How Do You Snake Past a 90 Degree Turn: Expert Tricks

To snake past a 90-degree turn, move slowly and steer precisely. Align the snake’s head with the direction you intend to go.

Navigating a 90-degree turn can be challenging, especially for beginners. It requires patience and precise control to execute smoothly. Remember, it’s okay to take your time and adjust as needed. Start by approaching the turn at a slow speed to maintain better control. Slightly change the direction to align the snake’s head with the path.

Gradually steer the body around the corner, ensuring each segment follows the previous one closely. Practice this technique repeatedly to improve your skills. Mastering this manoeuvre can significantly enhance control and confidence in tight spaces. Slow and steady movements are essential to successfully snaking past sharp turns.

Snaking Past 90 Degree Turns

Mastering snaking past a 90-degree turn can be a game-changer for various activities, from sports to navigating complex paths. Understanding how to manoeuvre through such sharp turns requires skill and practice.

What Is Snaking?

Snaking is a technique used to manoeuvre through tight and complex spaces. It involves a series of smooth and controlled movements that allow you to navigate sharp turns without losing speed or balance. Here are some critical aspects of snaking:

  • Controlled Movements: Snaking requires precise control over your movements to ensure you navigate the turn smoothly.
  • Speed Management: Adjusting your speed is crucial to maintaining balance and control through the turn.
  • Body Positioning: Proper body positioning helps maintain balance and stability.

Snaking is commonly used in sports like skateboarding, skiing, and even robotics, where precise navigation is essential. It is a skill that can be developed with practice and an understanding of the underlying principles.

Challenges Of Snaking Past 90 Degree Turns

Snaking past a 90-degree turn presents challenges requiring careful consideration and practice. Here are some of the main challenges:

  1. Sharp Angle: The 90-degree angle requires a sharp and precise turn, which can be challenging to execute smoothly.
  2. Maintaining Speed: It is a significant challenge to maintain speed while making such a sharp turn without losing balance.
  3. Spatial Awareness: Understanding your position in space and the path you need to take is crucial for successful navigation.
  4. Coordination: Coordinating your body movements to ensure a fluid motion through the turn is essential.

Practice and experience are crucial to overcoming these challenges. Developing a sense of balance, control, and spatial awareness can help you master the art of snaking past 90-degree turns.

Preparation And Tools

Snaking past a 90-degree turn in plumbing can be tricky. With the proper preparation and tools, you can make this task easier. Appropriate preparation ensures you avoid damage and achieve success. This section will guide you through the essential steps and tools needed for the job.

Read Also: Can a Drain Snake Break a Pipe?

Assessing The Turn

Before you start, it’s crucial to assess the turn. Knowing its specifics helps you choose the right tools and techniques.

Examine the Pipe:

  • Identify the pipe material: PVC, copper, or cast iron.
  • Measure the diameter of the pipe.

Check for Obstructions:

  • Look for any visible blockages.
  • Feel for any resistance inside the pipe.

Understand the Layout:

  • Note the length of the pipe leading to the turn.
  • Identify any other bends or turns nearby.

Document Findings:

  • Take notes on the pipe’s condition and layout.
  • Photograph any critical areas for reference.

This information guides the choice of snake and approach.

Selecting The Right Snake

Choosing the right snake is vital for navigating a 90-degree turn. Different snakes serve different purposes. Consider the following:

Manual Snakes:

  • Hand Augers: Ideal for minor clogs and short distances.
  • Drum Augers: Suitable for moderate clogs and turns.

Power Snakes:

  • Electric Augers: Best for tough clogs and long distances.
  • Drain Cleaning Machines: Professional-grade for severe blockages.

Snake Tips:

Tip Type Use
Cutting Tip Best for roots and hard blockages.
Bulb Tip Good for general clogs and debris.
Flat Tip Effective for grease and soft blockages.

Match the Snake to the Job:

  1. Evaluate the clog’s severity.
  2. Choose a snake that fits the pipe’s diameter.
  3. Select the appropriate tip for the blockage type.

Gathering Safety Gear

Safety is paramount when snaking past a 90-degree turn. Proper gear protects you from injuries and contamination.

Essential Safety Gear:

  • Gloves: Protects hands from cuts and chemicals.
  • Goggles: Shields eyes from splashes and debris.
  • Face Mask: Prevents inhalation of harmful fumes.


  • Long Sleeves: Protects arms from contact with waste.
  • Apron: Keeps your clothes clean and dry.


  • Waterproof Boots: Keeps feet dry and safe from spills.

Additional Safety Items:

  • First Aid Kit: For treating minor injuries.
  • Flashlight: Helps you see inside pipes and dark areas.

Always prioritize safety to prevent accidents and health risks.

Don’t hesitate to call a professional if you’re unsure. They can assess the problem and provide the best solution. Whether it’s a simple clog or a more serious issue, professional help ensures your plumbing stays in top shape.


Step-by-step Process

Snaking past a 90-degree turn can be tricky, but following a step-by-step process makes it manageable. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a homeowner dealing with a clogged drain, understanding each step is crucial. Below, we break down the process to help you navigate those sharp bends with ease and precision.

Clearing The Area

Before you start, ensure the area around the pipe is clear. This step is essential for a smooth operation and to avoid any accidents. Remove any obstacles that might get in your way. Follow these steps:

  • Move any furniture or objects near the pipe.
  • Place a bucket under the pipe to catch any water or debris.
  • Wear gloves and goggles to protect yourself from splashes.

A clear area allows you to focus on the task and minimizes the risk of injury or damage to your belongings. Prepare your tools and keep them within reach, including the snake, wrenches, and any other necessary items.

Inserting The Snake

Once the area is clear, inserting the snake into the pipe is time. The goal is to feed the snake slowly and steadily. Follow these steps:

  1. Uncoil the snake and insert the end into the pipe opening.
  2. Hold the snake firmly and start to feed it into the pipe.
  3. Use a gentle back-and-forth motion to help the snake move smoothly.

Ensure the snake is fed into the pipe at a consistent pace. Avoid forcing it, as this can cause damage. If you encounter resistance, stop and check for any obstructions. If necessary, use a flashlight to inspect the pipe.

Navigating The Turn

Navigating a 90-degree turn can be challenging. The key is to move slowly and carefully. Here’s how to do it:

  • As you approach the turn, slow down your feeding motion.
  • Gently twist the snake to help it navigate the bend.
  • Keep a firm grip on the snake to maintain control.

If the snake gets stuck, don’t force it. Pull it back slightly and try again. Patience is crucial here. A steady hand will help the snake manoeuvre around the turn. If needed, apply lubricant to the snake to ease its movement.

Applying Gentle Pressure

After successfully navigating the turn, it’s important to apply gentle pressure. This helps to clear any blockages. Follow these steps:

  1. Hold the snake firmly and apply gentle pressure.
  2. Use a twisting motion to break up any clogs.
  3. Continue feeding the snake until the blockage is cleared.

Be patient and avoid using excessive force. Too much pressure can damage the pipe or the snake. Once you feel the blockage has cleared, slowly retract the snake. Dispose of any debris caught on the snake and clean your tools.

Tips And Techniques

Snaking past a 90-degree turn in your plumbing can be tricky. Proper techniques can make this task easier. Here are some tips and strategies to help you navigate these challenging bends effectively.

Using A Flexible Snake

A flexible snake is your best friend for navigating tight bends. Flexible snakes are designed to bend and flex, making them ideal for 90-degree turns. Below are some tips for using a flexible snake:

  • Choose the right size: Ensure your snake is appropriately sized for the pipe.
  • Insert slowly: Push the snake into the pipe to avoid damaging it.
  • Use gentle pressure: Apply gentle pressure as you push the snake around the bend.

Here’s a quick reference table for selecting the right flexible snake:

Pipe Size Recommended Snake Size
1-1.5 inches 1/4 inch
2-3 inches 3/8 inch
4 inches 1/2 inch

Proper usage of a flexible snake reduces the risk of pipe damage and increases effectiveness.

Rotating The Snake

Rotating the snake is essential for manoeuvring around tight corners. Here’s how to do it effectively:

  1. Insert the snake into the pipe until you feel resistance.
  2. Rotate the handle: Turn the snake’s handle clockwise.
  3. Apply gentle pressure: Continue rotating and gently push forward.

Rotating the snake helps break up blockages and navigate bends. A few key points to remember:

  • Maintain consistency: Keep a steady rotation for best results.
  • Avoid over-rotating: Excessive rotation can damage the pipe or the snake.
  • Reverse if stuck: If the snake gets stuck, rotate counter-clockwise to free it.

Mastering rotation can make a significant difference in your snaking efforts.

Wiggling The Snake

Wiggling the snake can help navigate stubborn bends and blockages. Follow these steps:

  • Push the snake until you feel resistance.
  • Wiggle gently: Move the snake back and forth slightly.
  • Combine with rotation: Rotate the snake while wiggling for better results.

Wiggling helps the snake manoeuvre around tight corners and through clogs. Here are some additional tips:

  1. Be patient: Wiggling can take time; don’t rush.
  2. Listen for sounds: Grinding or scraping may indicate a blockage.
  3. Adjust your angle: Change the angle of the snake if it’s not progressing.

Effective wiggling can make the difference between success and frustration. Combining it with other techniques improves your chances of navigating those tricky 90-degree turns.

Common Mistakes To Avoid

Snaking past a 90-degree turn can be tricky. Many people make common mistakes that complicate the task. Understanding these errors can make the process easier and safer.

Forcing The Snake

Many people force the snake through the turn. This can lead to several problems:

  • Increased Risk of Damage: Forcing the snake can break the tool or damage your pipes.
  • Reduced Effectiveness: The snake may not navigate the turn properly, leaving the clog partially cleared.
  • Injury Potential: Struggling with the snake increases the risk of hand and wrist injuries.

Instead, follow these steps:

  1. Slow Down: Move the snake slowly and steadily.
  2. Use Gentle Pressure: Apply light pressure to guide the snake through the turn.
  3. Rotate the Snake: Turn the handle slightly to help the snake navigate the corner.

Remember, patience is key. Forcing the snake will only create more problems in the long run.

Neglecting Safety Measures

Ignoring safety measures is another common mistake. This can lead to serious injuries or damage. Always follow these safety tips:

  • Wear Gloves: Gloves protect your hands from cuts and abrasions.
  • Use Safety Goggles: Goggles protect your eyes from debris and splashes.
  • Check the Tool: Inspect the snake for damage before use. A damaged tool can break and cause injury.

Here is a quick comparison of the right and wrong approaches:

Right Approach Wrong Approach
Wearing gloves and goggles Skipping protective gear
Inspecting the tool Using a damaged tool
Moving slowly and steadily Forcing the snake through

Neglecting these safety measures can turn a simple task into a dangerous one. Always prioritize safety to ensure a smooth and risk-free process.

Dealing With Difficult Situations

Snaking past a 90-degree turn can be tricky. Dealing with difficult situations requires patience and skill. Knowing how to handle these challenges can make a difference whether the turn is blocked or there are multiple turns. Let’s dive into some practical strategies.

Blocked Or Stubborn Turn

Blocked or stubborn turns can be a significant headache. These turns often require extra effort and clever techniques to navigate successfully. Here are some steps to help you tackle a blocked or stubborn turn:

  • Assess the Situation: Check what is blocking the turn. Is it debris, a tight space, or something else?
  • Use the Right Tools: A plumbing snake with a flexible tip can help you navigate tight corners. Make sure your snake is long enough to reach past the blockage.
  • Gentle Pressure: Apply gentle pressure and slowly guide the snake through the turn. Avoid forcing it, as this can cause damage.
  • Rotate and Tw

Maintaining And Storing Your Snake

Using a drain snake can be tricky, especially around tight bends. Understanding how to snake past a 90-degree turn is crucial for adequate plumbing. Equally important is maintaining and storing your snake. Proper care ensures it remains functional and ready for future use. Here’s a guide on cleaning and storing your drain snake.

Cleaning The Snake

Keeping your drain snake clean is essential for its longevity and efficiency. After each use, remove any debris or residue stuck on it. Follow these steps for effective cleaning:

  • Wear protective gloves: This prevents direct contact with dirt and chemicals.
  • Rinse with water: Use a hose to wash off loose debris.
  • Scrub gently: Use a brush to clean stubborn dirt without damaging the snake.
  • Use a mild detergent: Mix with water to clean grease and grime.
  • Rinse thoroughly: Ensure no soap or dirt remains.
  • Dry completely: Use a cloth or let it air dry to prevent rust.
Step Action
1 Wear protective gloves
2 Rinse with water
3 Scrub gently
4 Use mild detergent
5 Rinse thoroughly
6 Dry completely

Proper Storage

Storing your drain snake properly ensures it remains in good condition. Follow these guidelines for proper storage:

  1. Coil the snake: Roll it neatly to prevent kinks and tangles.
  2. Use a storage bag: Place the coiled snake in a bag to keep it clean and dry.
  3. Store in a dry place: Keep it in a cool, dry area to prevent rust.
  4. Avoid direct sunlight: UV rays can weaken the snake material over time.
  5. Check periodically: Inspect the snake for any signs of wear or damage before each use.

These steps will keep your drain snake in top condition, ready to tackle any clog, even around challenging 90-degree turns.

When To Call A Professional

Using a plumbing snake to navigate a 90-degree turn can be tricky. Some clogs are easier to handle with professional help. Knowing when to call a professional plumber can save time and stress. This guide helps you decide when it’s time to get expert assistance.

Recognizing the importance of knowing when you need help can prevent damage to your pipes. This guide helps you understand the signs that indicate it’s time to get expert assistance.Not all clogs are easy to clear. Recognizing when you need help can prevent damage to your pipes. Here are some signs to look for:

  • Frequent clogs: It might be a deeper issue if you’re dealing with clogs often.
  • Slow draining: Slow drains can indicate a stubborn blockage further down the line.
  • Unpleasant odours: Bad smells from your drains may point to a severe clog.
  • Water backups: If water backs up in other drains, it’s time to call a professional.

Attempting to snake past a 90-degree turn can cause more harm than good. Here’s why you might need professional help:

Problem Why Call a Professional
Pipe Damage Experts know how to avoid damaging pipes.
Stubborn Clogs Professionals have stronger tools for tough clogs.
Complex Plumbing Systems Professionals understand complex setups better.

Safety is also a concern. Professionals follow safety protocols to prevent accidents. They can also spot potential issues that you might miss. Hiring a professional can save money in the long run. It prevents damage that could lead to costly repairs.

Don’t hesitate to call a professional if you’re unsure. They can assess the problem and provide the best solution. Whether it’s a simple clog or a more serious issue, professional help ensures your plumbing stays in top shape.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Won’t My Snake Go Past The Bend?

Your snake might be stressed or scared, or the habitat setup could be improper. Check temperature, humidity, and obstacles.

Why Won’t My Snake Go Through The Pipe?

Your snake might not go through the pipe due to its size, stress, or obstruction. Check the pipe for blockages and ensure it’s the right size. Provide a calm environment to encourage movement.

Why Won’t My Drain Snake Make A Turn?

The drain snake might not make a turn due to blockages, tight bends, or an incorrect size. Ensure the snake is flexible and appropriate for your drain type. Use gentle, steady pressure to navigate curves.

Can You Snake Past The P-trap?

Yes, you can snake past the P-trap. Use a drain snake or auger to clear blockages beyond the P-trap. Ensure you follow safety guidelines.

What Is A 90 Degree Turn?

A 90-degree turn is a right-angle turn.


Mastering a 90-degree turn requires practice, patience, and the proper technique. By following our guide, you’ll navigate these sharp turns smoothly and confidently. Remember, consistency is critical. Keep practising, stay focused, and soon, you’ll snake past those challenging bends like a pro.

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