Unclogging a Utility Sink Using a Snake

by Doris Donnerman
(last updated April 1, 2016)

Just as when you use a snake to unclog kitchen or bathroom sinks, you are going to be utilizing the same methods and tools to snake out a utility sink. So you will want to make sure that before you start any type of home plumbing task that you have the tools necessary to accomplish the job. There are going to be four things that you'll need: a bucket, a pair of pliers that are adjustable, a snake (or drain auger) and an old towel.

When considering whether you want to snake your drain you need to make sure that you know what kind of pipes your plumbing is made from. Are the pipes metallic or from PVC? This is an important thing to know, since if the pipes are made from PVC you could potentially break them if you are not careful when removing the blockage.

If you do not already have a snake, you can purchase one at any department or hardware store. The price is going to range between $4.50 and $32.50 depending on brand, type, and which store you purchase it at.

Now you are ready to tackle that clogged drain:

  1. Turn off the water to the sink. The shut-off valve should be under the sink; it looks similar to what you use to turn off the water to a toilet or for your sprinklers. You want to make sure that you have turned off the water since so you avoid any potential "too much water" problems.
  2. Set your bucket under the bend in the sink's pipe. This bend in the pipe is what is commonly known as the trap. This is the area where the blockage typically forms, since it is designed to keep things from coming back up the pipe.
  3. Use your adjustable pliers to loosen the nuts holding the trap in place. Loosen the nuts at both ends of the trap. As you do so, water and gunk are going to be coming out. Don't worry; this is why you have the bucket under the pipe. Simply let everything fall into the bucket, including the trap.
  4. Stick the end of the drain auger into the pipe that goes into the wall. As you are placing the corkscrew end in, turn the handle clockwise. You are going to keep feeding the snake into the wall until you reach the blockage. Gently but firmly push the snake through the blockage.
  5. Once you have pushed through the blockage, reverse the snake and start removing it from the pipe. The end of the snake should pull the clog back out and you can let it drop into your bucket. This is going be messy, so this is why you have that towel. Be ready to clean up the mess by using the towel to wipe off the snake as you bring it back out of the wall.

If there was no blockage in the wall, check the trap that you previously removed. You can clear this out by simply running the snake through this portion of the pipe, as done with the wall. After this has been done, replace the trap, tighten the nuts, and turn the water back on. You're done!

Author Bio

Doris Donnerman

Doris is a jack of all trades, writing on a variety of topics. Her articles have helped enlighten and entertain thousands over the years. ...

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