How to Remove a Broken Drain Snake

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Things You'll Need

  • Straight pipe wrench (10- to 18-inch)

  • Large basin

Remove the U-bend to access your broken drain snake.

If you've been using a drain snake to clear your pipes, you know that the tools can be a good way of moving blockages but aren't infallible. A drain snake can sometimes break off within the pipe, leaving you with more blockage than when you started. When this happens, don't waste your time fishing around in the plughole: the way to remove the snake is to open up the pipe.


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Step 1

Access the area underneath the plughole you've been forcing the snake into. In most cases, this will be underneath the basin or sink. If the snake is stuck under your bathtub, the pipes may have to be accessed through your basement.

Step 2

Adjust the straight wrench so it is the right width to unscrew the nuts holding the U-bend in place. Place a basin under the U-bend to catch excess water trapped in the pipe.


Step 3

Unscrew the nuts on either side of the U-bend and pull it down and out of place. Pull the fragments of the broken snake out of each end of the pipe, and shake any fragments out of the U-bend.

Step 4

Replace the U-bend, and tighten the nuts to restore your drain.


While the U-bend is removed, this is a good time to clean any persistent blockages out of your U-bend or the pipe on either side of it.