DIY Sink Drain Snakes

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Calling a plumber to fix a drain problem in your household can be expensive and time-consuming. Quite often, the plumber simply runs a plumber's snake through the lines, clears the clog and the job is done. By making your own drain snake, you can save the money and hassle of hiring professional help.

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Selecting the Cable

Stainless steel cables, 1/8 inch in diameter, work best for making a homemade drain snake. Purchase these cables at your local hardware or home supply store. The length of cable needed depends on the intended usage. If you plan to use the cable for blockages near the drain, you only need a short amount of cable. Use materials other than stainless steel if you wish, but be aware that whatever metal you choose is going to be exposed to water and should be non-corrosive.

Making the Snake

Using a pair of needle-nose pliers, pull individual wires (not strands) outward from the cable in a radial pattern, like a starfish. You want numerous wires pulled in all directions so they provide a wide area to grip any blockage. Working with the wires of the snake can be dangerous, so wear gloves to avoid possible injury.

Using the Snake

Feed the drain snake into the drain, rotating it as you go. Once you reach the blockage, continue rotating so that the wires of the snake snag the blockage. Continue rotating and remove the blockage. You may need to repeat this step two or three times to completely remove the blockage. Clean and disinfect the drain snake before storing it.


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