Drain Snake Won’t Go Down Bathtub Drain—Why?

Hand putting drain snake down drain
A drain snake is a tool used by plumbers to dislodge blockages deep within drainpipes. If you are attempting to snake your bathtub drain on your own, we advise you to be careful. With more than 50 years in business, we’ve seen many homeowners make matters worse by trying to fix the problem on their own.

If you’re using a drain snake and it won’t go down the drain, don’t force it. Call a plumber near you.

Now, here’s why your drain snake likely won’t go down the bathtub drain:

  • Wrong size drain snake – If the drain snake you’re using won't fit down the drain, then you may be using the wrong kind of drain snake. For general drain clogs, a small drum auger will generally do the trick. The cables within these augers will usually be around 15 to 25 feet long. If you're unsure what kind of drain snake you're using, double-check with a plumber to see if you're using the correct type of drain snake.
  • Dysfunctional drain snake – Check the working condition of your drain snake. It may have been damaged during previous use. Old and used drain snakes may still have remnants of previous blockages still attached to them. If this is the case, a new drain snake may be required.
  • Too much force – When you're trying to dislodge a blockage, it can be tempting to try and force a snake cable through the drain too fast. If you force it, sometimes the cable can bend back on itself or kink. Instead of forcing the cable, extend the snake cable a few inches at a time until you reach the clog.
  • Really big blockage – Sometimes the blockage in your bathtub drain is simply too large to be dislodged with a drain snake.

Some bathtub blockages are located at the drain’s stopper mechanism. If this is the case, you may find that a snake isn’t even necessary. If the clog is further down, then you should still be able to solve the problem using a drain snake. But as we previously mentioned, be careful. It’s easy to accidentally do more harm to your plumbing system if you don’t know how to properly use a drain snake.

Clogged Drain? No Problem.

It’s always best to call your local Mr. Rooter® Plumbing for help with your clogged drains. Call us today or request an estimate online. We’ll tell you exactly how much the project will cost before we start work.