How to Snake a 90-Degree Drain

Whether it’s a clump of hair wreaking havoc in your shower drain or food waste blocking up your kitchen sink, any clog can put a damper on your day. While most obstructions are fairly easy to clear, those that form inside 90-degree pipes can prove difficult to remove on your own. These issues demand a touch of finesse and a technique called snaking.

As the go-to drain cleaning experts in Rockaway, NJ, we at RDH Plumbing, Sewer, & Drain Specialist know how to snake a 90-degree drain swiftly and thoroughly. Never resort to using harsh chemicals! Call us at (908) 578-9719 for expert drain cleaning assistance.

Using the Right Equipment to Snake Your Drain

When it comes to snaking a 90-degree drain, not just any old tool will do. The correct snake can make all the difference between a successful unclogging and a plumbing catastrophe. Consider these factors when choosing the best tool for your task:

Coil Size

The coil size of your drain snake directly influences its flexibility and, ultimately, its ability to navigate those tricky 90-degree turns. For smaller drains like those in sinks or bathtubs, a drain snake with a quarter-inch coil should suffice. If you plan to tackle larger drains such as toilets or main sewer lines, you’ll need one with a 3/8th inch (or larger) coil.

Coil Length

The length of the snake’s coil also plays a major role in drain unclogging. A shorter, 25-foot snake may be the ideal leading actor for minor clogs in household fixtures like showers or sinks. However, for those stubborn blockages lurking deep within your main sewer line, a hefty 50-foot or even 100-foot snake is necessary.

Type of Operation

Manual snakes, often a favorite for their simplicity and affordability, make the perfect tools for tackling those smaller, shallow clogs. However, for the hefty blockages entrenched deep within your drains, you may need to call in the cavalry — an electric auger. While slightly more expensive, these power-packed tools:

  • Provide extra force for tougher blockages
  • Make the job less strenuous by automating the rotation
  • Allow for longer stretches of operation
  • Give you the freedom to add extra length for deeper clogs

Snaking Your Drain: A Step-By-Step Guide

Now that you armed yourself with the appropriate drain-cleaning tools, it’s time to address the clog. It might appear intimidating at first glance, but don’t worry! Here’s a simplified rundown of how to snake a 90-degree drain:

  1. Insert and Push the Snake Head

With a gentle but firm hand, start feeding the coil down the affected pipe without rotating it. You can measure the length of your pipe beforehand to get an estimate of how far your snake needs to go. Turn it clockwise, then manage slack to about a four- to six-inch length from snake to drain opening.

  1. Maneuver Through the Bend

When you think you’ve hit the 90-degree angle, rotate the handle clockwise at the lowest speed to help the snake navigate the 90-degree turn. If you can’t get past the bend, run your tool in reverse or turn up the crank. This will force the head to bobble back and forth until it finds the right angle.

One good tip is to hug the opposite side of the corner so it can slide around the bend with ease. Remember, always handle your drain snake with patience. Relying on brute force could damage your pipes.

  1. Proceed to the Clog

With the challenging part out of the way, you will find the snake moving smoothly again — you can now proceed to the blockage. Continue feeding the snake into the drain until you feel resistance. This is your cue that you’ve reached the clog in your plumbing system.

  1. Break it Up

When the head of your snake reaches the clog, turn it up at the highest speed to break up the gunk and debris. You may need to let it spin for a while for tougher obstructions.

Keep an eye on the cable. If it doesn’t rotate, you should tighten its thumbscrew, which is the component that locks the cable in place.

Then, simply pull the snake out and run water through the drain to clear away any remaining debris.

Leave the Job to a Professional Plumber

Even if you know how to snake a 90-degree drain, a seasoned plumber makes the job hassle-free. Call RDH Plumbing, Sewer, & Drain Specialist at (908) 578-9719 and watch us clear your problematic kitchen or bathroom drain. We can also explain what not to put down the drain to avoid future clogs!

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