Why Your Drain Snake Didn’t Work – Troubleshooting Tips and Tricks

Is there anything worse than a clogged drain? You’ve tried everything, from pouring Drano down the pipes to using a trusty drain snake. But wait, what happens when your go-to drain snake doesn’t work? Frustration sets in, and you’re left wondering what to do next.

Don’t worry – you’re not alone in this plumbing predicament. Many homeowners have faced the same issue of a drain snake not going down or failing to clear a stubborn clog. In this blog post, we’ll explore the possible reasons why your trusty drain snake hasn’t done the trick and provide you with troubleshooting tips and tricks to help unclog that stubborn drain. So, let’s dive in and find out how to tackle this annoying problem head-on.

Why the Drain Snake Failed to Work

So, you’ve got a clogged drain and thought that using a drain snake would do the trick. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out as planned. Don’t worry, though – you’re not alone in this frustrating situation. There are a few common reasons why a drain snake might fail to unclog your stubborn drain. Let’s dive into them and find out what you can do next.

1. Insufficient Length or Diameter

One possible reason the drain snake didn’t work is that its length or diameter wasn’t suitable for the task at hand. Different drain clogs require different tools, and using an improperly sized drain snake can leave you feeling defeated. Remember, if your drain has a longer or wider pipe, you’ll need a snake that can effectively reach and maneuver through it.

2. Ineffective Technique

Using a drain snake may seem straightforward, but executing the right technique is crucial for success. If you’re simply pushing the snake down the drain without properly rotating or wiggling it, the chances are high that it won’t be effective in dislodging the clog. Make sure you’re using the right motions, applying consistent pressure, and allowing the snake to navigate through the pipe properly.

3. Complex and Deep Clogs

Sometimes, the problem lies not with the drain snake but with the complexity and depth of the clog itself. If the snake fails to reach the exact location of the blockage, it won’t be able to clear it. Additionally, certain clogs, such as tree roots infiltrating your sewer line, may require professional intervention. In such cases, don’t hesitate to seek help from an experienced plumber who can tackle the issue more effectively.

4. Hidden or Multiple Blockages

It’s not uncommon for drains to suffer from hidden or multiple blockages. If you’ve successfully removed one clog but still experience drainage issues, there could be another blockage further down the line. Hidden blockages can be particularly challenging to address with a drain snake alone. It may be necessary to use other tools or methods, such as hydro jetting or chemical drain cleaners, to fully resolve the issue.

Although it can be frustrating when a drain snake fails to work, now you have a better understanding of why it might have happened. Remember to ensure the appropriate length and diameter, use effective techniques, consider complex or deep clogs, and be aware of hidden or multiple blockages. By taking these factors into account, you’ll have a better chance of successfully unclogging your drain.

drain snake didn't work

Drain Snake Not Going Down

So you’ve tried using a drain snake to clear a clogged drain, but to your frustration, it’s not going down as smoothly as you expected. Don’t worry, you’re not alone in this battle against stubborn clogs! In this section, we’ll explore some reasons why your drain snake may not be making progress and offer some practical solutions to get things flowing again.

1. Cable Stuck or Jammed (and Tips to Free It)

One common reason why your drain snake isn’t going down could be that the cable is stuck or jammed. Before you give up and call a plumber, let’s try a few troubleshooting tricks:

  • Give it a little push: Apply gentle pressure to see if you can loosen the clog. Be careful not to apply too much force, as it may damage your pipes.
  • Rotate the cable: Use a twisting motion to help the snake maneuver through the blockage. This can help dislodge any debris clinging to the walls of the pipe.
  • Release more cable: Extend more of the cable into the drain to provide better reach and increase your chances of success.

2. Wrong Size or Type of Snake

Using the right tool for the job is crucial, and the same goes for drain snakes. If your snake isn’t going down smoothly, consider:

  • Size matters: Ensure that you’re using a drain snake that matches the size of your pipes. Using a snake that is too thick or too thin can hinder its progress.
  • Flexible or rigid: Different clogs may require different types of drain snakes. A flexible cable is handy for navigating bends and traps, while a rigid one can provide more force for tough blockages.

3. Deeper Blockage

Sometimes, the clog causing the trouble is further down the drain than your snake can reach. In such cases, you may need to call in the professionals who have specialized equipment to handle deep blockages. They can use a camera to locate the exact location of the clog and employ more powerful tools to clear it.

4. Persistent Grease or Hair Clogs

Grease and hair are notorious culprits for bathroom and kitchen drain clogs. They tend to accumulate over time and can be challenging to remove with a drain snake alone. Consider using alternative methods such as enzyme-based drain cleaners or specialized hair removal tools to loosen these stubborn clogs.

While it can be frustrating when a drain snake doesn’t go down smoothly, there are several possibilities to consider before giving up. Troubleshoot the cable, ensure you have the right type and size of snake, and be aware of potential deep blockages or persistent clogs. Remember to exercise caution and seek professional help when needed. With a little persistence and the right approach, you’ll soon have your drain flowing freely once again.

Drano and Snake Not Working

Clogged Drain? Drano and Snake Let You Down

So, you tried using a drain snake to unclog your drain, but to your disappointment, it didn’t work. You were left with a sink full of water and a continued struggle to clear the blockage. Frustrating, right? Well, don’t worry because you’re not alone in this battle against stubborn clogs.

The Drano Dilemma

Drano is often seen as a magical elixir for unclogging drains. Its promises of effortless unclogging have tempted many homeowners. With its thick, gel-like consistency, it seems like the ultimate solution. Yet, sometimes, Drano just doesn’t live up to its expectations.

Drano: Is It Always the Hero?

When you poured Drano down your drain, you expected an instant fix. Unfortunately, sometimes, the clog is so severe or located too far within the pipes that Drano just can’t cut it. Drano may be effective for minor clogs near the surface, but for stubborn blockages, it might not be the superhero you thought it was.

Beyond Drano: Enter the Drain Snake

When Drano fails, many homeowners turn to the trusty drain snake. Armed with the snake’s flexible coil, you dove into the drain, hoping to retrieve the clog. But alas, the snake didn’t work either. What went wrong?

Snakes: When They’re Not so Slithery

Using a snake might seem straightforward, but it does require some finesse. If you didn’t insert the snake deeply enough or failed to effectively navigate the twists and turns of your plumbing, it’s no wonder the snake couldn’t dislodge the clog on its own.

The Hidden Culprits: Common Reasons for Drano and Snake Failure

Not all clogs are created equal, and there are often hidden culprits that can make Drano and snake ineffective. Here are a few common reasons these solutions may let you down:

Heavy Grease Buildup

If you’ve been carelessly pouring fats, oils, and greases down your drain, they may have solidified and formed a sticky obstruction. Drano might struggle to dissolve this heavy buildup, leaving you with a stagnant drain.

Foreign Objects

Sometimes, the clog isn’t caused by the usual suspects like hair or food particles. It could be a foreign object that accidentally found its way into your plumbing system. Drano and a snake won’t be able to budge this stubborn obstacle.

Damaged Pipes

Old or corroded pipes can create rough surfaces or even collapse, causing clogs that are hard to tackle. In these cases, neither Drano nor a snake will be effective. It might be time to call in a professional plumber to assess and repair your plumbing system.

When All Else Fails: Seek Expert Help

If Drano and the snake are at their wits’ end, it’s likely time to admit defeat and seek professional assistance. Plumbers have the experience, tools, and expertise to diagnose and tackle even the trickiest clogs. Don’t be discouraged; sometimes, a little professional help is all you need for a clear, flowing drain.

So, next time Drano and the snake let you down, take a deep breath, and consider the hidden culprits. Remember, there’s always a solution, even if it means calling in the pros.

Snake Won’t Go Down Bathtub Drain

If you’ve ever dealt with a clogged bathtub drain, you know how frustrating it can be. You’ve tried using a drain snake to clear the blockage, but no matter how hard you try, the snake just won’t go down. Don’t worry, you’re not alone – many people have faced this same issue. In this section, we’ll explore some common reasons why a snake won’t go down a bathtub drain and offer some solutions to help you get things flowing again.

Hairballs, The Nemesis

One of the most common culprits when it comes to a clogged bathtub drain is hair. Over time, hair can accumulate and form a dense, tangled mass, known as a hairball, that can be difficult to remove with just a drain snake. When the snake meets resistance, it may not be able to push through the hairball, resulting in frustration for you. In cases like this, you may need to consider alternative methods of removing the hairball, such as using a chemical drain cleaner or a plunger specifically designed for tub drains.

Old Pipes, New Challenges

Another possible reason why your snake won’t go down the bathtub drain is the condition of your pipes. If the pipes are old or corroded, they may have rough surfaces or even become partially collapsed, which can make it difficult for the snake to navigate through the pipe. In these situations, a professional plumber may be your best bet, as they have the expertise to assess the condition of your pipes and recommend appropriate solutions, such as pipe replacement or hydro jetting.

The Mysterious Blockage

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you just can’t figure out what’s causing the blockage in your bathtub drain. It’s like a magic trick – the snake goes in, but it never comes out. In cases like this, it may be time to bring in the big guns – a high-pressure water jetting system. This powerful tool can blast away even the most stubborn blockages, leaving your drain clean and clear.

Prevention is Key

While dealing with a clogged drain is no fun, taking steps to prevent future clogs can save you time, money, and headaches. Simple practices, such as using a drain strainer to catch hair and other debris, regularly pouring boiling water down the drain, and treating your pipes with a natural enzyme cleaner, can go a long way in maintaining a healthy and clear bathtub drain.

In conclusion, if your snake won’t go down your bathtub drain, don’t despair. Hairballs, old pipes, or mysterious blockages might be causing the obstruction. Consider alternative methods, such as chemical drain cleaners or professional assistance, and take preventive measures to keep your drain flowing smoothly. With a little patience and perseverance, you’ll soon be able to enjoy a clog-free bathtub experience once again.

Can a Drain Snake Make a Clog Worse

When it comes to dealing with a stubborn clog in your drain, you might have tried using a drain snake to clear it up. However, there are cases where using a drain snake can actually make the clog worse. Let’s take a closer look at why this can happen and what you can do to avoid it.

The Potential Dangers of a Drain Snake

Using a drain snake incorrectly or without the necessary expertise can lead to unintended consequences. Here are a few reasons why a drain snake might make a clog worse:

1. Inadequate Technique:

drain snake didn't work

While drain snakes can be effective in clearing some clogs, it’s essential to use them properly. If you don’t have the right technique or knowledge, you may end up pushing the clog further down the drain, making it even harder to remove. So, it’s crucial to ensure that you know how to use a drain snake correctly before attempting to tackle a clog.

2. Damaging Pipes:

Using too much force or being overly aggressive with a drain snake can result in damaging your pipes. This can cause leaks, cracks, or even a complete pipe failure. So, if you’re not careful enough, trying to clear a clog with a drain snake might lead to more significant plumbing issues that you’ll have to deal with.

3. Ignoring the Underlying Cause:

Sometimes, a clog is just a symptom of a more significant plumbing problem. By only addressing the immediate clog and not investigating further, you are potentially ignoring the root cause. This means that even if you manage to clear the clog temporarily, it is likely to return, making matters worse in the long run.

What to Do Instead

drain snake didn't work

If you are unsure about using a drain snake or suspect a more significant plumbing issue, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. Calling a licensed plumber will ensure that the clog is addressed correctly, and any underlying problems are identified and resolved.

Wrapping Up

While drain snakes can be a helpful tool in your plumbing arsenal, they can sometimes do more harm than good if not used correctly. It’s essential to be cautious and knowledgeable when using a drain snake to avoid worsening the clog or causing damage to your pipes. When in doubt, consulting a professional plumber is always a safe bet to ensure your plumbing system is handled with care.

Why Won’t My Drain Drain After Snaking

So, you’ve tried using a drain snake to unclog your stubborn drain, but for some reason, the water is still not going down. Don’t worry, you’re not alone in this frustration! There are several possible reasons why your drain won’t drain even after snaking, and I’m here to shed some light on the situation.

1. The clog is located further down the drain

Sometimes, a simple drain snake might not be long enough to reach the actual source of the clog. It’s possible that the clog is located deeper in the pipes, beyond the reach of your trusty snake. In such cases, you may need to consider using a longer or more specialized tool to tackle the stubborn clog.

2. The clog is beyond the point of snaking

Drain snakes are fantastic tools for clearing out most common clogs, but they do have their limitations. If you’re dealing with a particularly stubborn or solid blockage, such as a tree root infiltrating your sewer line, a regular snake might not be enough to dislodge or break through the obstruction. In these situations, you may need to call in the professionals for more advanced methods like hydro jetting to get your drain flowing again.

3. There are multiple clogs in your plumbing system

Sometimes, a single clog isn’t the root cause of your draining issues. It’s possible that you have multiple clogs at various points in your plumbing system, which are causing a backup. Snaking might clear one clog, but if there are other blockages present, your drain will still have trouble draining properly. In such cases, it’s recommended to systematically check and clear each drain in your home to ensure a smooth-flowing plumbing system.

4. The problem lies in your plumbing system’s design

If your drain repeatedly gets clogged even after snaking, there could be an underlying issue with your plumbing system’s design. Sometimes, improperly installed or outdated pipes can contribute to frequent clogs and drainage problems. In such cases, it might be worth consulting a professional plumber who can evaluate your plumbing system and provide guidance on finding a more permanent solution.

5. It’s time to call a professional

If you’ve tried everything and your drain still refuses to drain after snaking, it may be time to wave the white flag and call in the professionals. Experienced plumbers have the expertise and equipment to handle even the most stubborn clogs and repair any underlying issues causing repeated drain problems. While it may seem like an extra expense, getting professional help can save you time, money, and headaches in the long run.

Remember, persistence is key when dealing with clogged drains. By understanding why your drain won’t drain after snaking, you’re already one step closer to finding the solution. Whether it’s a deeper clog, multiple blockages, or a larger plumbing issue, don’t hesitate to seek professional help if needed. Soon enough, you’ll have your drains running smoothly once again!

Shower Drain Still Clogged After Snaking

The Frustration of a Stubborn Shower Drain

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, your drain just won’t cooperate. You’ve already tried using a drain snake, hoping it would clear out the gunk and restore your shower’s water flow. Unfortunately, it seems like the shower drain is still clogged, and you’re left scratching your head in frustration. Don’t worry; you’re not alone in this battle against stubborn drains.

Reasons Why Your Shower Drain is Still Clogged

1. Buildup of Hair and Soap Scum

It’s not uncommon for hair and soap scum to accumulate deep within your shower drain. Even though you’ve used a drain snake, there’s a chance that it didn’t fully remove all the buildup, causing the clog to persist. Time to employ some additional tactics!

2. Using the Wrong Type of Drain Snake

Before you give up and call a professional, consider if you were using the right type of drain snake for the job. There are different sizes and styles available, and if you used the wrong one, it might not have been able to reach or dislodge the clog in your shower drain effectively.

Additional Strategies to Tackle the Stubborn Clog

1. Boiling Water and Vinegar Solution

An effective and natural way to dissolve stubborn clogs is by pouring a mixture of boiling water and vinegar down the drain. The heat of the boiling water combined with the acid in the vinegar can help break down any remaining gunk and clear the blockage.

2. Baking Soda and Salt Power Duo

Another powerful DIY method involves creating a mixture of baking soda and salt. Pour this combination down the drain and let it sit for a while. Then, follow it up with some hot water. This concoction can help break down the clog and flush it away.

Time to Consider Professional Help

If all else fails and your shower drain remains clogged, it might be time to seek professional assistance. A licensed plumber will have the necessary tools and expertise to diagnose and resolve the issue efficiently.

Dealing with a clogged shower drain can be incredibly frustrating. If using a drain snake didn’t provide the desired results, there could be a buildup of hair and soap scum or the need for a different type of snake. To tackle the stubborn clog, try boiling water and vinegar or a baking soda and salt mixture. If all else fails, don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber.

How to Make a Plumbing Snake Turn Corners


Dealing with a stubborn clog that just won’t budge can be incredibly frustrating. You’ve already tried using a drain snake, but unfortunately, it didn’t work as expected. Don’t worry; there’s still hope! In this section, we’ll explore an effective technique that will help your plumbing snake conquer those tricky corners.

Understanding the Challenge

Before we dive into the solution, let’s take a moment to understand why your drain snake might struggle with turning corners. Plumbing systems are often designed with bends and curves to facilitate proper water flow. These twists and turns can be a hassle when trying to navigate a standard straight plumbing snake.

The Right Tools for the Job

To overcome the challenge of corners, you’ll need a flexible plumbing snake specially designed to handle such situations. Look for a snake equipped with a coil at the end, allowing it to maneuver through bends effortlessly. Remember, having the right tools can make all the difference in the world!

Step-by-Step Instructions

Now that you have the appropriate plumbing snake, let’s explore the simple steps to make it turn corners smoothly:

Step 1: Prepare the Snake

  • Ensure the snake is properly extended, allowing enough length to reach the clogged area.
  • Attach the appropriate tool, such as a cutting or retrieval head, to the snake’s leading end. This will help break down or remove any obstructions along the way.

Step 2: Insert with Caution

  • Gently guide the snake into the drain opening, being careful not to force it. Slow and steady wins this race!
  • Maintain a firm grip on the snake as you navigate it through the pipe, ensuring you have complete control of its movement.

Step 3: Round the Corner

  • As you approach a corner, apply a slight, steady pressure on the snake while simultaneously rotating it in a clockwise motion.
  • The coil-like feature of the plumbing snake will allow it to navigate the corner smoothly, breaking through any clogs or debris in its path.

Step 4: Keep the Momentum Going

  • Continue rotating the snake and carefully pushing it forward until you’ve passed the corner. Feel that sense of accomplishment as you conquer the most challenging part of the clog!

Practice Makes Perfect

Mastering the art of maneuvering a plumbing snake around corners may take a bit of practice. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t work flawlessly on your first attempt. With each try, you’ll gain valuable experience, and soon enough, you’ll have the skills to tackle any clog that comes your way!

Final Thoughts

By investing in a flexible plumbing snake and applying the techniques we’ve discussed, you can empower yourself to overcome the most stubborn clogs hiding around corners. Remember, take it slow, be patient, and soon enough, you’ll be the hero of your own plumbing battles!

What Happens If Snaking the Drain Doesn’t Work

So, you’ve tried using a drain snake to unclog your stubborn drain, but to your dismay, it didn’t work. Don’t fret just yet! In this subsection, we’ll explore the reasons why snaking a drain sometimes fails and what you can do next to tackle your clogged pipes.

Understanding the Root of the Problem

1. The Clog is Deeper Than Expected

Sometimes, a drain clog can be more complicated than what you can reach with a regular drain snake. It’s possible that the clog is located further down in the plumbing system, which requires more than just a standard snaking. In such situations, it may be wise to bring in a professional plumber equipped with specialized tools to diagnose and resolve the issue effectively.

2. Grease and Gunk Buildup

If you frequently pour grease or oily substances down your kitchen sink, it’s highly likely that these fats have accumulated over time, making it difficult for the drain snake to break through. In cases like this, it might be worth considering a potent drain cleaner specifically developed to dissolve grease and gunk buildup. Remember to follow the instructions carefully and take necessary precautions when using chemical cleaners.

Alternative Methods to Try

1. Boiling Hot Water and Baking Soda

One popular home remedy includes pouring boiling water down the drain, followed by a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. Allow the solution to sit for a few minutes before flushing it out with hot water again. This method can sometimes dislodge minor clogs and freshen up your drain.

2. Enzyme Drain Cleaners

Enzyme drain cleaners are a safer and eco-friendly alternative to harsh chemical drain cleaners. These enzymes eat away at organic materials, effectively breaking down clogs caused by things like hair, soap scum, and food particles. Follow the instructions provided with the cleaner for the best results.

3. Contacting a Professional Plumber

When all else fails, it’s time to call in the experts! A skilled plumber has the knowledge, experience, and specialized tools to handle even the most stubborn clogs. They can use methods like hydro jetting or camera inspection to determine the root cause of the clog and devise an appropriate solution.

Prevention is Key

Don’t wait for a clog to happen; take preventive measures to keep your drains flowing smoothly. Avoid pouring grease, coffee grounds, or excessive food scraps down the sink. Use drain guards to catch hair and debris in bathroom drains, and consider pouring boiling water down each drain on a regular basis to help prevent buildup.

By following these tips and exploring alternative solutions, you’ll be better equipped to deal with a drain blockage even when snaking doesn’t do the trick. Remember, a stubborn clog might require a more thorough approach, so don’t hesitate to seek professional help to get your drains back in top shape.

drain snake didn't work

How to Unclog a Drain When a Snake Won’t Work

So, you’ve got a clogged drain, and despite your best efforts with a drain snake, the stubborn clog just won’t budge. Don’t panic! There are still some tricks up our sleeve to help you unclog that drain and get things flowing again. Here are a few methods you can try:

Check for Blockages

First things first, let’s do a quick check for any visible blockages. Put on a pair of gloves and remove the drain cover if possible. Use a flashlight to inspect the drain and see if there’s anything obstructing the flow. It could be hair, soap scum, or even small objects that have fallen down the drain. If you spot anything, grab a pair of tweezers or pliers and carefully remove the blockage.

Boiling Water

When your snake won’t do the job, it’s time to bring in the big guns: boiling water. Boil a kettle or pot of water, then carefully pour it down the drain in two to three stages, allowing a few seconds between each pour. The hot water can help dissolve any greasy substances or loosen up stubborn gunk that’s causing the clog. Be cautious with this method, as it may not be suitable for all types of pipes, so if you’re unsure, consult a professional.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

Ah, the classic baking soda and vinegar combination – a trusty duo for tackling various household cleaning challenges. Start by pouring half a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by half a cup of vinegar. Cover the drain opening with a cloth or stopper while the mixture fizzes and does its magic. After about 15 to 20 minutes, remove the cover and flush the drain with hot water. Repeat if necessary.

Plunger Power

If you haven’t already, give the plunger a go. Make sure there’s enough water in the sink or tub to cover the plunger’s bell. Place the plunger over the drain, ensuring a tight seal, and give it several vigorous plunges. This action creates pressure and suction that can dislodge the clog. Remember to plunge, not pump, as that can cause splashing.

Call in the Pros

If all else fails, it’s time to call in the professionals. Sometimes, clogs can be particularly stubborn or indicative of a larger issue further down the pipeline. Skilled plumbers have specialized tools and expertise to handle such situations. Don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance if you’re not confident in tackling the problem yourself. Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

With these alternative methods, you should be well-equipped to tackle a clogged drain, even when a snake won’t do the trick. Whether it’s clearing visible blockages, using boiling water, opting for the baking soda and vinegar solution, giving the plunger a go, or seeking expert help, there’s a solution out there for you. So, roll up your sleeves, put on your problem-solving hat, and get ready to conquer that clog!

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