DIY Drain Snake

Unclog a drain with a clever repurposing of woven wire and a drill

Family Handyman

Down the Drain!

I heard that dreaded call from the bathroom: Honey, the shower isnt draining! I tried to solve the problem with all sorts of gizmos like a plunger, the skinny plastic things with all the barbs, some electrical wire and even a plumbing snake. Nothing I tried would get through the trap. Over a cup of coffee, I racked my brain about what material would get past the drain trap. Then it came to me. I drove to the local home center and bought a 3-ft. length of 1/8-in. woven wire. I frayed one end by untwisting it with pliers and stuck the other end into my cordless drill chuck. I pushed into the drain as I pulled the trigger on the drill. It found its way past the trap and into the clog. As I pulled it out of the drain, I let out a yell like Id discovered gold. After I rinsed off the disgusting glob with the garden hose, this award-winning tool was ready to do its job again, but hopefully not for a long time. Brent Schulz

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