Image text: "What is a Plumbing Auger or Plumbers Snake".

What is a Plumbing Auger or “Plumber’s Snake”? When and How to Use a Flexible Auger

A Plumbing Auger which is also known as a “Plumber’s Snake” is a flexible auger used to dislodge clogs in plumbing. Drain augers are useful to clear larger pipes such as your toilet or shower drain. The difference between a plumbing auger and a plumbing snake is that a snake is always flexible, some old augers were not made of a flexible material. Essentially any plumbing auger is a device used to remove clogs. These clogs can be in toilets or any drains. Read on to discover the so-called “plumbing snake” and what can they do for you.

What is a plumbing snake and why is it useful?

A plumbing snake is a pipe auger tool used to clean pipes as well as toilets, sinks, and bathtubs. These are used to work like a “snake” but on a larger scale. These are made to work in a kitchen and bathroom. This type of auger is the ideal tool for clearing clogs in your pipes. These clogs can be in pipes in your kitchen and your bathroom. The most common use for the plumbing snake is to clear pipe damage. If the pipework has been damaged this can be done by wire, tree roots or other debris. A plumbing auger helps in the clearing of pipe damage and can be used on drain clogs or pipe damage in sinks. a plumbing auger is made to remove clogs in the pipework. They are flexible and can be operated by turning it on the handle of the auger.

This tool is the ideal tool to help clear clogs from pipes. When the plumbing snake is turned on, the flexible blades make a cutting motion as it snakes through the pipes to clear clogs. This product is much more effective than an auger which can be difficult to use effectively. 

A plumbing snake is often the best choice to remove clogs in your drains. So, why shouldn’t you get a plumbing snake and drain snake now to help clear drain blockages or partial blockages? Plumbing snakes are made to work on clogs in pipes and sinks. When the snake is turned on, the flexible blades make a cutting motion as it snakes through the pipes to cut away clogs. A plumbing snake is less expensive than an auger.

The clog may be in the pipes or the drain. In some cases, it’s both. You don’t want to spend the money on an auger which will likely do nothing to fix the problem. The plumbing snake is a cheaper tool and often more effective. When you get a plumbing snake, it will be less than $40 and you can get it today at any local hardware store. Why wait. Get a plumbing snake today!

When and How to Use a Flexible Auger

Drain auger or snake
CC BY by mrbill

A plumbing snake has a blade on one end and a crank on the other to rotate the snake. Think of a plumbing snake is a snake-like-flexible rod or tube, which may be equipped with cutting blades, and can be pushed forward and retracted through drains without causing them damage. This characteristic makes them very useful to clean pipes as well as drains from toilets, sinks, and bathtubs. They can also, if necessary, be used on both hot and cold water lines. A plumbing snake is made out of a flexible metal tube and can be turned by hand or with a rotary tool. A plumbing snake with a flexible shaft has one or two cutting blades on each end that can cut through pipe fittings or countertop fittings.

They can be used to clean out water pipes or inside the sink basin. A plumbing snake can be used in a variety of ways to aid the homeowner including cleaning out bird nests and debris in the pipes, cleaning out debris in a sink basin, and maintaining pipes.

Generally, a plumbing snake can be turned manually or with a rotary tool. It can reach any diameter and many of the best plumbing snakes have a “grabber” end that can be used to pull clogs out of the pipe or to clear clogs from clogs. A plumbing snake can be used both on the cold and hot water lines. They can work on both fresh and salt water. When used in the sink basin, they can be used to clean out clogs or even for the toilet. The plumbing snake can be turned either on the sink or in the toilet bowl to create more of a spray of clogs being washed away.

Some high-end plumbing snake models can use compressed air to help in their propulsion through the pipe. They can be used to provide assistance in cleaning out a clog in a drain, or they can clear clogs from pipes. A plumbing snake can be made in different sizes. They can be made to go into clogs in a sink basin or clogs in the toilet. They can even be used to clean out bird nests. A snake can be used at any time for any job.

Homeowner Guidance on Using a DIY Plumbing Snake

Image explains what is a drain snake or auger.
CC BY-NC-ND by Big Swede Guy

The DIY’er can find a number of uses for many home maintenance tasks including cleaning out debris in a sink basin drain and maintaining pipes that tend to clog.

Pipes are usually found under the house or in the garage, however, plumbing snakes can be used to locate them which makes them very useful for the homeowner looking after their home. You will also need a pair of pliers and an adjustable screwdriver.

To use the plumbing snake you will first need to make sure that there is sufficient slack in the pipe. This is usually found by turning the valve in the plumbing system. Then you will need to feed the head of the snake into the pipe and turn it until you feel the clog. Then release the head and use your fingers to grasp the pipe to pull it free.

Using a Sink or Bath Drain Plunger

To clean out a drain it is true that as an alternative you can try using a plunger, however, plungers are quite blunt in their action. Plungers rely on raising the pipe pressure in a pulse and this might not be sufficient to clear a clog. Instead, you can try using a plumbing snake. To use a plumbing snake you will need to make sure that there is enough slack in the line so that you can get the snake to break through the pipe right to the end. It is also important that you use the plumbing snake gently and turn it until you break through the pipe end. Only then can you be sure to have completely removed the clog. You can use a pair of pliers to help grasp the pipe and turn it.

If you have plumbing problems that are occurring frequently or persist even after flushing your drain you will need to seek professional assistance. This is where the professional may use a plumbing snake.

Using a Flexible Auger for a Waste Disposal Unit Drain

You will first need to remove the cover of the disposal unit. Afterwards, you will need to insert the snake into the drain until you feel a clog. Then firmly grasp the snake and turn it until you break the clog. When you have cleared the drain you will need to turn the valve back to its upright position. Then flush the drain to ensure that the pipes are fully clean.

You can purchase a plumbing snake straight from plumbing supply stores and the cheapest available start at around $10. This will help you get rid of pipe obstructions in the sink pipes and the bath. However, the snake is not suitable for cleaning out long clogged sewer lines over a long distance.

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