Drain snakes, technically called drain augers, are one of the least expensive yet valuable tools for your home. Everyone has to deal with a clog at one time or another, be it a kitchen sink filled with potato skins, a bathroom drain full of hair or a clogged toilet. The job can be messy, but it is doable, largely because the drain snake will do all the hard work for you as long as you use it correctly. Occasionally, the cable will get kinked while you are using it to remove the clog, but this too is easily fixed with a little know-how.
Fill the sink with water as this will aid in breaking through the blockage as well as help prevent the cable from kinking. Once full, insert your drain snake cable into the drain and twist the handle clockwise as you slide it down the pipe. Continue until you hit the obstruction. Give the handle a sharp twist and pull to dislodge the clog. If the clog is beyond the u-bend of the pipe, the snake is likely to kink up.
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Back the snake out of the pipe very slowly. Once it has passed the u-bend it will often un-kink itself. You will feel the snake jump in your hands, signaling that the cable is realigning itself. If the cable is fixed, continue to Step 4; if not, go to step 3.
Remove the cable from the pipe. Wipe it down with a towel as it comes out of the drain to avoid a mess. Take the snake in two hands, one at each end, and give the snake a strong tug. This will remove any remaining kinks.
Jam the drain snake cable completely through the blockage by using a steady up-and-down motion. Once you have broken through, pull the snake, along with the blockage, up through the pipe.
Clean the snake with a rag as you lift it out of the drain. Discard the clog into the trash and test the drain.