Introduction: Zip Tie Drain Snake

About: I am an automation engineer but I will give anything a go. I don't know if you call if pessimism or just being an engineer, but I look for problems everywhere, then I look for some weird, left field way to sol…

This is a quick and easy ible.
over the holidays we washed our dogs in the bath, big mistake. The drain became blocked and the water was very slow to drain. As it was the holidays the local hardware shop was closed and as we have a septic tank chemicals were not an option.

Necessity is the mother of invention and the zip tie drain snake is born.

You will need one long zip tie, mine was an 8mm wide 400mm long heavy duty tie.
You will also need a sharp knife e.g. a box cutter.
Note: lease be careful with the box cutter as you are working close to the cut and the tie is flexible it is easy to slip.

Step 1: Prepare the Snake

Use the box cutter to make diagonal cuts into the side of the tie.
cuts should go from the lock end (where the plastic loop is) towards the taper.

Cut less than half way through as you don't want the tie to snap off in the drain or then you have a bigger blockage to clear.

You only need to make cuts for about 50 mm as if you grab too much gunk in one go you won't get it back out the drain hole.

Once all the cuts are complete use your thumbnail to push the barbs out to the front and back of the tie, this makes them stand out and become hooks.

Step 2: Do the Dirty Work

Push the snake into the drain pushing through the blockage.

Draw the snake all the way back out and remove the debris.

Repeat this until the blockage is clear and the snake comes out clean.

I didn't take a photo of the result as I doubt anyone wanted to see the contents of a blocked drain.

Happy unblocking.

Zip Tie Challenge

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