Plumbing Services: Clearing Clogs With A Plumber's Snake

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Plumbing Services: Clearing Clogs With A Plumber's Snake

Plumbing Services: Clearing Clogs With A Plumber's Snake

29 August 2014
, Articles

Most homeowners spend an average reported cost of approximately $259 in hiring professional plumbers to deal with their plumbing sorrows. Most homeowners will find that issues with clogging will emerge at least once a year, and familiarizing with the type of equipment and tools that are used by a plumber can be quite interesting, and may help you save some money. Plumber's snakes or drain snakes are perhaps one of the most common tools of the trade, and are devices made from coiled metal wires with spaces in-between the ends. Different attachments are placed at each end for different applications. By purchasing a plumber's snake yourself, you can easily unclog many obstructions without professional assistance.

What Does a Plumber's Snake Consist Of and How Do The Parts Unclog Obstructions?

As mentioned above, a plumber's snake is mainly made from coiled metal wires with various attachments placed on the ends. The entire device is designed to unclog obstructions. Familiarizing with the different functions may help you determine which parts are most effective in your situation.

The auger end of the wire functions almost identically to a corkscrew. It can dig itself into a clog in order to retrieve specific obstructions. Most plumbers typically utilize the auger end to remove hair, cloth and small toys. The end of the snake is used to break up large objects so that it can pass through the drain more easily, and is normally used in the event that there are tree root intrusions or large objects clogging the pathway. The side of the snake will also scrape off accumulates inside the plumbing as it flails around. Some plumber's snake have cameras installed at the tip, so that you can get a better idea of what the obstruction is when you feed the snake through the drains. 

When Can a Plumber's Snake Be Used?

A plumber's snake can be used in just about any situations where a clog is present. There are many variations of types available on the market that are designed for different applications. In general, the rule of thumb when using a plumber's snake is that a 1/4 inch cable should never be used in a drain larger than 2 inches as it is too small. A 1/4 inch cable is most suitable for a drain size of approximately 3/4 inches to 1 1/4 inches.

What Are The Different Types of Auger Varieties Available?

There are different auger varieties available for plumber's snake. You will need to choose the right auger based on the application that you are using the plumber's snake for. The different types of augers will include:

  • hand augers. These augers are most useful for clearing sink drains and also bathtubs. Although useful and able to accommodate numerous different applications, hand augers should never be used in the toilet bowls as they tend to either damage the bowl or become knotted and difficult to work with.
  • toilet augers. These augers are designed specifically for toilet bowls. These augers have a plastic boot at the end that will protect porcelain surfaces from sustaining any damage, and the cable is typically relatively short with a J-hooked end.
  • heavy-duty drum augers. These augers are motorized and will typically be removable. These augers are typically recommended for tree root intrusions and when large, dense items that are hard to remove are clogging the drains.


A plumber's snake can be a worthwhile investment if you find that your household is constantly dealing with clogs. If the auger on the plumber's snakes cannot remove a clog, then the only course of action that you may have left will be to remove that particular section of the plumbing and replace it with a new one. Click here for more information.

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I used to routinely get calls from HVAC contractors in my area offering annual maintenance contracts. As soon they would identify themselves, I would quickly say no thank you and hang up. After all, my heating and cooling system was working fine. Why would I spend money on services I clearly didn't need? Boy was I wrong! A few years ago, my AC unit suddenly stopped working. I called my HVAC contractor to have it repaired and assumed that my warranty would pick up the bill. That was until I learned my warranty was voided due to a lack of maintenance. Out of nowhere, my decision to ignore those maintenance calls was about to cost me more than a $1,000. I know there are others out there like me. It is my hope that this site will provide them with the knowledge they need to avoid the mistakes I made.