When you realize you have a clogged drainage line at home, your first inclination is probably going to be to tackle the thing on your own. After all, liquid drain-cleaning products are easy enough to get your hands on, and you may be able to work wonders with a basic plumber's snake you can get at any hardware store. While it is true these methods work pretty well in some minor clog situations, there is still room for error, especially when using a plumber's snake to try and push a clog out of the way. Check out this short list of mistakes homeowners tend to make when trying to unclog a drain with a plumber's snake.
Spinning the snake too quickly when pushing it down the drain.
The idea behind using a plumbers snake is that you will push the coiled spring down into the drain line until it hits the clog and, hopefully, whatever is in the way will be grabbed by the prongs on the end so you can pull it out. This does work sometimes, but it will not work if you are rapidly spinning the snake down into the drain so fast that it doesn't have time to grab onto anything. If you have the snake attached to a drill, slow down the drill to its lowest speed setting. If you're manning the snake by hand, spin it slowly and not at a rapid pace.
Not pushing the snake far enough into the drain to get anything.
You can find plumber's snakes that are fairly short at just a few feet long, but there are also longer ones that are capable of reaching several feet into a drainage line. It is always best to go with the longer snake and push as much as you can into the drain before pulling it out. Clogs most often work their way down into the line a fair distance, so you're probably not going to help the situation if you are only running the snake a few feet down.
Pushing the snake roughly into a clogged line to try and push the clog through.
If you are running the snake down the drain and hit what feels like a clog, you may be tempted to cram and push the thing as hard as you can to push the clog on through. However, this can be a really bad idea. You could further compact the clogged material, break a drainage line, or even break the snake off in the line if you're not careful.
Contact a drain cleaning expert for professional help.