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Why Won't Drain Snake (Auger) Go Down Drain?

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Question: Why Won't Drain Snake (Auger) Go Down Drain?
I'm trying to clean out my tub drain with a hand-cranked drain snake (auger) and can't get it down more than a foot or so. What should I do? The clog is clearly much farther down than that.
Answer: Fixing plumbing mishaps barely falls within the realm of my topic, home renovations (for that, see our Plumbing Guide). But I experienced just the same thing and want to pass on the fruits of my expensive little project (see: How Much Does Roto-Rooter Cost).

Like you, I tried mightily to force my hand-cranked drain auger down past the initial obstruction: the P-trap. I found that, no matter what I did, I couldn't force it past the trap.

As it turns out, buying or renting an electric drain auger is the solution. The electric auger is able to keep up the steady, powerful rotations to move through the trap. The rotations also drive the auger forward.

For more information, see Snaking a Tub Drain.

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