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I'm tackling a stubborn clog in a kitchen sink. I first took out the P-trap, but it was pretty clear. I then tried a 15' plumber's snake, put it in past where the p trap connects, and got the whole length into the pipe without unclogging it. I picked up a 25' snake, and it keeps buckling in the pipes, so I don't think I'm getting it in much further than the 15' snake.

Is there any trick to keeping a snake from buckling in the pipes, which prevents it from going in further? If a 15' snake didn't do the trick, is it time to call a professional?

  • Small 1/4" snakes start binding after several 90's or when the drain pipe increases in size . I have had good luck in some homes (ranch style with the laundry in the garage) going backwards to the plug some of the homes had cleanout caps at the washing machine and I was able to clear the obstructions from that direction. Today I have larger drill powered and big auger snakes that have more than paid for themselves many times over. – Ed Beal Feb 23 '17 at 0:13
  • Running a long snake can take a certain amount of practice. If it's a manual snake, keep rotating it near the buckling point until it either gives up and makes it around the next bend, or is fully enagaged with the clog material and you can pull the whole thing (clog and all ) back out. – Carl Witthoft Feb 23 '17 at 18:31
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Well, you found where the clog isn't, at least. However, if you can't go to a lower part of the plumbing or further from the street through another sink, toilet or basement clean-out. Then, make sure you're using the Snake properly by tightening the locking screw once you get to the bind and spinning while pushing. You can also pull the Snake tip out to almost straight for better steering.

If still no success, then it's time to get a Plumber with a Camera Snake and not just a bigger or powered Snake. You may very well be bottoming-out at a non-directional T-fitting or 90-degree elbow. Neither of those "should" ever be present in a plumbing's drain system, but commonly are nowadays. This may therefore require Snaking backward from the street if a lower clean-out access point can't be installed to bypass the bind.

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