How To Get A Plumbing Snake Unstuck?

If you’re dealing with a stuck plumbing snake, you’re probably frustrated and looking for a solution. Whether it’s a clogged drain or a blocked pipe, a stuck plumbing snake can be a major inconvenience. But don’t worry, there are a few simple steps you can take to get your plumbing snake unstuck and back to work.

First, try twisting the handle of the snake gently in both directions. This can help to loosen any debris or obstructions that may be causing the snake to get stuck. If that doesn’t work, you can try using a lubricant such as WD-40 or a silicone spray to help loosen things up.

If the snake still won’t budge, you can try pulling it out from the opposite direction that it went in. This can sometimes dislodge any stuck debris and free up the snake. If all else fails, you may need to call a professional plumber to help you remove the stuck snake.

Remember, when using a plumbing snake, it’s important to be patient and gentle. Trying to force or yank the snake can cause it to get stuck even further. By following these tips, you’ll be able to get your plumbing snake unstuck and get back to solving your plumbing problems.

how to get a plumbing snake unstuck

Essential Tools to Safely Remove a Stuck Plumbing Snake

Dealing with a stuck plumbing snake can be frustrating and challenging, especially if you don’t have the right tools. Fortunately, there are a few essential tools that can help you safely remove a stuck plumbing snake without causing any damage or further complications. In this section, we will discuss these tools in detail to ensure a smooth and efficient removal process.

1. Pipe Wrench

A pipe wrench is a must-have tool when it comes to removing a stuck plumbing snake. This versatile tool is designed to grip and turn pipes and fittings securely. When dealing with a stuck snake, you can use a pipe wrench to provide the necessary leverage to loosen and remove the snake from the drain pipe. Simply secure the pipe wrench around the snake’s handle or any accessible part and apply gentle pressure to rotate and dislodge it.

2. Adjustable Pliers

Another indispensable tool for removing a stuck plumbing snake is a pair of adjustable pliers. These pliers come with adjustable jaws, allowing you to fit them securely around the snake’s handle or any other suitable area. Once in position, you can use the pliers to grip the snake tightly and provide the necessary torque to release it. Just be cautious not to clamp the pliers too tightly, as this may damage the snake or its components.

3. WD-40 or Penetrating Oil

If the plumbing snake is stuck due to rust or corrosion, applying a lubricant such as WD-40 or penetrating oil can significantly help in loosening the snake. These products work by penetrating the rust or corrosion, making it easier to remove the stuck snake. Before applying the lubricant, it’s important to read and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for safe and effective use. Apply the lubricant to the stuck part of the snake and allow it to sit for a few minutes before attempting to remove it.

4. Heat Source

In some cases, a stuck plumbing snake may require the use of heat to expand the surrounding materials and facilitate its removal. You can use a heat source such as a heat gun or a hairdryer to apply gentle heat to the stuck area. Be cautious not to overheat the materials, as this may cause further damage. Allow the heat to penetrate for a few minutes and then try to remove the snake while applying slight pressure.

5. Safety Gloves and Eye Protection

When dealing with a stuck plumbing snake, it’s crucial to prioritize your safety. Always wear protective gloves to prevent any potential injuries while handling the snake or using tools. Additionally, wearing eye protection is essential to shield your eyes from any debris or splinters that may dislodge during the removal process. These safety measures will help ensure a safe and accident-free experience.

6. Plumbers Tape or Thread Sealant

If the plumbing snake is stuck due to a threaded connection, using plumbers tape or thread sealant can help loosen it. Apply a few wraps of plumbers tape to the threaded area, ensuring a tight seal. Alternatively, you can apply thread sealant to the connection to provide lubrication and facilitate the removal of the stuck snake.

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7. Additional Assistance

If you have exhausted all your options and the plumbing snake remains stuck, it may be time to seek professional assistance. Plumbing experts have the knowledge, experience, and specialized tools to remove a stuck snake without causing further damage to your plumbing system. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional if the situation becomes too challenging or if you are unsure about how to proceed.

In summary, having the right tools is essential when it comes to safely removing a stuck plumbing snake. A pipe wrench, adjustable pliers, lubricants, a heat source, safety gloves, eye protection, and plumbers tape or thread sealant are all key tools that can help you in the removal process. Remember to prioritize safety, follow instructions carefully, and seek professional help if needed. With these tools and precautions in place, you can effectively resolve the issue and get your plumbing system back in working order.

Step-by-Step Guide to Unstick a Plumbing Snake

Plumbing snakes are handy tools when it comes to clearing clogged drains and pipes. However, there may come a time when the plumbing snake gets stuck, causing frustration and inconvenience. In this section, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to unstick a plumbing snake effectively.

1. Assess the situation

The first step is to assess the situation and try to determine why the plumbing snake is stuck. It could be due to a blockage or a bend in the pipe. Understanding the cause will help you in deciding the best approach to unstick the snake.

2. Apply lubricant

If the snake is stuck due to friction or a tight fit, applying lubricant can help loosen it. Use a silicone-based lubricant or a plumbing lubricant spray and apply it generously to the area where the snake is stuck. Let it sit for a few minutes to allow the lubricant to penetrate and loosen the grip.

3. Rotate the snake

Once the lubricant has had time to work, try rotating the plumbing snake in both directions. Start with a gentle back-and-forth motion to break the suction and then gradually apply more force. This twisting motion can sometimes help free the snake from its stuck position.

4. Rock the snake

If rotating the snake doesn’t yield any results, try rocking it back and forth. Hold the snake firmly and apply gentle, rhythmic pressure while rocking it from side to side. This motion can help dislodge the snake and loosen it from the obstruction.

5. Push and pull technique

If the snake is still stuck, you can try the push and pull technique. Hold the snake close to the point where it is stuck and apply steady, alternating pressure by pushing and pulling. This action can create a pumping effect and help dislodge the snake from the blockage.

6. Use a pliers or wrench

If all else fails, you may need to resort to using pliers or a wrench to manually remove the plumbing snake. Carefully grip the snake near the point of obstruction and apply steady force while turning or pulling. Exercise caution to avoid damaging the snake or the plumbing system.

7. Seek professional assistance

If you have tried all the steps mentioned above and are still unable to unstick the plumbing snake, it may be time to seek professional assistance. Plumbers have the expertise and specialized tools to handle stubborn stuck snakes and resolve any underlying issues causing the obstruction.

In summary, a stuck plumbing snake can be a nuisance, but with the right approach, it can be resolved. Assess the situation, apply lubricant, rotate, rock, push and pull, and use pliers if necessary. If all else fails, don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber for help.

Alternative Methods to Unstick a Plumbing Snake

If you’ve ever encountered a clogged drain or pipe, you may have used a plumbing snake to clear the blockage. However, there are instances when the snake itself gets stuck, leaving you with a new problem to solve. Before giving up and calling a professional plumber, consider trying these alternative methods to unstick a plumbing snake.

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1. Apply lubricant

One of the simplest and most effective solutions to unsticking a plumbing snake is to apply a lubricant. The lubricant will help reduce friction, making it easier to retract the snake from the pipe. Spray a generous amount of lubricant, such as WD-40, onto the area where the snake is stuck. Allow it to sit for a few minutes, then gently wiggle and pull the snake to free it.

2. Use hot water

If the plumbing snake is stuck due to the presence of sticky substances, hot water can help break down the blockage. Boil a pot of water and carefully pour it into the affected drain or pipe. The heat from the water can soften the clog and allow the snake to move more freely. Once you’ve added the hot water, attempt to pull the snake out while applying gentle pressure.

3. Apply force with a plunger

In some cases, using a plunger can create enough suction and force to dislodge the stuck plumbing snake. Place a plunger over the drain or pipe opening and firmly press down to create a seal. Push and pull the plunger in quick motions, applying force to the clogged area. The pressure created by the plunger can help release the grip on the snake, allowing you to remove it.

4. Utilize a plumbing auger

If the previously mentioned methods don’t yield results, you can try using a plumbing auger as an alternative to the snake. A plumbing auger, also known as a drain auger or drain snake, is a flexible tool specifically designed to remove stubborn clogs. Insert the auger into the pipe and rotate it clockwise while applying gentle but steady pressure. The auger’s coiled wire can break up the blockage, allowing you to retract it along with the stuck plumbing snake.

5. Seek professional assistance

If all else fails, it may be time to call a professional plumber. Plumbing experts have the experience, knowledge, and specialized tools needed to tackle even the most stubborn clogs. They can safely and efficiently remove the stuck plumbing snake while addressing any underlying issues causing the blockage.


Having a plumbing snake become stuck can be a frustrating experience. However, there are alternative methods you can try before resorting to professional help. Applying lubricant, using hot water, using a plunger, or utilizing a plumbing auger are all potential solutions to unstick a stuck plumbing snake. If these methods fail, it’s best to seek assistance from a professional plumber to avoid further damage to your plumbing system.

Tips for Preventing a Plumbing Snake from Getting Stuck Again

If you’ve ever had the unfortunate experience of a plumbing snake getting stuck while attempting to clear a clogged drain, you know how frustrating and time-consuming it can be. Not only does it require extra effort to remove the stuck snake, but it also delays the resolution of your plumbing issue. To avoid this situation in the future, here are some useful tips to prevent a plumbing snake from getting stuck again.

1. Start with a Properly Sized Snake

Using a plumbing snake that is too large for the drain pipe increases the risk of it getting stuck. Before attempting to clear a clog, make sure you have the right size snake for the job. Measure the diameter of the drain pipe and choose a snake that is slightly smaller to ensure smooth maneuverability.

2. Use a Flexible Snake

A flexible plumbing snake is less likely to get stuck compared to a rigid one. Opt for a snake made of high-quality, flexible materials that can easily navigate through twists and turns in the pipe. This will reduce the chances of it getting lodged or stuck along the way.

3. Apply Lubrication

To make the process smoother and reduce friction, apply a generous amount of lubricant to the snake before inserting it into the drain pipe. This will help the snake glide through the pipe easily, minimizing the risk of it getting stuck or tangled in debris.

4. Avoid Excessive Force

When using a plumbing snake, it’s important to apply gentle and consistent pressure. Avoid using excessive force as it can cause the snake to bend or kink, increasing the likelihood of it getting stuck. Slowly and steadily work the snake into the drain, allowing it to navigate through the clog without unnecessary force.

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5. Clear Debris Along the Way

If you encounter resistance or feel the snake getting stuck, it may be due to accumulated debris in the pipe. While retracting the snake, clear any debris or clogs that come out with it. This will help prevent future blockages and reduce the chances of the snake getting stuck again.

6. Regular Maintenance

Prevention is key to avoiding plumbing issues. Regular maintenance can help keep your pipes clean and clear, reducing the need for extensive snaking. Consider using drain guards or strainers to catch debris before it enters the pipes and schedule periodic professional drain cleaning to keep your plumbing system running smoothly.

7. Seek Professional Help

If you’re unsure about using a plumbing snake or have repeated issues with clogged drains, it’s best to seek the assistance of a professional plumber. They have the expertise and specialized equipment to effectively clear stubborn clogs without the risk of getting a snake stuck. A professional plumber can also identify and address any underlying issues causing frequent clogs.

By following these tips, you can minimize the chances of a plumbing snake getting stuck while clearing a clogged drain. Remember to use the right size and type of snake, apply lubrication, avoid excessive force, and maintain your plumbing system regularly. If you’re uncertain or encounter persistent clogs, don’t hesitate to contact a professional plumber for assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How can I get a plumbing snake unstuck?

To get a plumbing snake unstuck, first, turn off the power to any appliances connected to the drain. Then, try gently twisting and turning the snake while pulling it out. If that doesn’t work, you can try using a lubricant like WD-40 or applying heat to the affected area with a hairdryer. If all else fails, it’s best to seek professional help from a plumber.

2. What should I do if my toilet is clogged?

If your toilet is clogged, start by using a plunger to try and dislodge the blockage. If the plunger doesn’t work, you can try using a toilet auger or a plumbing snake to remove the clog. Be gentle when using these tools, as excessive force can damage your toilet. If the clog persists, it’s advisable to call a plumber for assistance.

3. How do I prevent clogs in my drains?

To prevent clogs in your drains, you can follow these tips: – Use a drain strainer or stopper to catch hair, food particles, and other debris. – Avoid pouring grease, oil, or coffee grounds down the drain. – Run hot water down the drain regularly to help flush away any buildup. – Use a natural drain cleaner, like a mixture of vinegar and baking soda, once a month to keep the drains clear.


In conclusion, getting a plumbing snake unstuck is a common challenge many homeowners face. By following a few simple steps, you can safely and effectively resolve this issue. Remember to start by turning off the power supply and water source for safety. Then, carefully inspect the snake and the drain to identify the cause of the obstruction. Utilize lubricants and gentle movements to slowly dislodge the snake. If the snake remains stuck, it may be necessary to seek professional assistance. By taking prompt action and using the appropriate techniques, you can overcome the frustration of a stuck plumbing snake and restore the functionality of your plumbing system.

Don’t let a stuck plumbing snake deter you from tackling plumbing issues yourself. With patience and the right approach, you can successfully resolve the problem and save on costly repairs. So, the next time you encounter a stuck plumbing snake, remember to stay calm, follow the steps outlined above, and you’ll be well on your way to getting your plumbing system back in working order.