent Pipes From Freezing in the Winter Season

Power Rodding

Stephens Plumbing offers power rodding services to eliminate clogged pipes and drains. Using a power rodding tool is similar to a plumbing snake for shower drain. However, this type of tool utilizes an electric motor to quickly and efficiently remove the clog in your drain system. Power rodding is a safe alternative to store-bought chemicals that claim they will fix a clog. Fill out our online service request form to have Stephens Plumbing unclog your drain as soon as possible.

Plumbing Services

Clogged drains can happen anywhere in your home: shower drains, kitchen sinks, and even laundry rooms. Harsh chemicals from store-bought products can cause damage to your pipes (more damage than the clog itself) so it’s important to speak with a professional plumber to help solve your drainage needs.

We offer plumbing and HVAC repair services for clogged drains, malfunctioning water heaters, damaged water lines, inefficient air conditioners, broken sump pumps, and gas leaks. Give our professional plumbers a call at (630) 968-0783 or fill out an online service request form to receive support.