What are the Different Features of Consumer Grade Drain Snakes?

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Different Features of Consumer Grade Drain Snakes
Different Features of Consumer-Grade Drain Snakes

What are the Types of Consumer Grade Drain Snakes?

A DIY’r of varying abilities or a homeowner with a sudden plumbing problem has probably used or tried to use, a drain snake. Then, maybe for the same problem, if you’ve ever called a plumber for a clog or stopped up toilet or sink, you know they use a snake or an auger. Drain snakes aren’t always as simple as they look.

A drain snake can come in many different shapes and sizes. They can have many more features than you’d think. All you’re needing to do is get the sludge and junk out of the drain or the pipe. The tool is basically any type of tool meant to free a clog out of plumbing. Drain snakes are usually categorized as motorized tool for clearing pipes and drains.

Though these techniques can be a lot more hands-on than standard stick-style pipe cleaners or fluid drain cleaners, drain snakes can return fixtures back to working order quickly. Though they call for some expertise and experience to use, you’ll a drain snake is useful for keeping your home’s drains running as they should.

While not every plumbing clog requires a snake, clogs can usually be treated with one of these devices. Continue here for some facts and features of drain snakes meant for consumers and homeowners.

Different Features of Consumer Grade Drain Snakes 2
Different Features of Consumer-Grade Drain Snakes

Snakes or Augers

You might have heard individuals saying “drain snake” and “drain auger” and you don’t know the difference. Maybe that person didn’t know either. Although similar, these two common plumbing tools have various features.

Snakes go straight down into drains and are designed to get hold of obstructions, pulling them back out of the drain. This method works due to the fact the clog fit and went down the drain and into the pipe in the first place.

On the other hand, drain augers work more like the augers utilized for excavation. These devices try to loosen up and break up the obstruction, sending it down the system and enabling the pipes to run openly.

Plumbing professionals generally employ augers when taking care of bathroom clogs to avoid bringing sewage back up into your residence.

Drain Snakes Come With Attachments

The majority of pro-level and consumer-level drain snakes can be used with multiple head attachments. These attachments allow your plumbing technician to select the best feature for the task. Some, for instance, are valuable for saving valuable, small products, such as jewelry. Knowing which attachment to use and how to use the drain snake, in general, can be the difference in removing the clog or not, removing the clog but making a huge mess, and saving the day if you want to regain what was lost in the sink or toilet.

A good DIY’r or plumbing expert could well use multiple attachments or features on the same job. For instance, you may select one head to loosen the clog and get the water running again, then a second head to remove any kind of remaining gunk on the drain or pipe walls.

Manual or Power

Manual drain snakes could well be the first thing you see at a big box store and the first thing you try. They are inserted, manually, down the drain and pipe and turned, manually, by hand. This kind of snake can be turned by hand or have a longer cord or attachment to turn or crank and generate more force.

A power drain snake can be an all-in-one tool that plugs in and runs with a motor, or a piece that can connect to a drill as its power and torque force. These typically, as you’d expect, do a better job with a bigger, tougher, more-clogged job.

Size Matters

If you have a drain snake, but it isn’t long enough to reach the blockage, it’s time to get a bigger snake, or contact a pro. In most cases, you can clear small blockages in p-traps with easy, consumer-grade snakes. These tools are usually about six feet long. That’s long enough to handle most household clogs.

Deeper clogs need more pro-grade devices. In these cases, your plumbing technician likely has a drain snake or auger which reaches and works to 50 feet or longer. If you can’t figure out where the clog is, it’s hard to know how long the snake’s going to need to be. For the typical property owner, a 25-foot snake is long enough. If you have an upstairs bathroom, though, you might run into a problem needing a 50-foot reach.

For many obstructions, ones that take place in sinks and tubs, you need a wire that’s 1/4-inch in size. For blockages in larger pipelines, longer pipelines, or for harder clogs, you could require a 1/2-inch cord.

More Parts of a Drain Snake

Who knew a snake in your bathroom would be so complicated? You might, though, need to consider a couple more features of a useful drain snake. If you’re fighting a very solid clog, you’ll need a snake with a cutting edge that will cut through, grab and remove the material. You will want a drain snake with a coil on the end so it’ll turn into the stuff, and move it.

If you need to remove a clog which is mostly hair, you’ll need a snake that’ll grab and hold it, then lift it up, rather than just push it down more. Barbs on the cord of the snake, or perhaps a design with hooks and loops, do the best with this kind of a mess.

Incorrect Use Can Cause a Bigger Problem

Using a drain snake to clear out a sink p-trap or another fairly simple clog goes ok most of the time. Facing a bigger task, or trying to use a more complex, larger snake needs some know-how and experience. It’s possible to damage the fixture itself or even a larger area of the bathroom or kitchen. If you come up against a clog or problem which is too big, it might be time to contact an expert plumber to solve the issue effectively and safely.

South End Plumbing specializes in garbage disposal service and repair, so remember, we are just a click away. We also specialize in leak detection – give us a call! South End Plumbing is one of the only companies that will give you a free estimate. Call us at 704-919-1722 or fill out the form online to schedule a visit.

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